Purpose of your Senior Year
The final year of medical school is designed to strengthen areas of weakness, explore possible specialty choices, enhance clinical insight and develop skills that will make the student a better physician.
Students will apply knowledge from the basic and clinical sciences that they have gained during the past three years. The senior year is designed to promote professional diversity and personal growth; its flexibility enables students to use this time to explore areas of interest, above all, to pursue active experiences in-patient care sufficient to provide the basic skills necessary for doctor/patient interaction.
The overall goal for the senior year is to encourage and facilitate the acquisition of perspective in the student’s chosen area of future practice, as well as medicine in general, to provide an opportunity for exposure in specific areas of clinical interest, to improve readiness for residency by strengthening areas of weakness by providing advanced learning experience with increased responsibilities, and to encourage further development of basic science and research interest.
- 4 weeks - Acting Internship (AI) - BSOM or Away
- 4 weeks - Emergency Medicine - BSOM
- 4 weeks - Intensive Care Unit (ICU) - BSOM
- 2 weeks - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation - BSOM
- 4 weeks - Primary Care (PC) - BSOM or Away
- 14 weeks- Electives - BSOM or Away
- 2 weeks - Transition to Residency - BSOM
- 40 weeks- TOTAL
- All medical students are required to pass Step 2CK as a requirement for graduation. All medical students must take USMLE Step 2CK for the first time by September 30th of the academic year in which they begin the fourth year of the medical curriculum (enrollment in M-4 Selectives). Students will be permitted a maximum of three attempts to pass Step 2CK.
- All medical students are required to pass Step 2CS as a requirement for graduation. All medical students must take USMLE Step 2CS for the first time by December 30th of the academic year in which they begin the fourth year of the medical curriculum (enrollment in M4 Selectives). Students will be permitted a maximum of three attempts to pass Step 2CS.
The Course Director at the conclusion of each course must evaluate a student's performance. The evaluation is a part of the student's permanent academic record and is available for review by the student. There is a policy for appeal of an evaluation, should the need arise (see "Grade Appeal Process").
All entries of "H", "A", "B", "C", "F", "I" are a permanent transcript notation which describe a student's program. Each designation of "F" or "I" will require an additional course entry on the transcript.
Students are covered under Professional Medical Liability for rotations completed in the US. It does NOT cover students on International rotations.
Schedule Changes (Drop/Add)
Drop/Add procedures were developed at the request of the BSOM Course Directors to provide a mechanism to monitor and control roster changes. Changes must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs, Brody 2S-20, 30 days before the beginning of the course. Because courses carry professional obligations and responsibilities, a student may not necessarily be approved to drop a course.
Check with the Office of Student Affairs to determine the availability for the desired rotation. Drop/Add forms are found on the M4 Curriculum Page under "Forms." This form must be used to both drop and add any rotation and requires the signature of the Course Director or the Administrative Assistant. Course Directors may refuse to approve the change if they believe it is not in the student's best interest or detrimental to the quality of the over-all educational program of the school. Getting signatures may be difficult. Course Director contact information is found at the top of each course description in the M4 Catalog. (If a change involves an IDE it must be submitted 60 days in advance.)
If circumstances prevent a student from completing a scheduled rotation, he/she will be required to make up the elective time or receive an unsatisfactory grade for the rotation.
Students who are not officially registered for a course by the start date (by submitting the required paperwork to the Office of Student Affairs) will not receive credit even if they have the preceptor's approval and complete the work.
- Up to 6 weeks of vacation may be used for interviewing, personal use, travel to and from away electives, and Step 2 study time. Vacation may be scheduled in 2 or 4 week increments. Vacation course codes are: VA992 – 2 weeks, VA994 – 4 weeks.
- Two weeks of vacation may be paired with a two week elective (ie. CVSU9413/VA992).
- Vacation may not be taken during Block 10 (April), without special permission from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
Note: The number of vacation weeks available for scheduling will be reduced by the number of weeks required to remediate or make up third year course work.
Students may receive an excused absence, approved by an Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, for one day off from a two-week rotation and no more than three days off from a four-week rotation.
- Excused absences are for illness, personal need or interviews. Approval by the course director may be required when planning personal need or interview time.
- Students should contact the course director as far in advance as possible when planning time off for personal need or interviews.
- Students should complete an Excused Absence Form prior to or upon return from an illness. In the case of illness it is the student's responsibility to inform all appropriate clinical personnel and the Office of Student Affairs of their intent to be absent.
- Students are required to make up time missed due to excused absences.
- Taking more than the allowed number of absences will result in a grade of "incomplete" until course requirements have been fulfilled. Students could also receive an "F" if the course director feels the objectives of the course have not been met or absences have been excessive. The grade of "F" is permanent on the academic transcript.
