4th Year (Class of 2012)


Listed below is information regarding elective study at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) and its affiliated hospitals/sites for the 2011-2012 academic year. All questions regarding NYPH electives and those at affiliated hospitals/sites should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs at Please read the following section on eligibility carefully to determine whether you are eligible to apply for elective study at P&S. P&S is not able to process applications for any ineligible students.


Electives offered at P&S are available only to P&S students and those currently enrolled in LCME accredited medical schools, osteopathic schools, Sackler New York, and Columbia’s international exchange schools (visiting students). For a complete list of P&S international exchange partners, visit the International Exchange Programs page. Please note that you are not eligible for elective study at P&S under any circumstances if your school does not appear on this list, and P&S does not offer observerships. Students interested in observerships must contact the desired department directly to determine if there are available opportunities.

Visiting students should be aware that some electives are available only to P&S students. Electives that are not available to visiting students are specifically noted in the individual course descriptions in the Elective Catalog. Please read elective descriptions carefully to determine your eligibility before applying.


Visiting students must apply for all electives through the Office of Student Affairs. As outlined in individual course descriptions, some electives also require permission from the course director, which must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs at no fewer than 60 days in advance of the desired elective month before final approval can be given. All applications are due no fewer than 60 days prior to the month for which you are applying and students will be notified no later than six weeks prior to the start of the desired month. Visiting students are asked not to contact course directors directly except where permission is required to take an elective. All inquiries must go through the Office of Student Affairs at Elective availability information is not distributed to visiting students and all elective placements are final. Students may not change electives once placed.

Prior to applying for P&S electives, international exchange students must receive approval from their home institution to participate in the exchange program. International students who are not approved by their home institution are not permitted to participate in electives at P&S and applications from such students will be denied. Applications from international students not currently enrolled at an exchange institution will all be denied. P&S cannot process applications from ineligible students.

Decisions on applications for electives offered from March through June 2012 will begin to be rendered in January 2012. Students will be notified no later than six weeks prior to the start of the month(s) for which they are applying. As capacity for spring and summer 2012 courses has not yet been determined, please keep in mind that any course director approvals for electives that require permission are conditional until official elective approvals are released by the Office of Medical Education.

Applications for the 2012-13 academic year (July 2012 through June 2013) will not be accepted until February 1, 2012. Any applications submitted prior to February 1 will be disregarded.


All visiting students are required to submit an online application, as well as a transcript, CV, passport size photo and P&S Dean's Certification and Vaccination forms. Only the P&S Dean's Certification and Vaccination forms found on the Visiting Students page will be accepted. A letter of recommendation from a faculty member in the core clerkship most closely related to the desired elective specialty, as well as USMLE Board scores, may be requested as well. Please visit individual course descriptions to determine if this is required for the elective(s) for which you are applying. Note that requirements vary slightly depending on the institutional affiliation, and some students may be required to submit a letter of recommendation regardless of your desired elective(s). Please visit the Visiting Students page and select the appropriate institution from the School dropdown menu to gauge the precise requirements for your application.

The fee for each P&S elective is $150. Once visiting students receive approval for elective study at P&S, you will be directed to a link to submit the appropriate payment depending on the number of electives you plan to take. Elective fees are waived for Columbia Ben Gurion and approved international exchange students. Sackler New York students only submit their payments via check issued by the institution.

For more information and to apply for elective study at P&S, please visit the Visiting Students page.


Electives are offered year-round. P&S students must make special arrangements with the Office of Medical Education to take electives during May and June. Unless otherwise specified in the course description, all electives begin on the first day of the month and end on the last. Visiting students are asked to adjust their schedules to meet this timetable, as course directors are not obliged to honor alternative dates. Once approved for an elective, visiting students may contact course directors to request slight date adjustments, but should be aware that approvals of such requests are solely at the discretion of the course directors.


For the entire listing of P&S elective offerings, please visit the Elective Catalog page.  



  • Subinternship:
    The student will function as part of a team on a teaching service with reponsibilities closely mirroring those of an intern. Students will have primary responsibility for patient care and may be required to take night call. The most common subinternships are in Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Urology, Neurology and Emergency Medicine.

