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.