Radiology resident performing procedure

Years 3 & 4

The Branches

Flexible framework for individualized learning.

By the time you reach the Branches phase of the curriculum, you will be ready for more advanced clinical experiences specific to your fields of interest.

The Branches offer an exciting opportunity to better prepare you for residency with 150+ electives to choose from that can be tailored to meet your career goals.

You will continue to work with your faculty coach to refine your learning plan all the way through to the residency match process. You will be able to craft your own schedule in the 3rd and 4th years as you fulfill the required competencies at your own pace. With this level of flexibility, you will have time to incorporate individual pursuits such as:

When you graduate, you will be fully prepared to take on the role of resident physician on day one.

We aspire to provide you with the skills to become a leader in the health of society and have a broad impact on our world. We will teach you how to understand and apply science, how to educate, how to be innovative, how to be a leader, how to communicate, how to ask questions, and how to inspire patients and other people.

Michael J. Englesbe, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery and Branch Director
Researcher working in lab

There are three phases in the Branch curriculum:

Phase I: Discovery

The Discovery phase is a time to solidify your career plans and choose a specific Branch track. If you are still undecided at the beginning of the Branch phase, you will have about 4-6 months to choose.

If you already know which track you would like to pursue, then you can use the time in the Discovery phase to focus on research, global health, entrepreneurship or many other individualized opportunities.

The four Branch tracks are:

  • Patients and Populations: Focus on outpatient and inpatient experiences across primary care and specialties in clinic and hospital settings with emphasis on longitudinal continuity of care opportunities. Students learn principles of population health management, patient-centered medical home model, team-based care and coordination, preventive medicine, strategies to reduce health care disparities, basic radiology, office-based procedures, mental health services and counseling, substance abuse evaluation and treatment, pharmacology and medication management, and cost-effective provisions of care.
  • Procedures-Based Care: Focus on clinical skills development through rotations and simulation/lab-based coursework, advanced anatomy and physiology training, wound care, focused diagnostic radiology/pathology, pain management and patient-centered clinical decision making.
  • Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies: Focus on advanced technologies and the diagnosis of disease including coursework on the science of advanced medical technologies, clinical rotations (e.g., radiology, pathology, radiation oncology) and patient-centered approaches to engage technology in care.
  • Systems-Focused and Hospital-Based Practice: Focus on advanced training in navigating patient care systems, including clinical rotations (e.g., consults, inpatient and clinic), anatomy, relevant procedural training, focused radiology and pathology, care coordination and systems management.

Phase II: Focus

The Focus phase is an intense clinical time that serves two functions: to master foundational clinical skills and to bring core foundational science into your specific clinical area of interest. You will learn to ask why, digging deeper into the scientific principles behind clinical care.

Wilderness medicine drill
Wilderness Elective Simulation at Island Lake State Park

Phase III: Finishing

The Finishing phase is a time to refine skills and prepare for day one of residency.

Teaching will be as much a part of your residency training as patient care. As part of your final training, you will be asked to teach a foundational science course and share your clinical experiences to inspire your students. This will help to prepare you for the educator duties of a resident.

Boot Camp is the last clinical experience of your MD education. You will learn practical skills that not only allow you to provide optimal patient care, but will make you a better resident physician.

Current Boot Camp options include Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, Pediatrics and Surgery.

At a Glance

Please note, this diagram is provided for reference only. Curriculum details are subject to change. Updated July 2017.