VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook

Osteopathic Medical School -Year Four

The fourth year is an exciting time where students may direct much of their clinical rotations to areas of interest or areas where they wish to improve their knowledge and skills. VCOM has attempted to provide students with the maximum amount of flexibility to schedule rotations that will enhance their medical education and meet residency interests. The choices within VCOM core clinical sites and among rotations available to OMS 4 students are more expansive than in the OMS 3 year. The sites include additional sites where VCOM affiliated residency programs exist or whom with VCOM carries affiliation agreements. Exceptions may be granted when a student wishes to experience a rotation where graduate medical education exists and if the Associate Dean approves the rotation as appropriate for the student. Important within learning to work as a part of a healthcare team is working with residents from various specialties and learning the importance of patient handoffs. Students are required to log interprofessional and team-based care in the OMS 4 year. The curriculum in the fourth year is divided into two semesters, each 22 weeks in length. Full-time enrollment during the OMS 4 year is defined as being enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours per semester and is required of all students. Students will be made aware of the start date through the published academic calendar on an annual basis. Students cannot begin fourth year prior to the first day of fourth year as published in the academic calendar. HPSP students should work with their Associate Dean to accommodate their commitments. Students may complete one selective upon AD approval outside of the core site. OMS 4 students are allowed up to five electives in sites other than VCOM core sites. VCOM provides students with a list of selective and elective rotations to choose from (see lists below) and students may choose based upon their area of interest or may choose an area in which they wish to improve their knowledge and skills. However, students may not take more than 4, four-week rotations (or sixteen weeks) in any one specialty rotation. Students should vary their experiences by choosing different rotational experiences within a specialty. For example, instead of choosing 5 months of Pediatrics, a student may choose NICU or Adolescent Medicine as one of their months or instead of choosing 5 months of OB/GYN a student may choose Gyn/Oncology or Maternal/Fetal Medicine as one of the 5 months. Students may repeat one rotation in the OMS 4 year with a preceptor that they rotated with in the OMS 3 year. Students may not rotate with the same preceptor more than once in the same academic year. Additionally, students may not rotate with a preceptor who is a family member or with whom they have a personal relationship since the preceptor must objectively evaluate the performance of the student and must avoid the impact of conflicts of interest in the operation of the medical education program. It is expected that students will notify Clinical Affairs of any pre-existing relationships well in advance of the rotation. Elective rotations are provided for three purposes: career development, residency auditions, and expanding the student’s clinical knowledge. VCOM recommends four-week rotations in general for electives but recognize there are a few rotations that are only offered for two weeks. While VCOM does not endorse two-week clinical experiences, VCOM does allow some two-week electives when students are only provided with two-week options by the residency sites. It is difficult for a student to learn the hospital system and be competitive with only a two week experience. Therefore, VCOM recommends four-week experiences for all rotations done with residency programs the student is considering, when the site offers a four-week program. The list of approved electives are listed later in this section. Online syllabi for the most common selective and electives, developed by the Clinical Chairs across all campuses, are provided on the VCOM website to direct the student’s focus of study for each selective and elective rotation to assure students can identify the appropriate core objectives to be learned while on their 4 th year clinical rotations.


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