Students must participate in the Third Year Prerequisite Clerkship (M-3 Orientation) before they can begin their M-3 core clerkships. This orientation and training activity generally occurs during the last weeks of April, following the end of the M-2 year. Regardless of when prospective M-3s take USMLE Step 1, they are expected to participate in the Prerequisite Clerkship with their class.
Students who want to delay taking the Step 1 until after the beginning of the core clerkships must petition for approval. Students who delay taking USMLE Step 1 should participate in the Prerequisite Clerkship but may not begin their core clerkships until after they take the examination.
The third-year clerkship rotations take place primarily at OSF St. Francis Medical Center. Psychiatry and Family Medicine are housed at Unity Point Health – Methodist. Various other locations also serve as clinical sites. The curriculum requirement for the third year is that students satisfactorily complete 48 weeks of M-3 courses including:
- Internal Medicine – 8 weeks
- General Surgery – 8 weeks
- Pediatrics – 6 weeks
- Obstetrics-Gynecology – 6 weeks
- Psychiatry – 6 weeks
- Family Medicine – 6 weeks
- Elective – 8 weeks
Most clerkships are similar in structure. Students will be assigned patients to examine and to present to the faculty and attending physicians. Students work closely with residents and attendings in day-to-day patient management. Lectures and conferences occur in each clerkship. Night call will vary among disciplines. In some clerkships outpatient experiences will be a sizable component of the program; in others, inpatient experiences will predominate.