- Senior students are expected to assume in many respects the role of a physician, and in so doing, to recognize the needs of patients through clinic service coverage, regardless of weekends and holidays.
- Mandatory Holidays for senior medical students are Thanksgiving and the Winter/New Year's Holiday Break. Seniors also receive Match Day off. If a medical student does not obtain a position in the NRMP Match, he/she also receives off the three days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday before Match Day) for the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP).
- Senior medical students may be allowed to observe other holidays at the discretion of the course director or designated resident on the service.
Scheduling Away Rotations
LCME ACCREDITED Medical Schools and Residency programs (----9475)
- Check for an online catalog at the site of interest in order to review course availability, course descriptions, dates, calendar information, and visiting student application requirements.Use this link to search for schools/courses: http://services.aamc.org/eec/students/
- Check if the medical school/ residency program uses the Visiting Student Application Service (VSAS). Through VSAS students may search and apply to more than 140 schools and programs: https://services.aamc.org/20/vsas/public/schools/
- For directions on how to use the system: https://www.aamc.org/students/medstudents/vsas/how_to_use_vsas/117180/how_to_apply.html
- If the institution does not use VSAS, follow the application directions that their website provides.
- Institutions are all different.Carefully follow their instructions or your application will not be processed.Student Affairs is able to help with required documents, etc.
- When an application is accepted, the student will receive confirmation via letter, email, or standard acceptance form.*Submit a copy of the acceptance to the Office of Student Affairs.The confirmation must include the course title and the dates of enrollment.
- *Submit a copy of the course description from the school's website to enable Student Affairs to determine if a course will be given PC, AI or Elective Credit.
- Some courses may start and end at times different from BSOM; vacation time or a flexible elective (Medical Spanish or Peds-Genetics) may be used to assist in scheduling. Student Affairs will help with this.
* No credit will be allowed for rotations taken without the approval and documentation indicated above.
- Check with the appropriate military branch in order to review sites, course availability, course descriptions, dates, calendar information, and visiting student application requirements.
- Military slots may open as early as December/January.
- Student Affairs is able to help with required documents.
- When an application is accepted, the student will receive confirmation via letter, email, or standard acceptance form.
- *Submit a copy of the acceptance to the Office of Student Affairs.The confirmation must include the course title and the dates of enrollment.
- *Submit a copy of the course description from the school's website in order to be given PC, AI or Elective Credit.
- Some courses may start and end at times different from BSOM; vacation time or a flexible elective (Medical Spanish or Genetics) may be used to assist in scheduling.Student Affairs will help with this.
* No credit will be allowed for rotations taken without the approval and documentation indicated above.
INDIVIDUALLY DESIGNED ELECTIVE (IDE)
If there is an educational experience/rotation, not offered as a course by BSOM, another medical school, residency program or the military, the student may choose to design his/her own rotation (i.e. education, research, primary care, specialty, or international elective).
The student will be required to do the following:
- Meet with an appropriate preceptor (MD or DO) to design a course description that includes educational goals and objectives using the Individually Designed Elective form. Both student and preceptor must sign this form.
- Submit the completed IDE form to the Office of Student Affairs for review.This must be received at least 2 months prior to the start of the rotation.
The purpose of the review is to determine if the IDE is equivalent to a rotation already offered at BSOM and if it is an acceptable senior experience that will meet graduation requirements. No credit will be allowed for an IDE taken without the approval and documentation indicated above. Below are the categories for IDE's:
Students needing away housing must go to: www.myahec.net
and fill out an online housing application 45 days before the beginning of their rotation. The preceptor and site information are needed when completing this application. Students will receive an email confirmation of housing approximately one month before the beginning of their rotation. AHEC has connections in NC as well as a number of states.
M4 Scheduling Guidelines
- No rotation may be taken more than once at the same site.
- Students may list specifically designated 2 week rotations twice in the same month making a four week course.Check the catalog for specific courses which permit this.Some may require "special permission" to do so. See the Special Permission section.
- No student is allowed to take more than 12 weeks in any one specialty unless given "special permission." ICU's are not counted in the specialty total.Refer to the Special Permission section.
- The maximum number of away rotations is 12 weeks."Special permission" is required to do more. See the Special Permission section.
- Students who are deficient academically may not do away rotations until the deficiency has been removed. Students may also be denied approval for away rotations due to Code of Conduct issues.
- Students must receive permission from the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to schedule more than 12 weeks away or more than 12 weeks within a specialty before finalizing their schedules.
- Some rotations require course director's approval prior to being added to their roster. Students must obtain the course director's signature on the Special Permission Form.
Primary Care (private practice rotations-for CO 2014 only)
Drop/Add (used after May 31 when open drop/add ends)
Individually Designed Elective (IDE)
Special Permission (certain courses as listed in catalog)
Worksheet (to create the M-4 student schedule)