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MD Program:Years 3 & 4

Academic Success

Core Learning 

Core Learning is a week-long experience which takes place between trimesters when students go in-depth on a topic important to the medical community, such as the opioid epidemic or healthcare disparities. Learning takes place through workshops, small group sessions, and large group sessions. Additionally, students take part in clerkship specific orientation days preparing them for their upcoming clerkship rotations during the next trimester. Students participate in hands-on sessions allowing them to glimpse insights into the clerkships. For instance, prior to their Surgery clerkship students practice skills such as suturing, knot-tying, gowning and gloving. Prior to Psychiatry, students learn how and practice assessing capacity on a standardized patient.


Three times a year, each student writes a brief narrative (on blackboard) related to an experience during their clerkship that triggered questions or concerns for them. Such an experience might a situation: (1) in which they didn't have the necessary knowledge or skills; (2) that had a good outcome, but raised questions regarding how or why that outcome was achieved; (3) which was complex, surprising, uncomfortable or uncertain; or (4) in which the student felt personally or professionally challenged. In small groups facilitated by the students Family Head, the students share and debrief these experiences. These sessions reinforce the School's value of reflection and help the students work through the troubling aspects of the hidden curriculum.


During the medicine clerkship, students work in small groups with communications faculty and standardized patients to expand and refine skills learned in the First 100 weeks.

Brain Death:

During the Neurology rotation, students learn, through both large group and small group case discussion, the ethical dilemmas and principles surrounding brain death, the clinical methods of determining brain death, and the systems in place to work with families.

Curriculum Cards