  • Consult:
    The student will be under the direct supervision of house staff and attendings and will provide consultation to other in-hospital services. Students present cases and are responsible for follow-up of their patients. 

  • Preceptorship:
    The student will work directly with one faculty member during the course of the elective, performing or observing all the duties of that faculty member.

  • Research:
    Research electives are self-arranged opportunities for dedicated study on a topic agreed upon with a research supervisor. They are not available to visiting students except where listed in the elective catalog.






Allen Pavilion
5141 Broadway
New York, New York 10034
250 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
Basset Health Care/Cooperstown
One Atwell Road
Cooperstown, New York 13326
Northern Navajo Medical Center
PO Box 160
Shiprock, New Mexico 87420
Harlem Hospital
135th Street and Lenox Avenue
New York, New York 10037
Presbyterian Hospital
622 West 168th Street
New York, New York 10032
Helen Hayes Hospital
Route 9W
West Haverstraw, New York 10993
Roosevelt Hospital
1000 10th Avenue
New York, New York 10019
Indian Health Service
PHS Indian Hospital, PO Box 860
Whiteriver, Arizona 85941
St. Francis Hospital
100 Port Washington Blvd.
Roslyn, NY 11576
Indian Health Service
PHS Indian Hospital, PO Box 467
Zuni, New Mexico 87327
St. Luke’s Hospital
1111 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, New York 10025
Milstein Hospital
177 Ft. Washington Avenue
New York, New York 10032
Stamford Hospital
Shelburne Road at West Broad Street
PO Box 9317
Stamford, Connecticut 06902

The Allen Pavilion of Presbyterian Hospital is located at 5141 Broadway (near West 220th Street). It is not on the main Presbyterian Hospital site.

Please note that electives at NH/Dartmouth, Basset Health Care/Cooperstown, Northern Navajo Medical Center, Helen Hayes Hospital, Indian Health Service, St. Francis Hospital, and Stamford Hospital are not available to visiting students.


Location Codes

Code letter Location
P Presbyterian Hospital
C Mary I. Bassett Hospital
S Stamford Hospital
H Harlem Hospital
L St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, St. Luke's
R St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, Roosevelt
V Bronx VA Medical Center
I Indian Health Service



Electives must be full-time, last one month (a minimum of four weeks for away courses) and be supervised by an M.D. P&S students are required to complete eight electives in a ten month period:

-Five must be clinical (three may be non-clinical)

-Five must be "home" (includes all electives in the elective catalog)

-Two are mandatory:

1. A sub-internship, which will demonstrate your ability to care for acutely ill patients and assume some of the responsibilities of an intern with appropriate supervision. These courses are denoted by two asterisks (**) throughout the elective catalog.

2. Back to the Classroom, a course consisting of three components including Clinical Practice IV and Biomedical Informatics. Students may elect one of the following three seminars to comprise the third component: Advanced Clinical Pathology (October), Advanced Medical Pathophysiology & Therapeutics (February) or Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (March). Back to the Classroom electives are not open to visiting students.

-A maximum of two months of electives in any specialty is permitted, with the exception of Medicine and Pediatrics, which are unlimited. However, students are not permitted to take more than one month in any subspecialty. A third elective in a specialty is permitted if the student also completes a sub-I in Medicine, SICU or Neuro ICU. All electives - clinical and research - count towards the maximum in any specialty.

For questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at prior to registration.



Course codes consist of a two-letter prefix, a sequence number and a one-letter suffix. The prefix indicates the specialty and the suffix indicates the location of the elective. For example, UR01P is an elective in Urology at Presbyterian Hospital.

The call numbers posted above are to be used to register for specific courses. The section numbers correspond to the month when the elective is offered. For example, a section number of 007 indicates the month of July. If the elective description denotes that prior approval from the course director is required, the student must submit a Permission to Add form before registering for the elective. All independently arranged preceptorships and research electives also require the submission of a Permission to Add form (for the respective type of elective), as do all away electives. If none is received by the Office of Student Affairs, the student will be dropped from the course as a result of incomplete registration.

Enrollment in electives at Bassett Healthcare must have prior approval from Bassett before registration. Contact the Office of Medical Education at the hospital at (800) 852-4566 for details.


  • Find Columbia Doctors