The third and fourth years of medical school encompass a combination of ambulatory and hospital-based medicine patient care at community sites for a comprehensive clinical experience.

Students take to clinics and hospitals across northeast Georgia after successfully completing the USMLE Step 1 exam. Under the supervision of medical professionals, students apply the knowledge acquired in their first two years from the basic sciences and clinical skills courses to patient care in clinical settings to acquire the necessary experience need for general medicine.

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

Clerkships allow students to provide direct care to patients under the supervision of a community physician. Students are exposed to day-to-day tasks as they rotate through various clinical settings such as clinical offices, hospitals, and the operating room. A comprehensive exposure to the responsibilities a career in medicine involves is experienced as student present cases, work nights and weekends, and are on-call. At the end of each clerkship rotation, students take the National Board of Medical Education Shelf Exam.

The fourth year consists of three electives and four selectives. The selectives include Ambulatory Medicine, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, and a Sub-Internship. Fourth year students work with their advisors to tailor a fourth-year experience designed to prepare them for residency. Students get clinical and academic experiences similar to the third year, but there is more flexibility 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 are also required to participate in the Phase Three OSCE during their final year of medical school.

The below are required clerkship rotations.

Ambulatory Medicine

Ambulatory Medicine is an outpatient clinical experience under supervision in a community clinic setting. During this selective rotation the focus is on common outpatient diagnosis and management. Fourth year students encounter adult patients with medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and congestive heart failure.

Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine exposes fourth year student to acute urgent care. Students rotate with physicians to care for all age patients in the Emergency Room. The clerkship provides the experience of caring for patients with undifferentiated physical and behavioral disorders. Students will use knowledge and skills to practice differentiating between sick and well patients. Core content introduced in this clerkship might include expeditious assessment of a patient, test ordering skills, recognition of Life and Limb threatening emergencies, ABCDs of resuscitation, initial management, appropriate consults, disposition and follow ups, minor procedural skills (suturing, Incision and drainage, splinting, FB removal), and Universal Precaution.

Family Medicine

The family medicine clerkship requires student to provide supervised care to patients of all ages in an ambulatory setting. Students practice providing care for patients throughout the span of life with undifferentiated health problems. The clerkship also provides the opportunity to see patients that require hospitalization, practice problem-solving in a clinical setting, gain exposure to comprehensive and longitudinal health care, and apply the concepts of health maintenance

Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine provides a foundation for comprehensive health care of adults in an inpatient setting and an ambulatory setting. The inpatient experience involves rotating with a preceptor in a local hospital. The student rounds with the internal medicine residency team which often includes interdisciplinary participation with pharmacy. During the ambulatory experience the student works in the office of a physician of a specific discipline. Inpatient care might include subspecialties such as nephrology, hematology, oncology, cardiology and pulmonology.

Neurology

Under the supervision of a community preceptors, students learn basic skills in the evaluation and management of patients with neurological disorders. The clerkship prepares students to recognize diseases and situations where neurological evaluation is appropriate. Students also learn to recognize when a patient needs emergent neurological intervention. Students work in inpatient and outpatient settings providing direct patient care under the supervision of a preceptor.

OB/GYN

The Obstetrics and Gynecology rotation exposes students to knowledge of women’s health in preparation to provide care for women during their entire lifecycle. This comprehensive rotation highlights the specialty‚Äôs variety of care as students spend their time in labor and delivery, the operating room and ambulatory care. Skills and knowledge obtained through the clerkship can be applied to any specialty.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care exposes students to patient care when life-threatening conditions exists. Students learn the five components of a palliative care assessment as they improve their knowledge on pain and symptom management, communication skills, ethics, hospice and goal setting. Students rotate through various St. Mary’s Hospital facilities.

Pediatrics

This clerkship introduces students to the broad scope of pediatric medicine. This branch of medicine deals primarily with the growth and development of children. Pediatrics gives insight to the care of children and human growth and development that is relevant to all fields of medicine. Students spend the majority of the clerkship working in general pediatric outpatient clinics. Additional clinical experiences include subspecialty clinics, the newborn nursery and various inpatient experiences. Some students have the opportunity to spend two weeks in the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in Augusta, Ga.

Psychiatry

Psychiatry involves the diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. This rotation provides students with a basic clinical experience involving assessing and treating patients with psychiatric disorders. Students develop clinical skills and knowledge of psychiatry as they rotate through inpatient and outpatient experiences.

Surgery

The surgery clerkship offers students exposure to different areas of surgery. Students acquire a wide range of basic science and clinical practice associate with common surgeries. This rotation also offers the opportunity to learn what every non-surgeon physician should know about patients with surgical conditions. The rotation offers students a core-surgical experience focused on general surgery then experience in two surgery sub-specialties. Procedural skills focus on suturing, air way skills and wound care.

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