What are the things to consider for clinical medicine in the MD Program?


The first five semesters of an MD program comprise of a basic science program, and  clinical medicine to provide theoretical support for developing essential clinical skills instrumental for the future doctor. Clinical medicine in the MD program refers to the second half of the medical school (semesters 6-10), which covers the exhaustive study of highly technical and advanced subjects in medicine while offering a practical experience of medicine. This experience includes diagnosis, direct observation, treatment, and management of patients in real hospital settings.

The medical school clinical rotations are an integral part of the MD program. Medical students undergo clinical rotations during the clinical medicine program as they approach transitioning into the practical, hands-on training stage of their medical education. Clinical rotations act as the platform to jump from the academic stage seamlessly to clinical training.

Clinical medicine programs of which clinical rotations constitute a significant part are known for being mentally and physically overwhelming. However, if done right, a clinical medicine program can help you become a full-fledged doctor by the time your graduate from medical school. Here are some of the things to consider for clinical medicine in the MD program:

Make the most of the Basic Science course 

The basic science course lays a strong foundation of medical theories upon which advanced practical knowledge of medicine can be built. During the fifth semester of the basic science program, students undergo modules such as the foundation of clinical medicine and introduction to clinical medicine. Paying attention in the classroom to understand the medical theories well can help you during the clinical medicine program.

Create a study plan 

As a major chunk of the clinical medicine program goes into clinical rotations, students must formulate a study plan before starting the clinical rotations. Studying during the clinical medicine program can be difficult as students are busy with work and often struggle to find time to study for their semester examination. Therefore, preparation before starting a clinical medicine program is the key.

Learn about different medical specialties beforehand

The clinical medicine program takes place in semesters 6-10, allowing students to complete their degrees and join the residency program. It consists of active clinical experience that is undertaken in the form of:

  • 8-week research module
  • 42 weeks of compulsory core clinical rotations in surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and pediatrics
  • 30 weeks of elective clinical rotations, some of the highly recommended elective rotations, are intensive care medicine, cardiology, neurology, plastic surgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, vascular surgery, radiology, urology, and many more

The core and elective clinical rotations during the clinical medicine program can expose students to different cases that enhance their preparations as budding doctors.

Look for teaching hospitals that offer clinical rotations 

During the clinical medicine program, medical students spend most of their time working in a hospital. Before starting clinical medicine, students must look for a teaching hospital to be accredited and approved by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) throughout the U.S. and Canada, especially for medical schools located outside these countries.

These are some things to consider for clinical medicine in the MD program. As clinical medicine is a part of the MD program, students are not required to produce anything extra at the beginning of the clinical medicine program.

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