Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Third-Year Clinical Curriculum at the FAU College of Medicine
During the third-year clerkships, our 64 medical students rotate through a series of integrated inpatient and outpatient experiences in the following six core disciplines for which they receive clerkship grades: Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Psychiatry, and Community and Preventive Medicine. The framework for these experiences is two six month Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LICs) called Medical and Surgical Sciences (MSS) and Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS).
Students also are exposed to other disciplines throughout both LICs, for which they do not receive separate grades. These experiences contribute to their final grades for each overall LIC and in some cases to the discipline with which they are strongly associated (e.g. Critical Care and Geriatrics/Palliative Care contribute to the Medicine grade). Anesthesiology, emergency medicine, geriatrics, palliative care, pathology, and radiology experiences and related didactics are incorporated throughout the year. Directors in these disciplines ensure that their discipline’s goals and objectives are met across clerkships and across sites. Curricular threads including Ethics, Cultural Competency, and Clinical and Translational Research are woven into the didactics as well.
Medical and Surgical Sciences (MSS) is a six-month block that contains inpatient and outpatient experiences in medicine, critical care, surgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, pathology, radiology, geriatrics, and palliative care. Students have 5 weeks dedicated to an inpatient medicine rotation and an additional 1 week of critical care in an ICU setting. Five weeks are spent doing an inpatient surgery block with an additional 1 week focused on anesthesiology. Eight weeks, divided into two blocks, are spent in primarily outpatient, skilled nursing, and hospice facilities doing geriatrics, palliative care, medical subspecialties, surgical subspecialties, and unique clinical exposures such as a day spent in a rural health care setting.
Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS) is a six-month block incorporating psychiatry, obstetrics, gynecology, and pediatrics, as well as the other disciplines with the exception of geriatrics/palliative care. Students spend 4 weeks on an inpatient psychiatry experience, 4 weeks on an inpatient pediatrics service, and 4 weeks on inpatient obstetrics/gynecology. The ob/gyn inpatient experience is focused on labor and delivery and gynecologic surgery. Eight additional weeks (divided into 2 week blocks) of the clerkship are spent in outpatient settings, where the students are assigned to half day sessions with a pediatrician, an ob/gyn, in a psychiatry clinic, and a variety of pediatric, ob/gyn, and psychiatry subspecialty experiences.
Throughout the entire third year, our students are assigned one on one to a primary care provider, either an internist or a family physician in the community, for an afternoon each week. This longitudinal preceptor experience is part of the Community and Preventive Medicine clerkship.
The core integrated didactics curriculum for each LIC is delivered every Tuesday afternoon on the main campus at the FAU COM. These sessions are mandatory for all students and are intended to provide a consistent core of curricular content for all students across all of the clinical sites. It also allows students to return to the medical school campus to meet with core faculty and their advisers on a regular basis.
Select an area to read more:
Continuity with a hospital/health care system; Continuity with peers; Continuity with patients; Continuity of disease process
Medicine – The Internal Medicine clerkship is a five-week inpatient rotation, as well as an 8 week integrated outpatient experience during the Medical and Surgical Sciences Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship. During this clerkship each student will gain an awareness of the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that Internists strive to acquire and maintain throughout their professional lives. Students will have supervised responsibility for patient care, learning to integrate clinical knowledge with practical experience.
Surgery - The surgical clerkship is an intense clinical experience that introduces students to the basic principles of surgery. The clerkship is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills relevant to surgical management that all physicians should possess. It aims to emphasize patient responsibility and professional behavior as essential qualities for young physicians to develop. During this clerkship, students learn pre-, peri-, and post-operative evaluation and management of surgical diseases and participate in surgical procedures. The goal of the surgical experience is to impart an understanding of the basic principles of surgery that the student will acquire, an informational base from which surgical disease can be recognized and appropriate treatment initiated. This is accomplished through direct patient care, faculty teaching, and a series of lectures and conferences. Throughout the clerkship, emphasis is placed on experience in surgery and is intended to prepare students for whatever area of medicine they choose for residency.
Pediatrics - Each student will be assigned to one primary hospital for their Pediatric inpatient experience within the 23 week Family and Community Health Sciences Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship. The clerkship will include 4 weeks on an inpatient pediatrics ward, as well as newborn, pediatric outpatient, pediatric ER, and subspecialty experiences throughout the 23 week LIC. Students will also be assigned to an outpatient pediatric preceptor with whom they will spend time in an ambulatory setting learning about the approach to health supervision, well child care, and the care of common pediatric illnesses.
Ob/Gyn – The Ob/Gyn Clerkship is part of the 23 week Family and Community Health Sciences longitudinal integrated clerkship (FCHS LIC). Each student will be assigned to one primary hospital for their Ob/Gyn inpatient experience to provide maximal continuity. The clerkship will include 4 weeks on inpatient Ob/Gyn services including labor and delivery, and gynecologic surgery. Each student will also be assigned an Ob/Gyn outpatient preceptor who they will work with on a longitudinal basis and they will rotate through related subspecialty experiences including Gynecology Oncology, Maternal Fetal medicine, Reproductive Endocrinology, and Urogynecology throughout the 23 week LIC.
Psychiatry - The Psychiatry Clerkship is part of the 6 month Family and Community Health Sciences longitudinal integrated clerkship (FCHS LIC). The clerkship has two components; a four-week inpatient psychiatry rotation and outpatient/subspecialty psychiatry experiences integrated throughout the six month longitudinal integrated clerkship. The psychiatry clerkship is designed to help students develop clinical skills and a knowledge base in Psychiatry. In addition to the inpatient, outpatient, subspecialty experiences, students will attend regular didactic lectures every week at the College of Medicine.