MS4 Required Courses and Selectives

Career Focus Tracks

The Career Focus Tracks (CFTs) are designed to provide some structure to the fourth year, while ensuring each student receive active mentoring in the clinical specialty which they plan to apply.  Students must choose one of four fourth-year tracks, corresponding to their career goals. These tracks have specialty-related educational activities throughout the year.

  • The Primary Care track is designed for students interested in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Psychiatry. Neurology and PM&R will also best fit here.  Students planning on practicing OB/Gyn in the community might also select this track.
  • The Acute Care track is primarily designed for students planning to go into Emergency Medicine or Anesthesia.
  • The Applied Anatomy track is designed for students interested in general surgery as well as the surgical specialties.  This track is also a good fit for students going into radiology and pathology.  Students more interested in the surgical side of OB/Gyn will fit here as well.
  • The Academic Career is a track for students who have already embarked on a significant research project during medical school; they are permitted additional elective time to ready their project for publication.  Students on this track will have both a research advisor and a clinical specialty advisor.  Admission to this track is by application only.   Read more on Research Day

Students may change their CFT until September 1st; changes will not be accepted after this date.

The following courses are required for all fourth year students. Students may choose different clinical specialties within each required clinical rotation; this selection will be guided by the student’s choice of CFT.

The required fourth-year ambulatory rotation is an outpatient clinic based selective, allowing students to choose a particular area of focus (INTM/PED/OBGY/FAMD) consistent with their career trajectory. Students will care for patients coming in for preventative health checkups, as well as those with minor acute illnesses. Students also revisit the principles of evidence-based medicine and complete a critical review of the literature for a clinical question of their choosing.

The required critical care rotation places fourth-year students in an ICU setting, caring for the sickest patients in the hospital under the supervision of critical care fellows and faculty. Students are able to request from a list of ICUs, tailoring the experience to their intended career. There is a focus on procedures and ventilator management.

This rotation, commonly referred to as an “acting internship” or a “Sub-I” rotation, puts fourth-year students on inpatient teams in the role of an intern, giving students primary responsibility for hospitalized patients under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Students will work on a call or shift system alongside the residents, taking admissions, practicing order entry, and working with case managers to ensure safe discharges. Students may choose a rotation that best fits their career plans from a wide variety of inpatient services.

This course includes specialty-based workshops, panel discussions, plenary speakers, and clinical skills practice sessions designed to prepare students for residency.

Fourth Year Scheduling Information