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Indiana University School of Medicine

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Town Hall – Phase 3

Plan ahead and save the date for Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. EDT. We will host a town hall discussion about your Phase 3 scheduling. Stay tuned to MD Student News and special edition emails for further information over the next few weeks as you prepare for the Road to Phase 3. We will include information on curriculum requirements, the new Transitions 3 course, your electives, the scheduling process and more!

What can I expect in Phase 3?

Phase 3 of the MD curriculum builds upon the foundational skills you mastered during Phase 1 and the key clinical skills you are now developing in Phase 2 to prepare you for supervised clinical practice, scholarship and service when you enter residency just 18 months from now.

Phase 3 offers both the most flexibility and the most responsibility of any Phase in medical school. The curriculum includes required clinical rotations, an extensive catalog of hundreds of possible electives, and the residency-preparation course, Transitions 3. There is also plenty of time built into the curriculum to allow you to plan your Step exam preparation, residency interviews and personal vacations.

Over the last several years, like many medical schools across the country, IU School of Medicine has begun offering an increasing number of “Selective” options for required curriculum in the fourth year. A Selective is a carefully selected set of rotation options that are paired with a common core curriculum and allow all students to meet key learning objectives while providing some customization based on future career goals. IU School of Medicine’s Selectives include the Sub-I Selective and the Critical Care Selective, and next year will offer expanded options for Transitions 3 as a Selective in the spring semester.

This special edition will describe the core Phase 3 curriculum in some detail. Later editions will cover electives, vacation and extracurricular planning, and scheduling.

Core Phase 3 Rotations:

  • Emergency Medicine Clerkship (4 weeks)
    • Students on the emergency medicine clerkship develop critical competencies in diagnosis, management and communication required to care for patients with urgent and emergent conditions in a complex and ever-changing medical system. Autonomy and responsibility are essential for the student to learn fundamental approaches to patients with undifferentiated urgent or emergent conditions. Students on this rotation take on primary patient care responsibilities under the supervision of expert teaching faculty and senior teaching residents.
  • Sub-Internship Selective (4 weeks) 
    • The Sub-Internship, or Sub-I, is a rotation during which a fourth-year medical student takes on an expanded role in direct patient care, attending to progressive frontline duties and responsibilities regarding patient admission, diagnosis, treatment, transitions of care and hospital discharge under close supervision. This experience is an exciting step forward for students and an excellent opportunity to practice and display maturing clinical skills. 
    • You can select from a rotation with Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Surgery or OB-GYN. These five options are the only five that count toward your graduation requirements for the Sub-I Selective. 
    •  Students rotate through the Sub-I rotation throughout the academic year to ensure each student has a robust clinical experience with primary patient care responsibilities.
  • Critical Care Selective (4 weeks)
    • These are curated Critical Care electives that will provide you with experience managing complex and critically ill patients. The goal of this rotation is to provide you with experience recognizing and stabilizing patients prior to your first day of residency. You can review the course options in the Critical Care Selectives Catalog.
  • Transitions 3 (available in the Spring semester only)
    • The topics and materials in this course cover common clinical scenarios that all residents will encounter, regardless of residency choice. Additionally, students will explore specialty-specific topics and content. Transitions 3 also includes topics that residency program directors wish their interns were better versed in at the start of residency.
    • This course was created in response to student requests, the popularity of the Surgical Bootcamp course and the growing national trend of adding a residency preparedness rotation for all students to cap off their medical school experience. The Transitions 3 curriculum was launched for the Class of 2020 and adapted to a virtual format due to Covid-19. The course was extremely well-received and the graduates also provided helpful suggestions to keep improving the course, such as offering greater flexibility with scheduling.
    • This course is one-month long, and can now be taken in either February, March or April of 2022. Tracks grouped by specialty interest will be offered in certain rotation months, and you will be able to register for the rotation that best fits your schedule or specialty interests. You will complete all the course curriculum during the month in which you enroll. This format will allow us to offer your class enhanced hands-on experiences including specialty-relevant procedural training during Transitions 3.
  • Electives: A minimum of five months (20 academic credits)
    • Electives requirements and vacation time will be discussed in more detail in a future special edition of MD Student News

We are excited to prepare you for this next phase of your training. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to askMSE with any questions.