Advanced Clinical Elective Description

The Advanced Clinical Elective (ACE) is a required 4-week clinical experience involving the highest level of patient involvement allowed a medical student.  The purpose of the ACE is to better prepare the student for residency. The exercise of clinical thinking and patient care skills (e.g. diagnosis, prognosis, management) under direct supervision of attending physicians and senior residents is central to the ACE experience.  It is expected that a special professional relationship develop between the attending and the student, modeling the principles and commitments of the physician’s professional life.

Advanced Clinical Electives are offered in medicine, surgery, obstetrics & gynecology, neurology, and pediatrics.  Each ACE is a clinical experience for senior students with primary emphasis placed on enhanced involvement with medical or surgical patients.

Each student will work up and manage together with the residents and attending physicians the medical or surgical care of selected patients. The student is assigned patients in whose care they will participate with the responsible physician. The ACE may also entail the supervised follow-up of discharged patients.

The goal of the ACE is enhancement of the student’s training in clinical medicine by undertaking an important supportive role in the medical management of hospitalized patients under appropriate physician supervision and guidance. Students will be placed on the same call schedule as an intern and will participate with the upper level resident on assignment.  For example, this includes following the same night call, weekend call and weekend rounds as the intern.


  1. The student will participate in the exercise of advanced clinical thinking and patient care skills under direct supervision of physicians.
  2. The student will learn and practice advanced H&P skills and be taught basic procedures depending on the selected ACE. The student will become more proficient in patient presentations, selection of appropriate diagnostic studies, data gathering, data assimilation and patient management. The student will learn how multiple, simultaneous clinical tasks and problems are managed. In the surgical and obstetrical specialties the student will assist the attending physician in births and in operations. The student will participate in the diagnosis, preoperative care, surgery, and postoperative care of these patients. They will receive advanced instruction in surgical techniques.
  3. Students are expected to improve their knowledge base through individual reading and didactic sessions. The experience is patient-centered and based on the patients encountered by the student.
  4. The student will demonstrate qualities of commitment, trustworthiness, integrity, compassion and respect of the patient’s autonomy and need for information. The student will demonstrate professional attributes with regard to professional responsibility.