Clinical Experiences


>>M3 and M4









Early Exposure

At UIC, students receive clinical training as part of their M1 training though the Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM) course, and particularly the Longitudinal Primary Care (LPC) program, a component of ECM.  LPC pairs pre-clinical students with practicing physicians in a one-on-one mentoring/instructional relationship.  Through this mentoring relationship and exposure to patients, students are introduced to a number of important concepts such as

(1) the doctor-patient relationship
(2) interviewing and communication skills
(3) presentation skills 
(4) professionalism
(5) cultural competency
(6) ethical and legal principles
(7) healthcare teams and teamwork
(8) wellness, illness, health maintenance and prevention.

While a number of these competencies will need to be mastered in the first year, all of these concepts and skills begin laying the foundation necessary for meeting the established competencies required for medical school graduation. Because the relationship between the patient and the doctor is central to all of clinical medicine, all medical students, regardless of their ultimate chosen specialty, will become better physicians by developing a solid foundation of these concepts and competencies


Our curriculum is designed to enable students to develop the basic competencies required of medical school graduates prepared to begin residency training in any clinical discipline.

Through participation in six core disciplines of medical practice and exposure to basic skills of medical/surgical specialties, students will practice the skills, attitudes, and behaviors unique to each discipline and common to the practice of medicine in general.

As their skills become more refined, students take on increased clinical responsibility as sub-interns and have the opportunity to explore particular fields of interest in a variety of settings through elective clerkships.

At the conclusion of their training, students will

  • have a clinical knowledge base appropriate for first year resident
  • be well prepared to provide care to patients in both ambulatory and hospital settings
  • be skilled in the knowledge acquisition tools required for lifelong learnin
  • deal professionally with the ethical, legal, and economic realities of 21st  century medicine.


Required Experiences Include:

Family Medicine

Family Medicine clerkship is an ambulatory rotation in a family medicine clinic or practice setting with undifferentiated patients. The clerkship teaches the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to provide continuing, comprehensive and preventive care to individuals and families who represent a broad spectrum of ages and cultures. The clerkship also features problem-solving workshops with specially trained patient instructors and small group clinical reasoning seminars.

Internal Medicine

The Internal Medicine clerkship exposes students to the comprehensive approach to adult patients with non-surgical diseases. The emphasis is on perfecting the fundamental skills of data collection, clinical reasoning, and understanding of pathophysiological process. The experience is patient centered, supplemented with didactic presentation and student readings. During the medicine clerkship, students see patients in both ambulatory clinics and hospital settings. In their fourth year, students will also complete a Medicine Sub-Internship.


The objective of Obstetrics and Gynecology is that students acquire and apply the basic information and master the basic skills needed by all physicians who provide care for women, including the specific psychomotor and interpersonal skills necessary for the clinical examination of women. OB/Gyne is an ambulatory-based rotation. Students will see patients in a hospital setting during labor and delivery and the surgical aspects of the rotation.


During the pediatrics clerkship, students rotate through acute care, well-child, and subspecialty clinics; the newborn nursery; and the general inpatient pediatrics unit. Normal processes of growth and development are emphasized, and diseases are approached within this frame of reference. Students develop basic skills in the evaluation and management of infants 3 and children, and gain an understanding of the attitudes and approaches of pediatric medicine.


The psychiatry clerkship's focus is to help students learn to conduct comprehensive psychiatric interviews and mental status examinations. Since a large percentage of patients seen in every other setting have psychiatric diagnoses, this rotation prepares students to recognize and begin initial management of these patients. Students work with multidisciplinary teams to provide psychiatric treatment in inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room settings.


Students are introduced to the basic skills of general surgery that are the foundation of further study in a surgical specialty as well as fundamental surgical tools of the primary care physician. Students are taught the approach to the surgical patient, participate in pre- and postoperative care, as well as learn to perform certain invasive techniques safely. By the end of rotation, students are expected to know the indications and the contraindications and the role of ancillary services in managing surgical diseases. Along with the basic skills, attitudes, and behaviors learned in the core clerkships, students are also given the opportunity to develop familiarity with the specialty needs of the generalist physician, both as introductions to those disciplines and as a means of developing the skills necessary to recognize, treat and/or prefer patients who present with conditions requiring the special expertise of those fields. Students are introduced to the fundamentals of anesthesiology, dermatology, neurology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, radiology, and urology.


During the core clerkships, students have the opportunity to develop professionally through elective participation in small group discussions of dilemmas in clinical practice as they are encountering them on their clerkships, and/or through elective participation in a third year of Longitudinal Primary Care. Students registering for these elective experiences enrich their
clinical experience and will have their participation noted in the Dean’s Letter that accompanies their residency applications. Except for Longitudinal Primary Care, M-3 electives do not earn credit toward weeks of instruction.

During their fourth year, students refine their basic competencies and expand their knowledge base through participation in a sub-internship, the specialty course and selected elective clerkships. The wide variety of electives encourages students to both explore potential career options and to acquire expertise to complement either a specialty or a generalist career choice. Students may take electives both within the UIC system and outside of it.