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Clinical Content

Chair: Dr. Phillip Dittmar, Director of Clinical Curriculum

The clinical content workgroup identifies many existing strengths within the clerkship year and opportunities for innovation within each core clerkship. We felt strongly that the core clerkship year experiences remain intact while offering opportunities for career exploration with 2-week elective options. Changes are needed within the clerkship duration to allow for more streamlined scheduling during the clerkship year. The shortening of the preclerkship curriculum will lead to an overlap between the legacy class and those students in the renaissance curriculum. In our current state, we do not have the ability to accommodate two classes of students on the clerkships and modifications to the schedule will be necessary to minimize the overlap of the two classes along with recruitment of new clinical sites and the expansion of the footprint at existing clinical sites.

Structure of the Clerkship Year – The current states curriculum covers 40 weeks of core clerkships in a 48-week academic year. This includes the core clerkships of Internal Medicine (8-weeks), Surgery (8-weeks), Pediatrics (6-weeks), OB/Gyn (6-weeks), Psychiatry (4-weeks), Neurology (4-weeks), and Family Medicine (4-weeks). The remaining 8 weeks of the academic year are typically made up of two 4-week elective blocks. While much in line with national trends, the variable length of clerkships of 4-weeks, 6-weeks, or 8-weeks leads to complicated scheduling of the clerkships and electives. When paired with 6-week clerkships, 2-week elective experiences will allow for 8-week rotation lengths which will allow greater ease with scheduling of rotations. It is expected that these experiences will offer greater exposure to certain fields outside of the core clerkships, which may include Diagnostic Radiology, Anesthesia, and the Surgical Subspecialties. There was significant discussion of the Emergency Medicine elective becoming a required rotation and the development of an advanced clinical rotation or subinternship for further opportunities within Emergency Medicine.

Clinical overlap/bulge - The Class of 2023 will be the last class in the legacy curriculum. The Class of 2024 will be the first class in the renaissance curriculum. In the initial cycle of the renaissance curriculum, students will enter the clinical years in the Spring of 2022 for likely the last 8 weeks of the academic year. This will coincide with the students still in the legacy curriculum and potentially still rotating on the core clerkships. As such, there is the potential for two classes of students to be present on the core clerkship rotations at the same time. This could mean as many as 320 would be on core clerkship rotations in the Spring of 2022, whereas capacity is estimated to be 168 with existing resources. Options to address this issue include a reduction in class size for either or both classes, recruitment of additional clinical sites, expansions of the footprint on existing clinical sites, and expediting the legacy curriculum students through the required clerkships prior to the bulge/overlap period. Active recruitment of additional clinical sites is currently underway for all core clerkships.