Core Clinical Clerkships

Core Clinical Clerkships in core discipline areas take place as 35+ patient contact hours per week. Clerkships take place typically within the students’ clerkship site region at hospitals, private offices, and clinics where RVU-MCOM has formal affiliation agreements. Students are assigned to supervising preceptors for each clerkship. Supervising preceptors are credentialed adjunct faculty of Rocky Vista University. The Department of Clinical Education receives credentialing information from prospective physicians, reviews this information and, if appropriate, will grant the physician’s request to be a preceptor for the university at an academic ranking established in accordance with established RVU policy. Credentialing policy can be found in Appendix C. Credentialed faculty of a residency program that provides students with OMS III Core Clerkships will also be credentialed as Adjunct Faculty of RVU.   

The Department of Clinical Education communicates with each clerkship supervising preceptor about the students who will rotate with the preceptor and the dates that each student will be at the preceptor’s site. This communication includes student and clerkship specific information for the Preceptor and their staff, including expectations of student-patient care interaction and preceptor assessment of student performance in such encounters. Preceptors are expected to provide students with formative feedback regularly during the clerkship, with a summative evaluation given to the student in writing at the conclusion of the clerkship.   

While on core clerkships, students participate in discipline specific didactics facilitated by the Clerkship’s RVU faculty Director, via virtual platforms. Such didactics occur weekly and are designed to focus student learning on boards-relevant topics, augment clinical preceptor guided learning and task students to practice oral presentation skills.   

As part of their Family Medicine Core, students complete a 2-week intensive in Ob/Gyn and Pediatrics where they work with subject matter experts, high-fidelity mannequins, and virtual reality to develop critical thinking skills. Additionally, they complete two four-week rotations in an elective of their choice, as well as a week-long 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.  

With more than 600 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 mutual agreement of Hospital Administrators, Preceptors, and the Department of Clinical Education. Therefore, flexibility on assigned Clerkships is limited. RVU-MCOM 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 cancelled 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 settings related to their education.  

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 are required to complete an attestation form the first day of rotation via the MyVista platform. If students are not able to complete this form, they must contact Clinical Education the same day.  

Audition Clerkships  

Students are required to complete clinical training that best prepares them for residency. During the first half of the fourth year (OMS IV), students are required to complete a minimum of two audition clerkships at residency programs, though more are encouraged. The clerkships chosen must have approval of the appropriate Dean of Clinical Education or designee.