ACE Program

Our Accelerated Clinical Experience Program provides selected candidates with the opportunity to experience what one of the top ranked Academic Medical Centers in the U.S.A. has to offer. Each scholar has the opportunity to gain an overview of the U.S. Medical System as well as learn about best practices in patient care in core disciplines. This program provides select groups with exposure to clinical care sessions, as well as didactic lectures, journal clubs and clinical teaching opportunities. Positions are offered in many medical disciplines at UC San Diego including:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Psychiatry
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • Radiology
  • Family Medicine

Since demand for the ACE Program exceeds the rotations available, we will do our utmost to accommodate your stated choices, but cannot guarantee availability or an exact match.

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Who Should Attend?

Graduating medical students and recent medical graduates interested in gaining an overview of the clinical setting in a major U.S. academic medical center. 

How Do I Apply?

To apply for the ACE Program, please complete the following online application form (click here). 

Program Description/Schedule

Scholars spend two to four weeks working in clinical settings of the UC San Diego Healthcare System. The experience will vary slightly from discipline to discipline but may include: inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as didactic lectures, journal clubs and clinical teaching sessions.

In accordance with the regulations of the California Medical Board, a scholar is not allowed to have any patient care responsibilities or engage in any "hands-on" experience with patients and their families. Scholars must always be accompanied by their sponsoring faculty mentor or a university/hospital employee while in patient/clinical care areas. 

Program Benefits

Participants in the ACE Program will:

  • Have access to clinical practice at one of the world's leading academic medical centers in a broad range of disciplines
  • Have a performance evaluation completed at the end of their rotation
  • Access a network of students, residents and faculty at UC San Diego
  • Work towards enhancing their chances to successfully pursue graduate medical education in North America

Program Logistics

UC San Diego does not provide housing as part of the ACE Program. Participants are responsible for finding and paying for their own housing. It is suggested that you begin your housing search well in advance of your rotation. 

Individuals selected to participate in this program must make their own arrangements for travel, accommodations and daily transportation needs.  Suggestions for housing, travel, transport and other online resources can be found by visiting the Living in San Diego link.

Program Fees

Given the customized schedule developed for each ACE scholar, please specify your planned rotation duration in your online application and our office will contact you in regards to tuition prices for your indicated timeframe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far in advance should I apply for an ACE experience?
We recommend applying no later than four months prior to your requested start date.

How many individuals will be accepted into this program?
Availability can vary by discipline and time of year. There is not a set total number of positions. We generally suggest that ACE applicants avoid looking for a rotation opportunity between the months of November - January, given the holiday closure period at the University and the more limited availability of our faculty due to holiday travel and vacation.

Will I earn elective credit for my ACE rotation?
No; UCSD Health Sciences International does not offer elective credit for your ACE experience. If your home institution wants you to take an elective rotation for academic credit to be applied toward your graduation requirements, the ACE Program cannot be converted into credit. 

What is the maximum duration of training allowed in this program?
Eight weeks is the maximum - in other words, four blocks of two weeks, each. 

If I choose to spend more than two weeks as an ACE scholar, do I have to do all of the time in the same discipline?
No. You may choose up to four areas (2 weeks each) to participate. You could also spend the entire time in one discipline (depending on availability).

Which type of immigration visa do I need in order to participate in the ACE Program?
Given the short-term duration of ACE, scholars must enter the program under their own B-1 Visitor Visa. You can learn more about the B-1 visa by visiting the B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa page for UC San Diego's International Faculty and Scholar Office. 

I am applying to a residency program soon. If I participate in the ACE Program for 2 - 4 weeks, will I be guaranteed a letter of reccomendation from my faculty mentor?
We do not offer any guarantee of a letter of reccomendation from your faculty mentor following completion of your ACE Program rotation. Your professional performance and relationship with your mentor and/or their clinical team will determine your opportunity to ask for a letter of reccomendation. UC San Diego Health Sciences International does not request LOR's from your faculty mentor after you finish the program. It is your responsibility to maximime your time and opportunities here during your rotation in order to determine if you will be asking for a letter. If your faculty mentor offers to write you a letter of reccomendation, that is wonderful news, as it suggests that you have taken advantage of your ACE experience.

However, each ACE scholar will receive a letter of completion/participation from UC San Diego Health Sciences International, which will summarize your activities along with the goals and objectives of the program. ACE scholars will also receive a Certificate of Completion at the commencement of their rotation.