Ghetto Fabulous
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Sep 17, 2003
San Diego
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What are typical clinical rotation/clerkship lengths for MD schools during years 3 & 4? I'm specifically interested in the type of rotation (surgery, primary care, etc) and the amount of weeks.

Someone made a post on the pre-MD forum saying if you go to a school that graduates students that mostly enter primary care, that school will have you spend lots of time doing primary care rotations while if you go to school that graduates lots of students that enter surgery, you'll have way more surgery rotations.

Can anyone comment on whether this is true?


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Jan 21, 2001
Baltimore, MD
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I think basic clerkships are pretty standard nationwide. After all, every school has to meet the same requirements to be accredited by the LCME.

At my school the following rotations are required:

Internal Medicine / 9 weeks
Surgery / 9 weeks
Pediatrics / 9 weeks
Ob/Gyn / 6 weeks
Neurology / 4 weeks
Psychiatry / 4 weeks
Ophthalmology / 1 week
Ambulatory Medicine / 4 weeks
Emergency Medicine / 4 weeks


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Feb 8, 2002
We have:

3rd year...
4 weeks psych
4 weeks neuro
8 weeks medicine
8 weeks surg
2 weeks surg subspecialty
6 weeks family
6 weeks peds
6 weeks ob/gyn

4th year..
medicine subI: required 4 weeks
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Quantum Member
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Jul 25, 2003
Winston Salem, NC
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In my experience so far we have the least required and the most elective time 3rd year:

Peds 6 wks
OB.Gyn 6 wks
Inpt Med 8 weeks
Gen Surg (Gen, trauma, peds) 4 wks
Sub-spec Surg 4 wks
Fam Med 4 wks
Primary Care (rural med) 4 wks
Psych 4 wks
Electives (2) 4 wks each

4th year the only requirements are 2 sub-I's, one in any medicine field, one in any surgical or surgery-related.


Not your scut monkey
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Palo Alto, CA
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Our third year looks like this:
12 weeks internal medicine (4 of which is outpatient)
8 weeks general surgery (2 of which can be gen surg subspecialties)
8 weeks peds
6 weeks ob/gyne
6 weeks psych
6 weeks FP
2 weeks required subspecialty (typically urology)
48 weeks total

Fourth year is:
4 weeks sub-internship (peds only if you're going into peds, everyone else has to do medicine)
13 weeks required subspecialties (2 weeks each of derm, ortho, ENT, neuro, 4 weeks of anesthesia/radiology combo, 1 week of ophtho
20 weeks electives
37 weeks total


Semper Ubi Sub Ubi
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Nov 6, 2003
The Windy City
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My school has much the same, but we do our FamPrac 1 day qweek starting in MS II and going through graduation... thus:

FamPrac 1d qweek x 2.5y
IM 12weeks (6 private doc, 6 hospitalist)
Surg 12 weeks (7 general, 1 gas, 2 subspecialty x 2)
Peds 8 (4 inpatient, 4 outpatient)
OB/Gyn 8 (4 OB, 4 Gyn)
Psych 8

12 weeks of "selectives" (have to do 3 rotations from a pool of 6 possibilities: cards, pulm, gi, ID, nephro, Hem/Onc)
4 weeks neuro
20 weeks of electives
8 weeks discretionary.

I like the system... it's a pain in the arse this year, but works well for next year


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our requirements are really quite open.
80 total weeks of clinical activities to be self scheduled between M3 and M4:
16 weeks of IM (almost exclusively inpt, which can be split to 12 + 4)
8 weeks surgery (including 2 weeks subspeciality if desired)
8 weeks peds (outpt vs inpt depends on time of year taken)
8 weeks OB/Gyn (8 weeks with one attending following his/her outpt clinic and call schedule)
8 weeks psych
4 weeks FP (almost exclusively outpt, and usually a more rural setting)
4 week Medicine and Society course
4 weeks surgical elective (including EM)
20 weeks electives -- completely up to our planning including aways.


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Kansas City, MO
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I go to a 6 year med school so it's a little different here. Starting during our third year we have medicine clinic one day every week. Then we get 6 months total of in-patient medicine on top of that, so overall we get a lot of internal medicine training.

4th yr (Most of the year we finish up all of our med classes)
2 months medicine (in pt)
1 month preceptorship (FP in rural area)

5th year
1 month FP
2 months medicine (in pt)
2 months surgery
2 months ob/gyn
2 months peds
1 month pysch

6th year
2 months medicine (in pt)
1 month ER

Whatever leftover months we have we can chose from a variety of different electives and then have 1 month of vacation years 4, 5, and 6.


Gargamel always had a thing for blondes.
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Third year:

Primary Care (FP/IM/peds)--8 weeks
Medicine--8 weeks
Surgery--8 weeks (4 gen surg + 2-2 week subspecialty rotations)
OB/Gyn--6 weeks
Peds--6 weeks (3 inpatient, 3 outpatient)
Psych--4 weeks

Either third or fourth year:

Neuroscience: 1 wk ophtho, 1 wk neurosurg, 1 wk PMR + neurorads, 3 wks neurology
Anesthesia--2 weeks
Radiology--2 weeks

Fourth year:
Medicine sub-i--4 weeks
Surgery elective--4 weeks
Preceptorship (community based FP, IM or surg)--6 to 8 weeks
electives make up the balance of the total credit requirement.

