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Career Preparation

Phase 3 is the final phase of the curriculum and takes place over 13 months. This phase provides individualized training for students in their career specialty choice with the goal of preparing students for success in residency training and beyond. After enrolling in a self-selected career specialty track (CST), students will work with faculty from that specialty to create individualized learning experiences based upon the students’ backgrounds, anticipated plans, and other interests. 

Phase 3 Director: David O'Dell, MD
Phase 3 Education Coordinator: Vanessa Larson

During Phase 3, students are required to complete 10 electives (to include 3 sub-internship experiences), the monthly Curriculum Enhancement Seminars, the residency preparatory course, and two unstructured months. Students will take and pass the Comprehensive Clinical Skills Exam Part 2 and register for the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge exam

Students may use elective time to broaden their background in a particular specialty, pursue a research project or other scholarly endeavors, or explore career objectives in specialties covered in the required clerkships.  Electives may be completed in major and affiliated teaching hospitals in this city, in teaching hospitals in other medical centers in the nation or abroad, or in preceptorships with full-time or volunteer faculty members.  Other arrangements are subject to approval by the College of Medicine Curriculum Committee. 

Curriculum Enhancement Seminars (CES)

The Curriculum Enhancement Seminar (CES) is a required block during phase 3 that is a combination of required components and elective opportunities titled Enrichment Experiences (EE). The rotation is taught utilizing lectures, small groups, and skills workshops. The required portions of this block cover an assortment of high-yield topics including the care of special populations, discussions of diversity, equity and inclusion, evidence-based medicine, health system sciences, foundational and translational science, palliative care, leadership, personal finance, interviewing, social media awareness, current topics in medicine (opioids & vaccinations), social determinants of health, neurology skills, and ACLS. The EEs provide students the additional opportunity to explore topics that are of personal interest to them from each of three categories including clinical, wellness, and research/health systems. The goal of this block is to explicitly address the specific curriculum outlined and reinforce the importance of tying basic sciences to clinical care.



The Residency Preparatory Course (RPC) is a required course for all senior students and occurs in April of their fourth year. It is designed to provide practical knowledge/skills to better prepare students for the challenges of internship. The first two weeks are occupied by a mix of lectures and hands-on activities for all students, including sessions on EHR order entry, patient handoffs, social media awareness, financial and debt management, and introduction to ACGME Milestones, regulatory issues, delivering difficult news, pain management, antibiotic stewardship, and basic teaching skills. For the remaining two weeks, students take part in programming developed by the Career Specialty Track director of the specialty in which they are entering, with content designed to poise learners for success as they enter residency.

Instructor: Dr. Abbey Fingeret and Dr. Jill Zabih

Typically Offered: FALL/SPR

Capacity: 150