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Curriculum Years 3-4

medical studentThird- and fourth-year students in the MD Program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison rotate through required and elective clerkships and a preceptorship at sites throughout Wisconsin, where they gain broad exposure to many aspects of medicine and public health in outpatient, inpatient, community-based, rural and inner-city settings.


As students advance through their clinical years, they have increased opportunities to tailor their electives to their interests and goals.


During the third year, students attend Core Curriculum Days at the Health Sciences Learning Center in Madison. These days consist of active learning about topics such as health care disparities, palliative care and unanticipated outcomes. A Transitional Clerkship that orients students as they enter their clinical years occurs in early July before rotations begin.


Students experience seven core clerkships that must be completed by the end of the third year:

Students will complete two required clerkships in either the third or fourth year:

The fourth year includes additional required rotations, including the Internal Medicine Subinternship, Surgery selectives, and a community-based Preceptorship. Students spend their remaining time in electives (16 weeks that include a required four weeks of clinical care).

View the Clinical Years Requirements (pdf)


medical students

On average, students spend about 16 weeks outside of Madison at rotations that include:

The Year-End Professional Skills Exam (YEPSA) is a performance-based exam given at the end of the third year. It is similar in format to an Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), and typically includes 11-13 stations. The School of Medicine and Public Health core clinical competencies are tested and evaluated during these stations. Passing YEPSA is a graduation requirement. 


Two specialty track programs are offered to students (application requirement) for longitudinal rural (Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine, WARM) and urban (Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health, TRIUMPH) experiences. WARM includes programs in Marshfield, La Crosse and Green Bay (and surrounding towns). TRIUMPH is based in Milwaukee.


Track Assignments in 2014-15


Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM)


In the 2014-15 academic year, 5 third-year students and 4 fourth-year students will join the Green Bay WARM site, which includes rotations in Howards Grove, Two Rivers, Plymouth and Shawano. There will be 10 third-year students and 9 fourth-year students in La Crosse. Students there will complete Pediatrics, part of Internal Medicine and the Primary Care Clerkship in a longitudinal format over 18 weeks, utilizing rural sites in Decorah, Sparta, Tomah, Viroqua and West Union, Iowa. The other clerkships are completed in La Crosse.


The Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine group also includes 10 third-year students in Marshfield and 11 fourth-year students. The Marshfield WARM group utilizes many rural sites in northern Wisconsin including Rice Lake, Minocqua, Chippewa Falls, Marshfield, Merrill and Mosinee. Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine students across all three regional sites complete a community health project and participate in monthly WARM core days.


Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH)


TRIUMPH will have 6 fourth-year students, 3 MD-MPH and 16 third-year students enrolled in the 2014-15 academic year. Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health students complete most of their clinical rotations and the TRIUMPH core curriculum during their third and fourth years in Milwaukee.


Students will begin TRIUMPH with the two-week intensive Community and Public Health Enrichment Experience (CAPHENE) course in November of their third year. They will complete Primary Care, Internal Medicine and Obstetrics-Gynecology required rotations in Milwaukee beginning in January 2015.


The remaining third-year required rotations will be completed in Madison or other sites throughout the state. Most fourth-year rotations will be completed in Milwaukee, including a TRIUMPH Leadership Skills course in October of the fourth year. Students may select to take up to four months of rotations in other sites including abroad.


Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health students are matched with community organizations of their choice to complete longitudinal public health projects over their third and fourth years. View a summary of these projects. Students meet regularly to learn basic skills in community and public health, to develop leadership skills, and to share celebrations, discoveries and progress on their projects.


Many Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health students have elected to pursue dual MD-MPH degrees. While the MPH can be completed at any point, students are encouraged to consider the combined TRIUMPH-MPH program. These students complete their MPH over one year between the third and fourth years. They may combine their TRIUMPH projects with the MPH field experience. Learn more about the Master of Public Health (MPH).



Last updated: 03/12/2015
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