Visiting Elective Scholars Program

The Martha Matthews, MD Plastic Surgery Visiting Elective Scholars Program

The Martha Matthews, MD Plastic Surgery Visiting Elective Scholars Program is be supported by the Division of Plastic Surgery at Cooper University Health Care and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) through a generous donation by Dr. Martha Matthews.  This program was established to encourage fourth year medical students who are underrepresented in medicine (URM) to apply for the Cooper Plastic Surgery MS4 clerkship.  The scholar program is designed to expose select fourth year medical students who are URM to an outstanding educational and clinical experience at an academic Plastic Surgery training program in Camden, NJ.  Participation is not affiliated with the Plastic Surgery residency match and does not guarantee a residency spot.

Highlights of the clerkship:

  • Funding includes up to $1500 for reimbursement for travel and housing expenses

  • Excellent clinical exposure to the wide range of surgical cases including cancer reconstruction with MD Anderson at Cooper and the busiest Level 1 trauma center in the state of New Jersey, located just across the river from Philadelphia
  • Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor who will provide one-on-one rotational and career guidance

  • Each student will have the opportunity to attend all educational activities in the Division of Plastic Surgery as well as the opportunity to present a 20-minute talk to the faculty and residents


  • Rising fourth year U.S. visiting medical students who are underrepresented in medicine are encouraged to apply. 

  • Must be a registered student in good standing at an LCME-accredited U.S. medical school.

  • Requirements for CMSRU clinical electives must also be met:
         - Completion of core clerkships in Medicine, Surgery Pediatrics, and OB/GYN
         - 4th year standing

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Interested students should have a demonstrated vision and commitment to improving the health status of diverse patient populations via patient care, research and/or teaching.

  • Must be part of an URM group.  Preference will be given to those identified as underrepresented locally.


One scholarship of up to $1500.00* to be used toward transportation and lodging costs will be awarded on the basis of:

  • Academic achievement as per transcripts, USMLE performance, letters of recommendation

  • Other experiences, leadership positions, and scholarly activity

  • Interest in serving underserved populations

  • The selection committee will consist of the Program Director, one other faculty member, and the Chief Resident.  Dr. Matthews will not be involved in the selection process.  If there is a conflict of interest with a committee member (personal relationship), they will recuse themselves.
                      * Receipts must be submitted for reimbursement


  • Completed Cooper Plastic Surgery Visiting Scholars Program Application, including
          - A brief personal statement describing career goals and interest in pursuing a clerkship at
            Cooper University Hospital/CMSRU (500 word maximum) 
         - One letter of recommendation from a faculty member

  • Completed VSAS application to the CMSRU Plastic Surgery Clerkship
         -  CMSRU visiting student website

Applications will only be considered for the following clerkship blocks (depending on availability):
  • Block 1: July 1 to July 26, 2024

  • Block 2: July 29 to August 23, 2024

  • Block 3: August 26 to September 20, 2024

  • Block 4: September 23 to October 18, 2024

  • Block 5: October 21 to November 15, 2024

  • Block 6: November 18 to December 13, 2024


Applications are now closed for 2024.

Additional Resources:

CMSRU Office of Diversity and Outreach 

If you have any questions, please contact Janeen Holland at