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Years 3 & 4: The Clinical Years

The clinical years encompass the third and fourth years of medical school. Students take to the wards of the hospitals across northeast Georgia after successfully completing the USMLE Step 1 exam. Students apply the knowledge acquired in their first two years from the basic sciences and essentials of clinical medicine in a clinical setting with real patients under the supervision of medical professionals. 

The third year consists of four-to-eight-week clinical rotations in the core disciplines of medicine Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery. Students choose a four-week elective in any discipline alongside a two-week intersession in palliative care in addition to their core course work. 

Students follow a physician in their day-to-day tasks. They get time in the office, round on patients, scrub-in in the Operating Room, take nights on-call, work weekends and present cases. Students meet with the respective Site Clerkship Directors once a week for academic half day. The structure of academic half days varies according to the clerkship, but most include case presentations, lecture and group-style learning. Students wrap-up each clerkship with the National Board of Medical Education Shelf Exam. 

The fourth year lasts 11 months and consists of three four-week electives and four four-week selectives. These selectives are in Ambulatory Medicine, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine and a Sub-Internship.

Fourth year students and their advisers work to tailor each student’s fourth year experience to prepare them for residency. Students get clinical and academic experiences similar to the third year, but they have more freedom in choosing their schedules. This freedom allows students to schedule time to prepare for the USMLE Step 2 exams, Clinical Sciences (CS) and Clinical Knowledge (CK) in addition to preparing for residency interviews. Students must also participate in the Phase Three OSCE during the final year of medical school.  

Augusta University (formerly Georgia Regents University and Georgia Health Sciences University) partnered with the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. to respond to the growing need for physicians in the rural and northeastern parts of the state. The AU/UGA Medical Partnership provides the same quality education students receive in Augusta, Ga. on the Medical College of Georgia's main campus. The Athens campus provides medical students the opportunity to experience the under-served Northeast Georgia community in Northeast Georgia hospitals with local preceptors.

Students at the Athens campus rotate in Hall, Jackson, Gwinnett, Barrow, Dekalb, Clayton, Newton, Oconee, Clarke, Madison, Elbert, Habersham and Stephens Counties with more sites developing. 

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  • Competency-based Objectives

    1. Medical Knowledge 

    Goal Statement: Medical students are expected to master a foundation of clinical knowledge with integration of basic sciences and the translation of that knowledge to the clinical setting. 

    Core Competencies: Graduates from the Georgia Health Sciences University - Medical College of Georgia will be able to: 

    1.1 Demonstrate knowledge of normal and abnormal structure and function of the human body on the macroscopic, microscopic, and molecular levels. 

    1.2 Identify the pathology and pathophysiology of various diseases and correlate them with clinical signs and symptoms. 

    1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of both common or significant, acute and chronic clinical problems. 

    1.4 Differentiate between normal and abnormal development and age-related changes across the life span. 

    1.5 Demonstrate comprehension of clinical interventions and agents including pharmaceutical, surgical, genetic, complementary and alternative medicines, and other therapies. 

    1.6 Demonstrate knowledge and ability to interpret epidemiological and public health contributions to understanding health and disease. 

    1.7 Demonstrate knowledge of preventive medicine and current guidelines for health promotion and disease screening. 


    2. Patient Care 

    Goal Statement: Medical students, as members of the healthcare team, are expected to provide patient and family centered care that is compassionate and effective for the promotion of health and the management of illness. 

    Core Competencies: Graduates from the Augusta University - Medical College of Georgia will be able to: 

    2.1 Treat patients using a patient and family centered care approach. 

    2.2 Obtain a complete and accurate medical history that covers essential aspects, also addressing issues related to age, gender, culture, use of complementary medicine, family dynamics and socioeconomic status. 

    2.3 Perform both complete and symptom-focused physical examinations, including mental status examination. 

    2.4 Perform or participate in routine technical procedures. [procedures determined by core clerkships] 

    2.5 Construct a differential diagnosis for common clinical presentations. 

    2.6 Identify and interpret the most useful clinical, laboratory, roentgenologic, and pathologic testing for common clinical presentations. 

    2.7 Construct appropriate and efficient therapeutic management and prevention strategies for patients with common conditions, both acute and chronic, including medical, psychiatric, and surgical conditions, and those requiring short- and long-term rehabilitation. 


    3. Practice-based Learning 

    Goal Statement: Medical students are expected to investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve their practice of medicine. 

    Core Competencies: Graduates from the Augusta University - Medical College of Georgia will be able to: 

    3.1 Develop strategies for continuous individual improvement through monitoring performance, reflection, engaging in new learning, applying new learning, and monitoring impact of learning 

    3.2 Accept constructive criticism and modify behavior based on feedback. 

    3.3 Develop clinical questions related to patients’ problems and demonstrate skills to find evidence that is relevant and valid information to answer clinical questions using medical information technology 


    4. Communication Competencies Objectives 

    Goal Statement: Medical students are expected to demonstrate skills that result in effective communication and collaboration with patients, families, and professional associates. 

    Core Competencies: Graduates from the Augusta University - Medical College of Georgia will be able to: 

    4.1 Demonstrate the ability to establish a positive patient-doctor relationship based on mutual trust and respect for patients’ privacy, dignity, individual integrity and culture. 

    4.2 Communicate with others in a respectful, professional and non-judgmental manner and demonstrate effective listening skills (e.g. maintaining eye contact, body posture, verbal and non-verbal facilitation skills). 

