Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education

First Day

In the two weeks prior to your start date, you will be sent an email from the visiting student coordinator with registration details, general information and details on where and when to report to your department. If you have not received this email by the Wednesday prior to your start date, please contact the visiting student office immediately.

Be sure you review all of that information and the information on this page before your first day.

Chicago Campus

All rotations take place on the Chicago campus. Before reporting to your department, you must register on the first day of your rotation in the Method Atrium on the first floor of 300 E. Superior St. You will be given maps, a hospital ID, a scrub card and other important information to help you along throughout your rotation. If your departmental check-in time and registration conflict, please contact our office to make other arrangements.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

If you are rotating at Lurie Children's Hospital and are a U.S. medical student, you may bypass the Chicago campus registration and report directly to your department. However, you will need to fill out a registration card at your department. If you are an international student, you will receive further instructions from the our office regarding your student health requirements.

Visiting Student Rights & Responsibilities

As a visiting student, you are not enrolled at Northwestern University and are not considered a matriculated student. You do, however, have the same duties and responsibilities as a medical student and are expected to be treated as an active participant on a rotation, the same as a Northwestern final-year medical student would be treated.

Hospital Orientation

Please review the Success on the Wards guide, which was written by Northwestern medical students for students in their third year before entering hospital rotations. While some information may not pertain to you or your rotation, there is other useful and practical information that will help you in adjusting to both the Northwestern healthcare system and the U.S. medical system.

Dress Code

Students are considered part of the patient care team and are therefore expected to dress and act in a manner suitable to a professional medical environment. Men are expected to wear dress trousers and ties; women are expected to wear dresses, skirts or trousers. Socks or pantyhose should always be worn, and open-toed shoes are not acceptable. Shorts, high-cut skirts and sleeveless shirts are also unacceptable. Scrubs are usually acceptable if you are on-call; however, if in doubt, ask your resident. Keep in mind that some attendings expect students to be prepared to be dressed nicely and clean shaven (men) even if you're post-call. Also, keep in mind that how you dress may depend upon your current clerkship. For some rotations, you may wear scrubs every day; for others, they are never permitted. If they are required, scrubs will be provided.

Scrub Attire Policy

  • Scrub suits are permitted only in direct patient care areas.
  • Scrub suits should not be worn outside the patient care area and never outside the hospital buildings.
  • Scrub suits are not to be worn when traveling to and from the hospitals.
  • When outside patient care areas, students must wear their white coats as well.
  • Scrub suits are to be changed daily and immediately when soiled.
  • T-shirts should not extend below the scrub top.
  • Never wear the same scrub suit back into the operating room after circulating in the hospital.
  • Scrubs should be changed in appropriate changing location.
  • Double-glove in the operating room with gloves that are one half-size larger on the inside and the real size on the outside.
  • Jewelry must come off before scrubbing. Earrings are unacceptable in the operating room.

White Coat

Please bring a waist-length white coat from home. These may also be purchased from the uniform hospital shop in the lobby of the Galter Outpatient Pavilion (675 N. St. Clair St.).

Pagers & Lockers

We do not issue pagers or lockers to visiting students. Some departments have extras, and some don't. If any are available, you will be informed by your department.


Email is our main form of communication. You will receive important emails from both your department and our staff. Please check your inbox regularly before arriving and during your rotation.

Electronic Medical Record System

Please refer to the Success on the Wards guide for details. If rotating on the Chicago campus, you will receive more information at registration.

Library Privileges on the Chicago Campus

As a visiting student, you may reference books and use the computer stations and study tables. You may not check books out of the library. The library is located in the Ward Building on the first floor of 303 E. Chicago Ave.

Time Off

If you must miss a day, you must always inform your supervisor (resident/attending) and your department. Time off is always requested in advance and approval is obtained by your supervisor or department. Be sure to obtain the phone and pager numbers of your supervisors. Please also inform the visiting student coordinator of any time-off request.


As some rotations finish late at night, please be aware of your surroundings when leaving the hospital. Review the University Police Department site for campus safety information, safety escorts and contact information.


If your school will be providing us with an evaluation form, please send in before arriving or give it to the visiting student program coordinator at registration. If you do not have a form, a Northwestern University evaluation form will be used. This form is often completed several months after you have left Northwestern and will not be ready for you to take with you. It will be mailed directly to your school once received. This will be the only official document provided by Northwestern. We do not provide certificates of attendance. If your school, however, has a required attendance form, please bring it along. 

Letters of Recommendation

The Augusta Webster, MD, Office of Medical Education does not handle letters of recommendation for visiting students. If you request one from a faculty member, we strongly recommend that you provide a pre-addressed, stamped envelope for the faculty member to mail your letter of recommendation to the appropriate person at your home institution. Do not have the letter sent to our office.