Guidelines and Definitions Regarding Non-Clinical Electives

Understanding that historically, medical school training has been and will primarily remain a clinical training program.

  • Determined to assure that clinical training is holistic and humanistic.
  • Respecting that alternative applications of a medical degree may not be purely clinical.
  • Aware that well-trained, clinicians should be well-rounded and balanced and therefore might benefit from alternative non-clinical experiences during their training.
  • Demanding that the intensity and quality of medical education be assured regardless of the clinical or non-clinical nature of an approved elective.

The following guidelines and definitions are established:

  • Clinical electives involve direct patient care or activities that actively impact patient care.  Non-clinical electives do not have direct impact on patient care; however, these electives are medical in nature and may include learning experiences from the humanities, education, teaching, and research.  Longitudinal electives are those that are spread out over a longer time frame than the standard 2-4 week elective.
  • Due to the academic requirements in place in the College of Medicine that include a series of required core clerkships during the M3 year, a Sub-Internship, and a core series of specialty rotations during the M4 year to meet Pathway requirements; there are no restrictions regarding the number of non-clinical electives.
  • In general, faculty contact, supervision, and the organized workload of the non-clinical elective must exceed thirty hours per week.
  • Proposals for longitudinal electives will be encouraged and considered by the M3 M4 Subcommittee.  Factors will include but not be limited to defined prerequisites, guidelines regarding who may take the course, and the potential impact of the course on concurrent work demands of the student.

Students taking longitudinal electives must receive prior approval from the course director of the longitudinal elective.  The student must be in good academic standing.

Updated; 7/18/16