With more and more OUM students successfully completing preclinical training and passing their preliminary exams (USMLE Step 1 for US students, OUM’s Final Preclinical Examination for all others), OUM’s deans have regional responsibility for securing and maintaining affiliate teaching relationships with hospitals and other clinical sites that agree to provide clinical rotations to OUM’s third- and fourth-year students. The deans also manage student clinical experiences.
As students progress to their second year of preclinical studies, they consult with their regional dean to determine what clerkship opportunities exist at that time and to identify additional locations that may be of interest to them. Whenever possible, OUM will leverage strong mentor and student contacts to establish clinical training opportunities near a student’s location of preference; however, this cannot always be accomplished and relocation may be necessary in order to complete years three and four. OUM students have taken clerkships at teaching hospitals in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Clinical clerkships also are available at OUM’s affiliate hospital in American Samoa.
During core rotations, students are assigned to the clinical supervisor at the teaching facility to complete clerkship training. At the teaching hospital, students should work side-by-side with students from other medical schools on clinical activities established by the host hospital. During this portion of the curriculum, OUM will also provide students with case assignments and other relevant curriculum materials that support and enhance the clinical rotation.
Together with the hands-on work, students complete PBL cases, directed learning activities, and supportive lectures associated with the clerkship. Students are also required to view daily lectures and take a corresponding written examination upon completion of each core clerkship. Clinical students will have an opportunity to train in both ambulatory and in-patient hospital settings.
Unlike other foreign medical schools that hold students responsible for finding and arranging their own rotations, OUM establishes formal relationships through affiliation agreements with all facilities where clinical instruction is provided to its students. These arrangements are made with the teaching hospital and/or an individual physician who has additional teaching relationships with accredited medical schools and agrees to act as a student preceptor. These contractual arrangements between OUM and clinical training sites are especially important because numerous licensing boards require proof of such relationships. Agreements document that the hospital, preceptor or supervising physician, and the medical school have arranged and followed a supervised curriculum, and produced formal written evaluations, in order to properly document student experiences and performance.
In order to facilitate the acceptance of future physician licensure applications, it is important for students to complete as many rotations as possible in the country in which their medical school is based or in recognized teaching hospitals such as those in the US that house residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME.) Accredited teaching hospitals have the infrastructures in place to facilitate formal teaching and document/record rotations and evaluations.