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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
Psychiatric Medicine - Medical Student Education

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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.

The overall goals for the Senior Year are:
1. To encourage and facilitate the acquisition of perspective in the student's chosen area of future practice, as well as medicine in general
2. To provide an opportunity for exposure in specific areas of clinical interest
3. To improve readiness for residency by strengthening areas of weakness and providing advanced learning experience with increased responsibilities
4. To encourage further development of basic science and research interest

The final year of medical school consists of ten, four-week blocks, one of which may be used as vacation. (Students may not schedule vacation during April of the senior year.) The remaining nine four-week blocks must have the following distribution to meet graduation requirements:

1. 2 Primary Care/Ambulatory Care Selectives
  • 1 four week selective in Primary Care Selective list (recommend not choosing the same selective if choosing 2 from this list)
  • 1 four week selective in Ambulatory Care Selective list

2. Surgery - Choose 1 from the required list
3. Medicine Choose 1 from the required list
4. Transition into Residency Month (March)
5. 4 Electives - four weeks each
6. CPE Exam (tentative July)
7. Every senior medical student must take USMLE Step 2 by April of their senior year
(It is highly recommended that you take step 2 in the Fall of the senior year)

Clinical Practice Exam
All students are required to take the Clinical Practice Exam in the academic year of anticipated graduation. Students must arrange their senior schedule to allow for completion of the exam. You must take it at The Brody School of Medicine.

Students are required to pass this exam, or remediate perceived areas of weakness, in order to graduate.

Dr. Stephen Willis is the project director for this exam. You should call 816-2601 if you have questions. More information regarding this examination will be provided as the time approaches.

Faculty will evaluate the performance of each student enrolled in a selective and forward a completed M-4 Student Evaluation form to the Office of Student Affairs.
Students are evaluated on the following categories:

  • Amount of factual knowledge
  • Ability to use medical literature and general resources of medical information
  • Clinical skills (history, physical laboratory)
  • Problem-solving ability and clinical judgment
  • Procedural skills
  • Interpretation of data
  • Verbal and written skills
  • Punctuality, conscientiousness and initiative
  • Acceptance of responsibility
  • Ability to work with others
  • Ability to obtain confidence and cooperation of patient
  • Displays intellectual honesty and integrity

A student's schedule will be reviewed and approved by the Office of Student Affairs. Changes to an approved schedule must be made by submitting a completed Drop/Add form at least 30 days prior to the start of the selective. In order to drop an Al, you must have the written approval from the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs. Drop/Add forms are available in the Office of Student Affairs, Brody 2S-20.

During your senior year, you may use your 4 weeks of vacation for interviewing. You may split these 4 weeks into 2 two weeks vacations to help with interviewing. Students may also take a maximum of 2 days per four week selective during peak interviewing time (November, December, and January) for interviews. It is the student's responsibility to inform the appropriate individuals of any absences. You can not take vacation during Block 10 (April).

Alternative Experiences
1)N.C. Exchange Program
The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Duke University in Durham, Wake Forest University (Bowman Gray) in Winston-Salem, and The Brody School of Medicine (ECU-SOM) has agreed to take medical students from the other North Carolina schools into their elective programs. All three schools will accommodate the medical student for a length of time to correspond with that student's academic calendar when possible. After the initial sign up of each school's own students for the elective programs for the academic year, other students will be accepted. No tuition will be charged to the visiting student. Each student will be responsible for his/her own housing facilities. Copies of the other three schools' Elective Catalogs are available in the Office of Student Affairs. These rotations must be arranged through the Office of Student Affairs.

2)Off-Campus Selective
A student may take a total of three months of selectives at sites away from The Brody School of Medicine. Four months if one of the selectives is a N.C. Exchange.

Approved off-campus selectives are those arranged through another medical school or with course directors who hold clinical/faculty appointments at a medical school. If the selective does not fit in this category, the student must follow the procedure for an Individually Designed Selective (IDS) and obtain appropriate approval prior to beginning the selective. A list of objectives must accompany the Individually Designed Selective form.

A student must be in good academic standing before applications may be submitted for off-site selective. A student must complete an application from the site of the selective. These completed forms and a copy of the course description from a catalog or from the other medical school must be returned to the Office of Student Affairs 30 days prior to the projected starting date of the selective. It will be the student's responsibility to insure that all appropriate documentation and evaluation information is received by the Office of Student Affairs.

Students will be required to show proof of health insurance coverage during off-site selectives. All medical students will be covered under the medical school's professional liability policy that will apply to off-campus selective with the exception of international selective.

3) Individually Designed Selective
In addition to the Senior Selectives listed in the Senior Catalog, students may, with their clinical advisor or a faculty member, design selective experiences appropriate to their individual needs. Individually designed selectives (IDS) experiences may include, but are not limited to research in basic or clinical science areas, off-campus experiences no listed in a catalog.

The following guidelines govern development of the individually designed selectives (IDS):

  1. Complete the IDS application (available in the Office of Student Affairs, Brody 2S-20)
  2. Complete the application and be sure to include:
    1. Student's Name
    2. Title of Selective
    3. Start Date
    4. Faculty/Preceptor's Name
    5. Address/Location of Selective
    6. Phone Number
    7. Fax Number
    8. Objectives to be accomplished during the selective (minimum of 3)
    9. Description of activities (the content and description of IDS must be clearly different from any selective offered in the catalog)
  3. Applications that are not complete will not be accepted for consideration.
  4. Have the appropriate Department Chair who most closely incorporates the content of the selective review and sign the completed form. The purpose of the review is for the Department Chair to determine if the IDS is equivalent to course already offered and if it is an acceptable senior experience that may meet a requirement.
  5. Return the completed form, with all signatures, to the Office of Student Affairs. This completed form must be received at least 30 days prior to the start of the selective in order for the student to receive credit for the selective on his/her transcript.