Fourth-Year Discipline-based Pathways for Class of 2020 and beyond

Drexel University College of Medicine



General Principles and Goals and Objectives of the Phase 3 Pathways
Phase 3 of the clinical curriculum (senior year) is structured in the form of discipline based Pathways, developed by the medical school faculty and approved by the Educational Coordinating Committee. The specific discipline-based pathway curricula have been carefully written to allow the student to maximize their fourth year educational experience while preparing for graduate medical education in the student’s specific focused career area. In addition to providing guidance and structure in the fourth-year curricula, the Pathways provide an advisory system for students throughout the residency application process.  Pathway Directors, and/or other Departmental designees, advise students throughout the process of selecting their fourth-year coursework and during the residency application process, including program selection, interviews and the residency matching process.

I. Required Courses  
There are three required course rotations for all fourth year students, regardless of pathway: An Emergency Medicine Subinternship, Required Subinternship, and Transition to Clinician. The required subinternship is determined by the pathway director and may be a subinternship in Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, Pediatrics or Surgery. Each subinternship has a set of required objectives that must be met by all students. These required rotations have prepared curriculum including goals and objectives, syllabus, outcomes evaluation, examination description, student grading mechanisms, student evaluations of faculty, course curricula and clinical sites.

II. Pathway Required Course(s)  
In addition to the above required courses, most pathways have at least one pathway-required course as determined by the pathway director.  Some pathways have a second pathway-required course. Each of these required rotations has prepared curriculum including goals and objectives, syllabus, outcomes evaluation, examination description, student grading mechanisms, student evaluations of faculty, course curricula and clinical sites.

III. Elective Courses  
Elective courses are to be chosen by the student in each of the pathways. Each Pathway outlines recommendations regarding these electives, including notations on specific electives or menus of electives that are strongly recommended in the particular pathway. Over 250 “home” elective courses have been approved for student selection in the Phase 3 curriculum. A detailed summary of each of these elective courses is included in the on-line DUCOM Senior Elective Catalogue. Specifically, each course is noted by course title, department, Course Director, contact information and site location. Also included is a course description along with goals and objectives for the course.  For electives located at a distance from the Main campus, information is provided on whether housing is available. 

IV. Clinical Site: Home or Away  
In some pathways, some courses may be limited to "Home" sites, meaning may be taken at any DUCOM clinical affiliate. In some cases, "Away" sites are included in the selection process. Any rotation at a site not affiliated with DUCOM is considered "Away."  No more than 12 weeks of coursework may be taken at "away" sites.  Additionally, “Away” electives must be listed in a course catalogue of an LCME accredited medical school site. One 4-week Research elective will not count toward the "Away" maximum; however, it will count toward the discipline.

V. Maximum Number of Rotations in a given Discipline
No more than 16 weeks of coursework may be taken in any one discipline or specialty, with one exception: Medicine, in which a student may take 24 weeks of coursework. Research rotations do count towards the total weeks in a discipline.

VI. Pathway Advising
Pathway Directors will guide students throughout Phase 3 and residency application and selection process.  Formal documentation of advising for each individual student is required at three distinct time periods.

In February of the third year, Pathway Directors, or their designee, will meet with 3rd year students who have selected their pathway to guide them in appropriate initial course selection for the fourth year of study.  Students will not be given a 4th year schedule without appropriate signatures on this form. 
Pathway Advising Form #1 Due: Before close of 4th year lottery.

During the months of May  through August Pathway Directors, or their designee,  must meet with pathway students to review 4th year schedules post-lottery and to advise regarding the residency application process  (e.g. Letters of recommendation, personal statement, student competitiveness, residency program selection) 

Pathway Advising Form #2 Due: See deadline of the Senior year

In the Fall of the senior year, Pathway Directors, or their designee, check in with students to evaluate the number of interviews he/she has received, assess need for additional program applications or alternate plans if concerns exist.  In addition, schedules should be reviewed at this time in the year to assure graduation requirements will be met.  Pathway Advising Form #3 Due:  See deadline based on Pathway

VII. Student Evaluation of the Senior Courses 
Student feedback on each clinical course is essential to assure completion of the goals and objectives, comparability of  experience across all sites and the continuous quality improvement of the educational experience. Students are expected to complete course, faculty, resident and site evaluations at the completion of each course.

VIII. Student Exit Evaluation of the Phase 3 Pathways  
At the completion of the academic year, all students are expected to complete an "exit evaluation" for their respective Pathway. This information is essential to assure comparability across all clinical sites, for completion of goals and objectives and continuous quality improvement of the educational experience.

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Revised  11/20/2018