Even for required rotations, at many schools med students are sent to different hospitals and thus experiences and expectations vary quite a bit.
Apr 6, 2004
Cincinnati, OH
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It's been interesting to see the variety in arrangements for neuro training. We recently had a curriculum committee change to add another week to our neuro clerkship in other to fulfill a recruiting promise our Dean made to the new chairman of Neurology (I'm at UAB). Here's our new and revised schedule:

MS-3 (6 8-week blocks with 2 1-week electives and 2 weeks vacation at Christmas/New Year's)

* Medicine (inpt 8 weeks - 2 different hospitals @ 4 weeks each)

* Surgery (8 weeks total - 3 subblocks - 3 wks on general surg, 3 wks on general specialty [e.g. vascular, surg onc, pediatric], and 2 weeks on subspecialty [e.g. urology, ENT, ortho])

* Peds (8 weeks total - 4 weeks inpt, 4 weeks outpt with 4 1 week rotations [varying from juvenile detention care to peds ER])

* Psych (5 weeks total) - 2 sub-blocks of 3 weeks and 2 weeks
* Rural medicine or "selective" (3 weeks) - selective may include ER, ophtho, derm, ortho, ENT, etc.

* Neuro (4 weeks)
* Family medicine (4 weeks outpt)

* OB/Gyn (8 weeks) - 4 weeks L&D; 2 2-week sub-blocks (Gyn-Onc is very popular at our school as is Reproductive)

MS-4 - 4 required AIs and 4 blocks of electives; up to 3 months off
* Inpatient AI (4 weeks)
* Medicine AI (4 weeks)
* Surgery AI (4 weeks)
* Ambulatory AI (4 weeks)


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Mayo has half-day clinical rotations starting 2nd year with:
2 weeks family medicine
9 weeks internal medicine
6 weeks pediatrics
3 weeks surgery
3 weeks PM&R
3 weeks dermatology
3 weeks clinical skills (ENT, ophtho, urology, breast clinic)

Then 3rd year rotations include:
13 weeks research
6 weeks surgery
6 weeks medicine
4 weeks psychiatry
2 weeks family medicine
6 weeks pediatrics
6 weeks ob/gyn
3 weeks neurology
3 weeks elective

4th year requires:
4 weeks medicine sub-I (or 6 weeks pediatrics sub-I)
4 weeks emergency medicine
1 week social medicine (chaplain service, social services, hospice)
3 weeks medicine subspecialty elective
3 weeks surgery subspecialty elective
3 weeks pediatrics subspecialty elective
12 weeks other electives
3 weeks of didactic courses
9 weeks for interviews

Jaded Soul

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3rd Year:

Peds: 6 weeks (3 inpatient + 3 outpatient)
Surgery: 12 weeks (3 trauma + 3 non-trauma + 3 x 2 surgical subs)
Medicine I: 6 weeks (3 inpatient + 3 outpatient)
Psych: 6 weeks
Family Med: 6 weeks
OB/Gyn: 3 weeks OB + 3 weeks Gyn
Selective/Elective: 6 weeks

4th Year:

Medicine II: 4 weeks inpatient
Neuro: 4 weeks
Required Selectives: 16 weeks (4 critical care + 4 x 3 various)
Electives: 16 weeks

There seems to be a bit of emphysis on primary care and surgery in Year 3. Total of 12 weeks of pure outpatient (med/peds/family med) and 12 weeks of surgery and surgical subs.


We have:

11 weeks Internal Medicine (5.5 weeks inpatient, 5.5 weeks outpatient)
7 weeks Surgery
7 weeks OB/GYN (3.5 weeks gyn, 3.5 weeks L&D)
7 weeks Psychiatry (3.5 weeks acute inpatient, 3.5 weeks state hospital)
7 weeks Pediatrics
7 weeks Family Practice
4 weeks Emergency Medicine

Then a bunch of electives in 4th year.


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Although you asked for MD school rotations, here is how ours are at LECOM:

Third year:
6 weeks Psych
6 weeks FP
6 weeks surgery
12 weeks medicine
6 weeks Peds
6 weeks Ob/Gyn
6 weeks elective
(although this is changing for next year, rotations are changing to four weeks)

Fourth year:
8 weeks EM
8 weeks Ambulatory
and a bunch of time for selectives (med, surgical, and primary care) and electives.


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Jun 25, 2001
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UVM's are like this:

MS1.5-2.5, starting in Feb
IM outpt: 3 weeks
FP: 3 weeks
Peds: 7 weeks
Neuro: 3 weeks
Psych: 6 weeks
IM Inpt: 6 wks
Surg: 8 wks
OB/GYN: 7 wks

Then the rest of the time is spent in two more required Inpt rotations and the rest are electives.
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