Clinical Clerkships 

To be eligible to participate in clinical clerkships, students must have current health insurance, all required immunizations and antibody titers documented, be currently negative on PPD testing, or have followed current COM guidelines if a positive test is present and completed any clinical site or COM-mandated related training and testing, including RVU-approved background screening and drug testing (MRO verified). 

Documentation of this information must be on file with the Office of Clinical Education and the Office of the Registrar at least 60 days prior to the start of clinical clerkships. 

Procedures, protocols, and other requirements for clinical clerkships are found in the RVUCOM Clinical Education Manual and clinical clerkship syllabi for OMS III and OMS IV students. Students will obtain access to these documents prior to starting clinical clerkships. It is the student’s responsibility to follow all the policies and procedures in the manual. 

Notice of Health Records and Criminal Background Checks 

Students who have a background check that indicates prior criminal behavior may have difficulty obtaining clinical clerkship sites. Complete disclosure of all criminal activities (including alcohol-related, traffic violations, and all misdemeanors, etc.) is required, whether these activities occur prior to or during medical school training. This information must be disclosed to the Associate/Assistant Dean of Student Affairs even if expunged or dismissed. Failure to do so may lead to immediate dismissal from the medical school. 

The school cannot be held responsible for the lack of availability of clinical clerkship sites, based upon the decision of another entity to exclude students due to a criminal background check or inability to meet other training site requirements. Hospitals reserve the right to exclude any medical student from clinical clerkships based upon perceived health risks. The University cannot guarantee clinical student clerkships if a student has a current infectious disease that could potentially pose a health risk to patients. 

Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) & Basic Life Support (BLS) 

Prior to and throughout clinical clerkships (OMS III and OMS IV), students are required to maintain current certifications in both Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and Basic Life Support (BLS). For more information, contact the Office of Clinical Education. 

Mask Fitting

Mask fitting is provided by an RVU-approved vendor during ACLS/BLS hands-on training. Students are required to follow all pre-fitting guidance provided by the vendor.

Distribution of Clerkship Assignments

Clinical clerkship sites are located primarily in Colorado and Utah Wyoming, Idaho, and Arizona.  Clerkship core sites are determined by lottery during the second year. The clerkship core site lottery results are issued to students in the Fall semester of their OMS II year.  All clerkship core sites' lottery results are considered final.   Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Office of Clinical Education.

Ob/Gyn-Pediatrics Module

As part of their Family Medicine Core, students complete a 2-week intensive module in Ob/Gyn and Pediatrics where they work with subject matter experts, high-fidelity mannequins, and virtual reality to develop critical thinking skills.

Fundamentals of Surgery

Fundamentals of Surgery course that gives students an immersion in surgical skills, operating room etiquette and application of professional behavior expected in various surgical settings.

Critical Reflections and Professional Career Development

The Critical Reflection and Professional Development course series provides OMS III students with the skills to critically reflect on their experiences in clinical education. Issues such as resiliency and coping skills, dealing with mistakes, identifying bias, value exploration, broadening one’s professional identity, collaborative practice, and residency preparation will be discussed. The course is a blend of virtual synchronous discussions and asynchronous personal exploration and reflection.

Clinical Integration of Osteopathic Principles and Practices

Students advance their knowledge and skills of the Osteopathic principles and practices and apply new and previously learned techniques to the overall care of patients during their OMS III and OMS IV clinical years through the series of clinical integration OPP courses. 

Elective Clinical Clerkships

Elective clinical clerkships allow students to expand their medical education in areas directly related to their career path. When available, students may choose in-network clerkships in specialties to fulfill elective requirements (e.g., Internal Medicine, Surgery, Behavioral Medicine, etc.). Each Regional Coordinator will contact their students regarding their interests and identify in-network opportunities based on Preceptor availability. Fulfilling a medical specialty interest may require students to leave their assigned region in order to augment students' preparation for residency training. 

Elective clerkships generally range from one to eight weeks. Elective clerkships are requested by the student and arranged in conjunction with the 4th-year clinical coordinators at the approval of the Office of Clinical Education.

Students must complete, sign, and upload any attestation form on the first day of rotation via the MyVista platform. If students are not able to complete this form, they must contact Clinical Education on the same day.

Fourth-year students are required to complete a minimum of 8 credit hours of clerkships at ACGME-approved residency programs, though more are encouraged. 

Helpful Scheduling Information

With more than 700 students on Clerkships at any one-time, clinical Clerkships involve many different sites, people, hospitals, clinics, and physicians, thus requiring a complex scheduling process. The number of students assigned to each clerkship is determined by the mutual agreement of Hospital Administrators, Preceptors, and the Department of Clinical Education. Therefore, flexibility on assigned Clerkships is limited. RVUCOM reserves the right to change a student’s clerkship, subjects, and schedule at any time as required due to preceptor and clerkship site availability. Those students so affected will be notified of any changes, and an appropriate replacement clerkship will be offered to the affected student, again typically within the student’s clerkship site region. If the student must be assigned to an out-of-region clerkship, the student will be given a stipend for housing required during the clerkship.

Despite apparent Clerkship openings, there will be little opportunity for change once a Clerkship has been scheduled. Clerkships may not be canceled or changed within 30 days of the start date. The student may not attend a Clerkship that has not been approved by the Department of Clinical Education. Credit may not be earned for such a Clerkship and the student will not be covered by malpractice insurance. 

Students in clerkships in clinical settings shall be referred to as “Student Doctor ____”. If students have a doctorate in any field, they cannot use that title in any setting related to their education.