Interdisplinary Foundations of Medicine Drexel University College of Medicine IFM












About Years 3 and 4

Year 3: The Clerkship Year

In the third year, students work with faculty members in metropolitan centers, working-class neighborhoods, suburbs, inner city areas, and rural communities.

This year — which starts with Intersession I – Transition to the Clinical Years — is devoted to required clinical clerkships in medicine, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. Regardless of where the clerkships take place, all embody the following principles:

  • Common curricular objectives at all clinical sites – Students receive comparable experiences on their clinical rotations
  • Ambulatory-care requirement – Students spend a minimum of 30 percent of their clinical time in expanded ambulatory-care experiences on the six basic clerkships. These experiences include patient encounters in office practice sites, clinics, outpatient
  • Interdisciplinary teaching – Each clerkship incorporates the concept of interdisciplinary teaching by facilitating interaction with representatives of other departments or service areas
  • Basic science integration – Each clerkship integrates the teaching of basic sciences into clinical material
  • Each clerkship location has an associate director on site who works closely with a clerkship director at Drexel University College of Medicine to ensure that the principles are all being met and that students at all clinical sites are receiving a comparable educational experience. Clinical faculty participating in the clerkships, as well as clerkship directors at Drexel University College of Medicine, are available for student assistance and counseling. Each clinical department maintains an active faculty group for ongoing curriculum review and revision. Our faculty members have frequent contact with third- and fourth-year students and visit the various clinical sites regularly.

Students in their clinical years log their patient and procedure experiences into a PDA or Web-enabled cell phone (which is required of all third- and fourth-year students) for frequent review by Drexel University College of Medicine faculty.

All third year clerkships take place in Drexel's academic campuses. Assignments for third year are based on the results of a lottery system, although students can elect year-long assigments at two of our sites: Monmouth Medical Center and Saint Peter's University Hospital.

Year 4: The Pathway Year

The fourth-year curriculum is structured in the form of Pathways — courses that give students a well-rounded educational experience with a focus on potential careers. Many students choose a discipline-specific Pathway. Others who want a more broad-based experience choose the General Professional Pathway. All students have an advisor who works closely with them throughout the fourth year. Each Pathway allows the student to balance the structure and flexibility of his/her learning needs, prepares the student to enter postgraduate training with confidence, and maximizes the guidance and counseling available from preceptors.

Pathways help students focus their preparation for graduate medical education and careers. They also give students experience in fields of interest other than the one that is likely to be their career path as they continue their medical education. The Pathway system is structured so that students take both required courses and electives. Four course rotations are required: a sub-internship in internal medicine, a clerkship in neurology, an additional course specific to the Pathway chosen, and Intersession II – Transition to Residency. Fourth-year students have opportunities to do up to 12 weeks of elective rotations at hospitals and sites that are not Drexel clinical affiliates, including international rotations.

Students benefit from the counseling and advice of their specific departmental Pathway advisor in course selection. The advisor is also critical in each student's planning leading up to the residency match.

Contact Information

Division of Clinical Education
Drexel UniversityCollege of Medicine
2900 W. Queen Lane, Room 114K
Philadelphia, PA 19129
TEL: (215) 991-8360
FAX: (215) 843-7738

All rights reserved.  The contents of this Student Manual are protected by copyright.
No part of this Manual may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including photocopying, or utilized by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the copyright owner:

© Drexel University College of Medicine
Office of the Dean, College of Medicine
2900 Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129, U.S.A.

[Webcampus - Info for Current Students]   [Medical School Home]   [University Home]

     Page maintained by: Robin Smith