3rd Year, 4th Year, & Extracurricular Definitions

Curricular Requirements

These graded experiences appear on the transcript.

  1. Clerkships are required clinical experiences that provide core knowledge in specific disciplines and exposure to specialties before students make final career decisions. Students must exceed minimum standards on both the clinical and written exam requirements. All students must complete all clerkships to graduate.
  2. Selectives are 2 or 4 week required experiences designed to expose students to specialties outside of the core clinical curriculum early enough to influence students’ career decisions. Students choose from the list of selectives to meet this requirement. Clinical selectives provide an introduction to a particular specialty, with a focus on key clinical topics. Non-clinical selectives provide an experience that complements or augments the student’s fund of knowledge away from the bedside, clinic, and operating room.
    As of the 2017-2018 Academic Year, there are three selectives that are offered in the 3rd year (Emergency Medicine, Radiology, and Research Selective) and two in 4th year (Ambulatory Medicine and Surgical Subspecialty).
  3. Electives: All BUSM approved electives, found in the 4th Year Course Catalog, must be approved by the curriculum committee’s elective subcommittee. Electives can be either clinical or non-clinical.
    1. Clinical electives are 2 or 4 week structured learning experience with direct patient contact in a field of medicine or the biomedical sciences. Students must evaluate patients and develop diagnostic and therapeutic alternatives.
    2. Non clinical electives involve minimal or no patient contact but fulfill other curricular elective requirements. They are typically 2 or 4 weeks.
  4. Sub-internships are 4-week structured learning experiences for students who work as integral members of the treatment team with primary responsibility for patient care. Students are responsible for evaluation and continued management of their own patients under the direct supervision of the attending physicians and residents. Sub-interns should care for at least three new patients per week, performing initial histories and physicals, writing orders, coordinating care, doing procedures when appropriate, presenting cases, participating in teaching sessions and taking call.
    All BUSM approved sub-internships, described in the 4th Year Course Catalog, must be approved by the curriculum committee’s elective subcommittee.

Extracurricular Experiences

Enrichment activities are neither graded nor included on a student’s transcript.

  1. An Enrichment Activity is a scholarly undertaking created by and for medical students that is not part of the formal medical school curriculum (extracurricular) and represents the interests of a small group of students who are responsible for its development and implementation at the medical school under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Any student group interested in creating an enrichment activity must secure a faculty advisor and submit a proposal to Suzanne Sarfaty, M.D., Assistant Dean of Medical Education for Enrichment.
  2. Student Organization Related Activities
    The Associate Dean of Students and the Student Affairs Office oversees all student initiated Student Activity Groups, reflecting the broad range of students’ interests. These include Service Learning Groups, Career Interest Groups and Student Organizations. All groups must have a Faculty Advisor and must be approved by the Associate Dean of Students. The experiences gained by participation in this wide array of opportunities enrich the students’ professional identity formation and are an important part of medical school life. These activities complement the development of attitudes, behaviors and skills of future physicians, as described in the learning objectives of the curriculum.

    1. Service Learning Groups are activities focused on providing a service to a defined community on campus or within the greater Boston community. Service Learning activities create opportunities for student participants to provide a needed service and to reflect on their experience. Many groups develop scholarly work which is presented in local, regional and national forums. Students are encouraged to connect their work and experiences with the core curriculum of the School of Medicine.
      As of the 2017-2018 Academic Year, BUSM currently has twenty-seven Service Learning Groups.
    2. Career Interest Groups are student initiated groups which are supported by the Departments at the School of Medicine, focused largely on the needs of students during their first two years of the curriculum, prior to formal clinical specialty exposure. Activities include: panel discussions with faculty and residents describing career paths and work-life balance, MATCH panels, clinical shadowing and research opportunities.
      As of the 2017-2018 Academic Year, BUSM currently has twenty-seven Career Interest Groups.
    3. Student Organizations encompass an eclectic group of activities. Student Organizations range from identity groups, to single issue groups, to Student Wellness groups. They are all supported by Faculty Advisors whose interest align with those of the organization.
      As of the 2017-2018 Academic Year, BUSM currently has thirty-nine Student Organizations.

Approved by the Medical Education Committee (MEC) on November 9, 2017