    4.3 Demonstrate the ability to give a clear, concise, and organized oral presentation and written documentation of a history and physical exam with basic elements of assessment and plan that addresses the psycho-social and biomedical needs of the patient for a focused or complete patient encounter 

    4.4 Conduct an interview with a limited English-speaking patient through appropriate use of an interpreter. 

    4.5 Recognize barriers to effective communication and implement strategies to overcome these barriers (e.g. health literacy, vision/hearing impairment, disabled, pediatric, geriatric) 

    4.6 Educate patients assuring their understanding on: 

         4.6.1 Preventive strategies and promoting healthy behavior change, and 

         4.6.2 Medical risk and benefits in medical decision-making. 


    5. Professionalism

    Goal Statement: Medical students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior, commitment to ethical principles, and sensitivity to diverse patient populations. 

    Core Competencies: Graduates from the Augusta University - Medical College of Georgia will be able to: 

    5.1 Demonstrate honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior in all interactions with patients and other health care professionals, including: 

         5.1.1 Describing the importance of protecting patient privacy and identifying personal health information, including when and when not to share information, and 

         5.1.2 Identifying the ethical hazard and respond appropriately in situations such as: 

    • acceptance of gifts 
    • collaboration with industry when courted to prescribe/use their products being asked to practice beyond legal limits or personal comfort (e.g., when asked to provide medical care to friends or relatives; use of "doctor" title). 

    5.2 Fulfill professional commitments in a timely and responsible manner. 

    5.3 Maintain appropriate professional appearance and composure. 

    5.4 Recognize and address personal limitations, attributes or behaviors that might limit one’s effectiveness as a physician and seek help when needed. This would include: 

         5.4.1 Describe personal responses to stress and employ appropriate stress reduction interventions as needed. 

    5.5 Demonstrates sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, race, religion, disabilities and sexual orientation and investigate impact of those on clinical care and medical decisions. 


    6. Systems-based Practice 

    Goal Statement: Medical students are expected to develop an awareness of available health care system resources and demonstrate an ability to use them appropriately to provide optimal quality patient care. 

    Core Competencies: Graduates from the Augusta University - Medical College of Georgia will be able to: 

    6.1 Demonstrate the ability to work within a multidisciplinary patient care team, with an understanding of the physicians’ role as team leader and the importance of ancillary staff. 

    6.2 Examine medical errors and quality problems using a health systems approach and describe available methods to minimize them. 


    MCG Condensed Objectives

  • Professional Expectations for Phase III Medical Students

    Attendance

    All Students are required to be present for all clinical activities. Any absence must be excused by the Site Clerkship Director.

    • During clinical rotations in the third & fourth years, the requirements for absence/ lateness are as follows:
      • Student must contact the attending physician for that rotation. 
      • Student must notify the site clerkship director’s office 706-369-5657. Approval for excused absence comes from the Site Clerkship Director
      • If an emergency results in a student being absent 3 days during a four week rotation or 5 days during a six week rotation, withdrawal or incomplete grade will result. Contact must be made to both the Campus Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Site Clerkship Director in these circumstances.
    • Legitimate reasons for absence include personal illness and family emergencies. 
    • Weddings, visits to family and friends, pre-purchased airline tickets, interview, etc. are not acceptable reasons to be absent from the rotation.
    • All absences for unacceptable reasons will be reflected in the student’s MSPE (Dean’s letter) comments.

    Dress Code

    Medical students are expected to dress professionally at all times. One’s first impression depends upon dress and grooming. Dress will vary depending on the activity. 

    • Dress for the anatomy laboratory is explicitly proscribed in the anatomy course information.
    • When interacting with patients (voluntary, simulated, in the hospital, or a community based office or institution), students and faculty should have visible identification including wearing a white coat. Men should also wear shirts and ties. Shorts, sandals, tank tops, and short skirts are never appropriate.
    • Class dress should demonstrate respect for fellow students as well as faculty. More comfortable and casual clothes are appropriate.

    Professional Expectations for Phase III Medical Students

  • Third Year Clinical Rotations

    The third year consists of four-to-eight-week clinical rotations in the core disciplines of medicine. For more detailed information about each rotation, please click on the links below:

    • Family Medicine
    • Internal Medicine
    • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • Pediatrics
    • Psychiatry
    • Surgery

    Students also choose a four-week elective in any discipline alongside a two-week intersession in palliative care. Students can do most of their third electives in Athens. The elective currently offered in Athens are listed here.

    Students follow a physician in their day-to-day tasks getting time in the office, making rounds, scrubbing-in in the Operating Room, taking nights on-call, working weekends and presenting cases. 

    Students also participate in a weekly academic half day led by the Site Clerkship Director. The structure of academic half days varies according to the clerkship, but most include case presentations, lecture and group-style learning.

    Students wrap-up each clerkship with the National Board of Medical Education Shelf Exam. 

  • Fourth Year Electives and selectives

    The fourth year lasts 11 months and consists of three four-week electives and four four-week selectives. 

    These selectives are in:

    • Ambulatory Medicine
    • Critical Care
    • Emergency Medicine
    • Sub-Internship

    Students can do most of their fourth year electives in Athens. The elective currently offered in Athens are listed here.

    Fourth year students and their advisers work to tailor each student’s fourth year experience to prepare them for residency. Students get the clinical and academic experience from the third year, but they have more freedom in choosing their schedules.

    The scheduling freedom of the fourth year gives students the opportunity to schedule time to prepare for the USMLE Step 2 exams, Clinical Sciences (CS) and Clinical Knowledge (CK) in addition to preparing for residency interviews. Students must also participate in the Phase Three OSCE during the final year of medical school.  

Contact us for more information

Jeanette Bowman

Clerkship Coordinator II, AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Winnie Davis Hall, 212

Jessica Arnold

Administrative Specialist I, AU/UGA Medical Partnership

Winnie Davis Hall, 210

Keith Anderson

Administrative Associate II,

Winnie Davis Hall, 210