Medical Education

Introduction to Third Year Clerkship

Clinical Undergraduate Medical Education Year III

The goal of the third year of the curriculum at The University of Toledo College of Medicine is to prepare students for graduate medical education, which a student enters immediately upon graduation from medical school.

The wide spectrum of training programs that our students enter upon graduation and the high success rate that our students have in obtaining their choices for graduate training sites are a direct product of the training they receive in their third and fourth year clinical clerkships.

Required Third Year Clinical Clerkships

Bridge Course (1 week)

A unique third year experience for incoming clinical clerks is a hands-on Bridge Course that is designed to help students transition into the clerkships. The Bridge Course is designed to introduce incoming third year students to clinical rotations. The Course includes approximately 20 hours of didactic sessions followed by small group breakout sessions that include topics such as clinical skills (including but not limited to presenting information on rounds, writing notes and orders, team leadership, and communicating with patients).  Students are exposed to important concepts associated with clinical practice and provided opportunities to understand concepts related to professionalism, clinical knowledge, systems based practice and lifelong learning.

Family Medicine (5 weeks) - The Family Medicine Clerkship is designed to give our students an opportunity to develop the basic knowledge, skills, the principles of practice as well as the physician attitudes essential to the practice of a family physician. This clerkship is community based with a strong emphasis on exposure to a diverse range of the common problems encountered by physicians. The structure of this community centered clinical experience is designed to provide real world experiences as well as the opportunity to master the abilities of a family physician. The goals are achieved with the guidance of experienced family physician preceptors in private offices as well as the academic facilities of the University of Toledo.

Internal Medicine Clerkship (10 weeks) - The Department of Internal Medicine strives to provide our third year medical students with a broad exposure to the inpatients and outpatient practice of internal medicine. The practice of internal medicine is an in-depth study of the health matters affecting adult patients. This clerkship places emphasis on the acquisition of highly honed skills in medical history taking and physical examination. Students also create lists and develop plans to direct the investigation of patients' medical disorders. This clerkship allows all students to have outpatient experience in community preceptor sites as well as the ambulatory clinics of the University of Toledo's Department of Internal Medicine. Students also have intensive inpatient clinical rotations.

Neurology (5 weeks) - During the Neurology Clerkship, the students will be exposed to opportunities to develop the skills to acquire a complete and detailed neurological history as well as to complete a comprehensive neurological exam of patients. Acquisition of these skills will allow the student to develop an appropriate differential diagnosis for their patients. Also during the clerkship, the student will have an opportunity to review the anatomic basis for neurologic disorders. Students will have an opportunity to assess patients in both the inpatient and outpatient environment, to observe the spectrum of neurodiagnostic studies that are used in the evaluation of patients with neurologic disorders. During this clerkship, students should have the ability to apply the knowledge they have acquired in their basic neurobiology training.  By the end of your first and second years of medical school you will be able to understand the mechanism of neurologic disorders.

Obstetrics and Gynecology (5 weeks) - The Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship is designed to prepare students to provide students an opportunity to master the knowledge of reproductive physiology, anatomy, management of pregnancy and the common gynecologic problems that affect women patients. The students are carefully preceptored in a variety of learning environments and are tutored in observing in the operating room. There are opportunities for both inpatient and outpatient experiences during this clerkship. A unique part of this clerkship is the regular professors' rounds that are held on a weekly basis which allow students to discuss patient management problems and basic science issues relating to women's health with the chairman of our Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Pediatrics (5 weeks) - The Pediatric Clerkship prepares students for the care of the unique problems that affect infants and children as well as adolescents. There is a strong emphasis on human biology, growth and development and the principles of early health maintenance. In addition, the impact of the community and society on child health and well being is emphasized. The clerkship focuses on the impact of disease as it affects a developing human and the recognition of common health problems. Students have both inpatient and outpatient experiences which permits exposure to skilled pediatricians in their practice environments. There is regular opportunity for student and preceptor interaction as well as didactic learning sessions.

Psychiatry (5 weeks) - The Psychiatry Clerkship has designed a curriculum to prepare the student to understand and manage the common mental health problems affecting our society. This clerkship is designed to place emphasis on those problems that a primary care physician would most likely encounter in a practice. Emphasis is placed on mental health disorders that afflict a population that is steadily aging. During the course of this clerkship, the students will understand the basic biology and psychological as well as social aspects of their patients' disorders and they will understand some of the medical management that can provide significant relief to patients with psychiatric disorders.

Surgery (10 weeks) - During the Surgery Clerkship, the students will have an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of surgical concepts and to acquire patient management skills. It is not anticipated that significant operative technical skills will be acquired but students are welcomed in the Operating Room where they will be active participants in the operative management of patients under the close supervision of attending physicians and senior surgical residents. Students will also have an opportunity to develop basic clinical judgment skills and analyze common clinical surgical problems. It is anticipated that the student will acquire basic diagnostic capabilities related to surgical problems and be able to develop and organize a plan of assessment and management for the more common surgical disorders.

Third Year Electives (4 weeks) - A unique feature of the clinical curriculum at UT COM is the ability of third year students to rotate in varied disciplines such as Ophthalmology, Radiology, Pathology, ENT, Emergency Medicine, Orthopedics, Anesthesia, Dermatology and Urology. Additional IM and Surgery sub-specialties are available once core clerkship experience has been completed.

Students also have significant clinical experience in the Simulation Center where they learn basic and advanced clinical skills under supervision. The Simulation Center also provides training in inter-professional education and is equipped for training a variety of health professionals.

Contact Information

Imran I. Ali, M.D.
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professionalism & Diversity


Melissa Hansen, M.Ed.
Administrative Assistant 

Clerkship Directors

Clerkship Coordinators

Registrar's Office


Last Updated: 6/26/15