The expansion of clinical training within the curriculum provides new opportunities for medical students to have unique and tailored experiences that enhance their preparation for residency and beyond. As students embark on the final phase of their medical school experience, the post-clerkship period allows them to reconnect with the foundational medical practicum, and prepare for their future.
Key elements of the post-clerkship period include:
- Growth and Exploration
This component of the curriculum involves clinical rotations beyond the required 48-week core clerkships and includes:
- Selectives: Subinternships, critical care and emergency medicine rotations (eight weeks required)
- Electives: 18 weeks of electives (six in the clerkship phase and 12 in the post-clerkship phase). There are a variety of two- and four-week electives across all medical disciplines. The electives offered for credit offer students the opportunity to build strengths in a chosen field.
- Interview time: Students have up to eight weeks to interview for residency positions.
- Frontiers in Medicine
This course brings together the vast expanse of UT Southwestern faculty members who share their expertise with medical students to enhance basic science and clinical exposures. Having an opportunity for students to return to the classroom environment after they have had clinical experiences is beneficial in a number of ways.
First, students are presented with advanced topics that leverage both their basic science and clinical experiences. Second, this course gives students more choice and flexibility in tailoring their interests and career objectives to more advanced training. Basic science knowledge related to causation of disease symptoms can improve diagnostic accuracy.
Seven different four-week Frontiers in Medicine courses are presented during the final year of medical school. All students are required to choose one of these four-week courses and may make their selection based on their interests. A portion of each four-week course will cover advanced evidence-based medicine and biostatistics.
The remaining portion of the four weeks will be dedicated to topic specific content such as genomics, precision medicine, population medicine, biomedical informatics, quality improvement, cutting edge therapeutics, and clinical trials.
Frontiers in Medicine courses include:
- Healthy Aging
- Neoplasia and Neoplastic Disease
- Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Microbiome in the 21st Century
- Behavioral Health and Neuromedicine
- Conception, Obstetrics and Child Health
- Resuscitation Medicine
- Regenerative and Restorative Medicine
- Physicians and Society
This course is scheduled concurrently with the Transitions in Clinical Training six week course to cover selected topics for all future physicians, regardless of residency or career path. The course weaves together a variety of subjects, including multiculturalism, health economics and systems, medicine and the law, ethics, therapeutic conversations, and behavioral and social determinants of health. Many of these topics will be fully appreciated after the students have completed clinical rotations.
- Residency Essentials
This final course recognizes that transitions in training for future physicians are taking on greater importance, including the transition from student to resident, resident to fellow, and fellow to practicing physician. Each passage has its own pitfalls and learning experiences. The transition from medical student to intern is typically a period of high stress in which new interns assume greater workloads and responsibilities while facing difficult clinical and social challenges that may affect the quality of care that patients receive. The period following residency match but a few weeks prior to graduation is an ideal time for transitional clinical training for all students.