Medical students in the Department of Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine Clerkship

Nathan Lewis, MD

Nathan Lewis, M.D.
Emergency Medicine Clerkship Director

The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Emergency Medicine offers a 4-week rotation for 4th year medical students as an opportunity for students to gain autonomy, confidence and experience while working in the acute care environment.

The student functions as an acting intern with significant direct patient care responsibilities. Students are expected to independently evaluate and develop an assessment and plan for their patients and present their patients to the attending physician. Students have full EMR access and are expected to write notes on, enter orders for, and disposition their patients.

Each four-week rotation consists of 10 Emergency Department shifts; single shifts with the Clinical Decision Unit (observation unit), Virginia Poison Center and Richmond Ambulance Authority; and student-directed education sessions each week. There is an exam at the end of the rotation.

Students applying to EM residency programs may ask to have a standardized letter of evaluation (SLOE) written on their behalf by the clerkship director upon completion of the rotation.

VCU writes a departmental standard letter of recommendation for all students applying to Emergency Medicine Residency completed by the Clerkship Director and Program Director.

Health Equity Acting Internship

The Emergency Medicine Health Equity AI is a 4-week acting internship intended for students with a special interest in underserved patient populations or in underrepresentation in emergency medicine. Applicants must apply through VSAS, meet VCU School of Medicine requirements, and submit a 500-word description of how their experiences have influenced their study of medicine, their career choice (past, present, or future), or affected their appreciation of challenges faced by medically underserved and under-resourced populations. Applicants may apply as early as February 1st by uploading a CV and essay to ( Acceptances made prior to VCU opening in VSAS are contingent upon satisfying VCU School of Medicine requirements through VSAS. Financial assistance for the rotation will be offered by means of reimbursement. More information about VCU rotations will be available in VSAS in March, and processing of VSAS applications will begin in April. Contact: Nathan Lewis, MD (

Foundational Elective in Emergency Medicine

The Foundational Elective is a 2-week rotation for VCU students in their 3rd year. The elective allows students a chance to observe the evaluation and treatment of patients in the Emergency Department while gaining an appreciation of the unique aspects of emergency care. It is graded as Pass/Fail.

Visiting Students

We accept visiting students for the M4 Clerkship depending on scheduling and availability. In order to apply, please refer to the VCU School of Medicine Visiting Student website for more information on how to apply through the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS). Unfortunately, at this time we are no longer able to accept students from international medical schools.

Additional Electives

The Department of Emergency Medicine at VCU also provides elective experiences for 4th year medical students in EMS, toxicology, and ultrasound.


For inquires about our medical student programs or any other emergency medicine residency questions, feel free to contact Nathan Lewis, M.D., Clerkship Director at

Additional information can be found on our VCU Emergency Medicine Clerkship website.