Phase 3 provides opportunities for students to fashion individualized and intellectually stimulating educational programs. Students explore and decide on specialty choice, prepare for residency application, and gain valuable experiences through required coursework. They broaden their educational horizons by participating in research, humanities, ethics and health disparities electives. Students have opportunities to take on teaching roles and to do clinical and research electives at other programs and clinical sites in the US and internationally. All students participate in an internship readiness course prior to graduation with tracks based on their chosen specialty.
Critical Care Medicine
Advanced Clinical Elective
Bedside to Community: Integrating Clinical Medicine and Population Health
Phase 3 Curriculum
Phase 3 of our curriculum consists of both required and elective courses.
Bedside to Community (B2C): Integrating Clinical Medicine and Population Health
Bedside to Community (B2C) examines the structure, function, and underlying health policies that define the United States healthcare system in order to enhance medical students’ understanding of the elements that shape patient care today and in the future. As students transition from clerkship toward physicianhood, this course asks them to expand their clinical skills by considering the social, legal, and political landscape present in real-world community practice and population health. The B2C course aims to bring together the building blocks of clinical practice and population health through adult learning models in which experts in healthcare policy and practice engage students through panels, presentations, and small group work. Students will discuss key health policy issues like access, coverage, cost, and quality, examine how they coalesce to define the way healthcare is provided in the United States, and determine the importance of these factors in both societal health policy formulations as well as individual patient care.
Advanced Clinical Elective (ACE)
ACEs are 4-week clinical rotations during which students develop advanced clinical skills as they take on increased responsibilities for the evaluation and management of patients. Students are integrated as members of the healthcare team, to meet patients’ needs. Students exercise critical thinking as they develop treatment plans under supervision and receive feedback in preparation for day one of residency.
Critical Care Medicine
Students participate in the care of critically ill patients in intensive care settings ranging from pediatrics to medical, surgical, and adult units. The focus is on the management of multi-system disease, and the treatment of respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, and hemodynamic compromise.
This required rotation provides students an opportunity to evaluate undifferentiated patients in the emergency department (ED). Students apply history taking and physical exam skills learned during Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) and the third-year clerkships to an acute care settings. Students learn to evaluate and treat patients with a variety of potentially life-threatening conditions, and importantly, hone their skills in identifying patients that require urgent and emergent care. During clinical shifts students see patients, present to a resident or attending, and recommend a plan for diagnosis and treatment. Under appropriate supervision, students may assume graduated responsibility for the care of their patients. Students gain experience for the role the emergency department within a complex healthcare system.
Internship Readiness is a 2-week required course that takes place around Match Day. Students choose between specialty tracks including surgery, pediatrics, acute care, internal medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, and pathology. This course increases students’ readiness for residency by reviewing necessary clinical knowledge and skills. The course incorporates case-based and small group sessions in addition to hands-on procedural training and simulation.
The majority of the Phase 3 curriculum consists of elective coursework selected and scheduled by the student. Electives are offered in numerous clinical specialties and subspecialties on both the Charlottesville and Inova campuses.
Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) continues during Phase 3 as FCM-3. This course comprises a mix of one-on-one meetings with the student’s physician coach to reflect on performance, assess strengths and weakness, and co-create learning plans for continued development of clinical skills. Students meet at regular intervals with their small group to jointly reflect on patient care experiences and learn from each other as they near completion of their journey to physicianhood.
Continued clinical skills development
Professional identity formation
Mix of 1:1 meetings and small-group sessions
Reflection on performance
Joint creation of learning plans
EPA: Entrustable Professional Activities Program
In the required courses of the post-clerkship phase of the curriculum, students are observed during authentic patient encounters in complex clinical environments such as the emergency department and intensive care settings. As students assume more responsibility during these rotations and during their advanced clinical electives, EPA assessments provide information about their readiness for day one of residency. Once again building upon the EPA assessments done in previous phases of the curriculum, students are also observed performing advanced patient care tasks including:
Handovers of care
Assisting with the informed consent process
Recognizing and initiating evaluation and treatment for patients who require urgent or emergent care
Patient Student Partnership during Phase 3
Students continue to check-in with their patient and advocate for them with the healthcare team. During this time, students will:
Prepare a summary of the patient’s conditions and the status of their care to communicate important aspects of their care for the next team member as the student prepares to graduate
Mentor a first-year student who takes over as student partner for their patient
Meet with the first-year student assigned to their patient to discuss information from the summary report
Help the first-year student learn the patient’s history and teach them some basics about the patient’s conditions
In March of the fourth year, a celebration event is held with patients to honor the four-year partnership and thank the patients for their valuable contribution to the students’ educations.