Clinical rotations, also known as clerkships, refer to the practice of medicine under the supervision of a health professional to acquire appropriate clinical experience during the third and fourth years of medical education. The 72-week clinical medicine program, which takes place throughout semesters 6 to 10, combines core and electrical medical school rotations.
The 72-week clinical medicine program consists of 42-week required core medical school rotations and 30-week elective clinical rotations. In the core medical school rotations, students gain clinical experience in Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, while the subsequent 30-week elective clinical rotations allow matriculants to choose any of the various medical specialties based on their interests.
Why clerkships are essential? The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) require every medical student, either pursuing MD, DO, or DPM, to spend a certain amount of time in clerkships. Besides, medical students pursuing nursing and dental are also required to have hands-on clinical practice to earn this coveted degree.
What do clinical rotations entail?
During the clerkship training, medical students perform as a member of the healthcare team. These prospective doctors are given opportunities to visit hospitals and attend to patients. In essence, clinical rotations are the transitions from theory to the practical part of the academic program.
In the clerkship training, matriculants obtain practical skills by diagnosing patients, providing treatments, and curing them with medications and exercises under the guidance of health professionals.
With all that being said, let’s jump right into the most common medical school rotations required for students.
What clinical rotations do medical students do?
Here is the list of rotations that are most common for matriculants in medical schools. Check it now!
1. Internal Medicine
Clinical rotation in Internal medicine lasts for 12 weeks.Here, matriculants develop skills in physical diagnosis. In this core rotation, students will be a part of the clinical management team and gain experience in both inpatient and ambulatory care settings. Matriculants will be given responsibilities for specific aspects of direct patient care under the close supervision of health professionals.
This 12-week core medical school rotation introduces matriculants to different diseases that require manifold levels of surgical intervention. During this rotation, students will learn the policies and procedures of the operating room and perform physical examinations.
3. Obstetrics and Gynecology
During the 6-week Obstetrics and Gynecology rotation, students will gain the skills in the fundamentals of proper obstetric and gynecologic examinations. From prenatal to the postpartum period, students will participate in many live births and family planning discussions.
Like Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics also lasts for six weeks. In this clinical rotation, students will learn the ways to treat infants, children, and adolescents. This core rotation also introduces students to the diagnosis and treatment of common illnesses.
This 6-week clinical rotation introduces students to various psychiatric illnesses and psychotropic medications. The rotation emphasizes organic and functional mental illnesses via medical examination.
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