MD Curriculum

Phase 3 (Year 4)

The third phase of training emphasizes professional development activities, individualized career exploration and advanced clinical learning to prepare for residency. In this phase, students engage in robust clinical experiences that feature progressive levels of direct responsibilities in patient care, and they return to basics to explore the importance of their foundational-science knowledge in clinical settings and their ongoing self-directed, lifelong learning process.

Phase three of the MD curriculum includes the Transitions III course (Preparation for Residency) as well as required clerkships, including one sub-internship, and electives (7), which must include at least one professional development selective or capstone, at least one advanced-science selective, and at least four clinical-practice electives, one of which provides and advanced clinical learning experience.

The new Phase 3 MD curriculum is in the process of being finalized; the information here applies specifically to the legacy curriculum for MS4 students, which is in effect for the classes of 2017, 2018, and 2019.


After students complete required third-year clerkships, they must complete at least seven electives. Students can complete up to three away electives within the required seven.

Explore Electives

Clerkships and Sub-Internship

Upon completion of the Emergency Medicine Clerkship, medical students are able to:

  • Obtain an accurate problem-focused history and physical examination from a patient presenting to the emergency department with an undifferentiated complaint. (PC2)
  • Interpret clinical data and be able to recognize immediately life-threatening conditions that present to the emergency department. (PC4)
  • Formulate a differential diagnosis for their patient’s chief concern, prioritizing the likelihood of the diagnosis and considering worst-case diagnoses. (PC3)
  • Develop a diagnostic and therapeutic plan, based on the differential diagnosis, for both an undifferentiated concern and specific disease processes. (PC3)
  • Describe the underlying pathophysiology of common cardiovascular, neurologic, traumatic, and toxicologic emergencies and use this information in the development of a therapeutic plan for an acutely ill patient. (MK2)
  • Determine the appropriate care setting for management of patients presenting with an acute medical condition. (PC7)
  • Demonstrate appropriate communication during provider changes and transitions of care, using effective strategies to ensure patient safety. (PC7)
  • Demonstrate effective communications skills with patients, families, and other members of the health care team. (ISC2)
  • Act in a professional manner, including being punctual, conscientious, responsible and honest. (P2)
  • Recognize the role of emergency medicine in the health care system, including providing access to care at all hours to all patients. (SBP6)
  • Identify health care challenges faced by underserved populations and deliver quality and equitable care to all patients presenting with an acute condition. (P5)

Upon completion of the Radiology Clerkship, medical students are able to:

  • Order the appropriate initial radiologic study in common clinical situations. (PC3)
  • Identify common urgent radiologic findings, such as pneumothorax, pneumoperitoneum, malpositioned endotracheal tubes and central venous catheters, and intracranial hemorrhage. (PC4)
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of the physical principles underlying each of the imaging modalities, such as CT, US, and MR imaging. (MK2)
  • Correctly identify key imaging anatomy on a common radiologic study, such as CXR, AXR, or head CT. (PC4)
  • Appropriately discuss cases of common imaging studies, including the type of study, key finding (s), differential diagnosis, and the next steps in patient management. (PC3)
  • Demonstrate a search pattern to detect findings on common radiologic studies, such as CXR, AXR or head CT. (PC4)
  • Present to fellow students and a facilitator a radiologic case they encountered during their clinical rotation. (ISC5)
  • Complete case based online radiology cases (CORE) using MedU. (MK2)
  • Attend a Radiology Interpretation Session. (PC4)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of radiobiology and radiation protection. (MK1)

Upon completion of the Sub-Internship, medical students are able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to assume graduated responsibility in providing supervised care for patients including obtaining an appropriate clinical history and physical exam in a variety of patient care settings. (PC2)
  • Engage in respectful dialogue with patients using verbal and non-verbal skills to establish an effective physician patient relationship. (ISC2)
  • Create a prioritized differential diagnosis for a clinical encounter. (PC3)
  • Interpret data from the patient encounter, the medical record and results of diagnostic testing gathered to make informed decisions based on up to date scientific information and sound clinical judgment. (PC4)
  • Explain the principles of and describe the rationale for interventions aimed at the prevention and treatment of medical problems. (MK4)
  • Share information accurately in the clinical setting both in oral presentations and written documentation. (ISC 5)
  • Demonstrate an appropriate transition of care between providers or settings that minimizes the risk to patient safety. (PC7)
  • Establish and maintain respectful relationships with members of the health care team (peers, faculty and inter-professional colleagues) to facilitate the provision of effective care to patients. (ISC1)
  • Identify opportunities to incorporate health promotion and patient education into patient care activities as a means to improve individual and population health (PC5)
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to assume graduated responsibility in providing supervised care for patients including obtaining an appropriate clinical history and physical exam in a variety of patient care settings. (PC2)
  • Use multiple sources to identify and critically appraise information, which includes managing information volume, discerning quality, and applying findings to advance medical knowledge and patient care. (PBLI3)
  • Be responsive to the whole patient in a manner that supersedes self-interest by respecting the needs, dignity, privacy and autonomy of the patient, and by employing strategies to reduce the effect of their own needs, beliefs, values, interests, vulnerabilities, conflicts and biases on patient care. (PROF1)
  • Demonstrate engagement in their professional development through awareness of their learning style and limits. (PBLI 1)


This schematic is an example schedule for MS4. Individual student schedules will vary.

Rotation 1June 1, 2016 – 28, 2016
Rotation 2June 30, 2016 – July 28, 2016
Rotation 3August 1, 2016 – 28, 2016
Rotation 4September 1, 2016 –28, 2016
Rotation 5October 3, 2016 – 30, 2016
Rotation 6November 1, 2016 – 30, 2016
Rotation 7December 1, 2016 – 30, 2016
Rotation 8January 3, 2017 – 30, 2017
Rotation 9February 1, 2017 – 28, 2017
Rotation 10March 2, 2017 – 30, 2017
Rotation 11April 3, 2017 – 30, 2017
Rotation 12May 1, 2017 – 28, 2017
Phase Three

Built into the fourth year schedule are campus holidays and campus connection days designed to work on Health Systems Science, switch campus, meet with advisor, student education or self-directed wellness.