The fourth year of medical school is an elective year, with more than 200 courses offered. The year is divided into 11 four-week periods.

Electives allow students to pursue their career goals without adherence to a required curriculum. At the same time, it allows those who have not yet defined their goals to explore career options.

Please learn more about the M4 Electives policy at VCU School of Medicine:  


If you are a VCU School of Medicine (SOM) student pursuing an M4 elective please contact Hayley Mathews at or (804) 828-9798.

If you are seeking an M4 elective and NOT a student at VCU SOM you must go through AAMC's Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS) to apply for an elective at VCU.

Surgical Electives

We offer fourth-year medical students electives in these specialties:

  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Colon and rectal surgery
  • GI and bariatric surgery
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Plastic surgery
  • Surgical oncology
  • Surgical trauma ICU
  • Surgical urology
  • Transplant surgery
  • Trauma and emergency surgery
  • Vascular surgery

If you have questions about the electives offered above please contact our Educational Programs Office at (804) 827-1030 or email, Interim M4 Director.

Living in RVA

Richmond, Virginia, combines the amenities of a major metropolitan area with the charm and convenience of a small, historic city.

As an urban academic medical center, the VCU School of Medicine rests in the heart of Richmond, Virginia (RVA to those who live here). We pride ourselves on being active members of our community, with a commitment to engaging and investing in Richmond as learners, researchers, healers and citizens.

Living in RVA

Contact Us

Surgical Education Programs Office
(804) 827-1030