David Satcher Clerkship

group of diverse medical students and doctors

University Hospitals Office of Community Impact, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion created a national model for the recruitment of underrepresented minority medical students as assurance that the diversity of future generations of healthcare leaders receives accurate representation, and as its pledge that the needs of the underserved and underrepresented ethnic communities will be met. It is the belief of University Hospitals that a diverse clinical workforce is necessary to meet the needs of underrepresented ethnic communities.

The David Satcher Clerkship hosts between 4-8 minority medical students (US citizens only) annually, offering them hands-on exposure to career opportunities in our academic medical center. As an integral part of the residency recruitment initiative, this program is focused on the inclusion of a diverse generation of future health care leaders. Clerkships are offered for a maximum of 4-weeks, available July through October only. Block times may be flexible if necessary. Application processing fees are waived for eligible students who apply for the David Satcher Clerkship.

UH is an affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. David Satcher was the first African American to graduate with his MD PhD from the Case Medical Science Training Program. He was the 16th Surgeon General of the United States and former Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. His tenure of public service also includes serving as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1993 to 1998.

Why Become a Satcher Clerk

Benefits of the Satcher Clerkship include:

  • The clerkship will expose minority medical students to the many career opportunities available in academic medical centers and foster an environment in which underrepresented ethnic minorities excel.
  • Clerkship acknowledges that minority physicians are underrepresented nationally, both in the practicing medical community and in the full-time academic medical community.
  • Clerkship joins the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, National Medical Fellowships Inc., The National Institutes of Health, and The Commonwealth Fund in their efforts to address this situation.
  • Academic medical centers in urban settings provide the ideal culturally and ethnically diverse environment for minority residents to receive training.
  • UH is committed to developing a dynamic, thriving and diverse team of physicians, nurses, health care professionals and management staff that more fully represents the medical community and the population it serves.

Application Process

Medical students interested in applying for the David Satcher Clerkship should review the prerequisite for the clerkship below and complete the Visiting Clerkship Application forms at VSLO-AAMC.

Within the VSLO application, there will be a requirement to indicate interest in the David Satcher Clerkship and to upload a supplemental application with two references.

For questions about the David Satcher Clerkship, please contact M. Elizabeth Ruttenberg at MaryElizabeth.Ruttenberg@UHhospitals.org.

For questions about the general VSLO application process or selection of electives in UH or the Cleveland VA, please contact University Hospital UME Visiting Student Office at UME@uhhospitals.org.


Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  1. Underrepresented minority fourth year medical students at a school outside of Northeast Ohio
  2. USMLE Step one/COMPLEX 1 score
  3. Core clinical clerkships completed prior to participation in the UH David Satcher Clerkship Visiting Clerkship program
  4. Current transcript
  5. In good standing at home school
  6. Home school's approval to participate in the desired elective
  7. Immunizations (required ones on VSLO) up to date, completed and documented
  8. A copy of the most recent background check from medical school
  9. Two letters of recommendation
  10. Health insurance
  11. Malpractice insurance

Alternate Clerkship Choices

In the event that your primary clinical elective selection is filled, you are advised to list two alternate choices.

  • Registration in an elective will be confirmed only after the application form has been received and approved. Students will be notified by email of the results of their application.
  • There are no two-week electives for visiting students.

Malpractice Insurance

Malpractice and/or general liability insurance is not provided to visiting medical students. This must be provided by the student or his/her medical school. Documented proof of health insurance, malpractice coverage and a record of immunizations are part of the VSLO application. Documentation of student-purchased liability coverage must be confirmed 30 days prior to the start of the elective(s). If your school does not provide such coverage please contact our medical student office immediately.

Health Insurance

The School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University requires all visiting medical students to have valid personal health insurance, whether through their medical school or via personal coverage. University Hospitals Case Western Reserve University does not provide personal health insurance for visiting medical students.

Immunization Requirements

Visiting David Satcher Clerks must submit verification of completion of the following immunizations:

  • Hepatitis B: series of three doses; serology, if available.
  • Measles, mumps and rubella. Immunization or titer, in the case of measles, if the application had the disease, a doctor's signature is required to confirm office record.
  • Chicken pox (varicella); if no documented history, an antibody titer to measure immunity is strongly recommended
  • Diphtheria/tetanus; record of booster within the past 10 years
  • Polio; completed series of immunization indicating type of vaccine, as well as date of last booster
  • Tuberculosis: PPD by Mantoux method or interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs), within the past year prior to completion of David Satcher Clerkship. If positive, chest x-ray results are required. Students who have received BCG vaccine must specify date and may be required to provide chest x-ray results.


More information concerning the availability of housing at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is reviewed under the Medical Student Office Visiting Students FAQs.