Advanced Experiences in Clinical Medicine and Basic Science

Medical Education

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The 12-month period comprising Advanced Experiences starts in May of Year III and ends in April of Year IV. Because the December-January period in Year IV is traditionally devoted to residency interviews and completion of Step II of the National Boards, approximately 10 months remain for student course work. During this period, students must complete a set of academic requirements, as defined below:

  • Required subinternship: Following the PCE, students are required to complete a Medicine II or Advanced Pediatrics clerkship prior to March of Year IV. This required subinternship must be taken at an HMS site other than the site to which the student was assigned for the Principal Clinical Experience. A second subinternship in a surgically-oriented discipline is highly recommended but not required.
  • Elective experiences include more specialized clerkships (e.g., hematology, emergency care, dermatology); advanced courses in pathophysiology (e.g., oncology or infectious diseases); laboratory and field research. At HMS alone, approximately 200 electives are offered each year. Students also have access to courses offered by other faculties at Harvard University and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Courses drawn from any, or all, of these faculties or institutions may be chosen to make up the elective program and to fulfill the course distribution described under Graduation Requirements as long as these courses pose no conflict with clinical clerkships in which the student is enrolled. During this year, courses may also be taken at other medical schools and medical centers in a chosen specialty, and students may participate in global health electives abroad, scientific research, and other educational experiences. (N.B.: Course credit will be awarded for no more than two similar electives in the same discipline.)
  • Capstone course: This course, which will be required for the class graduating in 2013, will review and reinforce the skills necessary to manage common medical problems and procedures, refocus students on the importance of professionalism and compassion in caring for patients, and help students transition to the demands of internship/residency training. (NB: A pilot capstone course, which will be elective, will be offered prior to 2013; students will be notified of the availability of this course during AY11.)



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