Clinical skills practice

Year 2

Early Entry

Patient care integrated with science.

The M2 year is called the Clinical Trunk. You enter the clinical environment as a member of a care team, building on your skills from the Scientific Trunk.

In addition to the longitudinal elements of the Doctoring Course, Leadership and Paths of Excellence, the Clinical Trunk features:

  • Patient evaluations in a variety of clinical settings
  • Multidisciplinary clinically driven learning
  • Immersion in department-based clinical care teams
  • Science in the Clinical Context

Everything does not have a right or wrong answer, that's the reality of medicine. The ability to tolerate uncertainty and change, demonstrate flexibility and self-motivation, and take ownership for your learning is important. We want students who are motivated and not content with the status quo. We seek people who are willing to start with a framework, identify their own needs and utilize the resources available to them to keep building on it. Our curriculum promotes those skills.

Seetha Ursula Monrad, M.D., Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, and Science & Clinical Trunk Director
Medical student with clipboard

The Clinical Trunk comprises two distinct phases:

Transition to Clerkships: Building on your Interprofessional Clinical Experience, Interprofessional Education, Scientific Trunk sequences, Chief Concern and Doctoring courses, you will learn how to function in the clinic. The focus is on:

  • Health care team function
  • Clinical problem solving with patients
  • Integrated science learning with patient interactions
  • Directed teaching and feedback from Doctoring faculty built around clinical skills

Clerkships: In this phase, you will enter into departmentally organized clinical rotations, similar to the standard clerkship model. You will rotate in your departmental teams, fully prepared with a robust skill set and ready to hit the ground running. The focus is on:

  • Immersion into care teams
  • Skills of patient care and management
  • Pre-Branch exploration

The Step I exam is taken after the entire Clinical Trunk is complete. The Clinical Trunk naturally segues into the Branches phase of the curriculum with the continuity of clinical rotations integrated with scientific learning.

At a Glance

M.D. clinical trunk curricular diagram
M.D. clinical trunk curricular diagram showing a 1-week schedule
M.D. clinical trunk curricular diagram showing a 1-week inpatient schedule

Please note, these diagrams are provided for reference only. Curriculum details are subject to change. Updated January 2017.