Advanced Clinical Studies

During year four, students and their advisers develop a program that reflects their career goals, individual strengths, and educational needs. Students will expand the breadth of medical knowledge and skills needed to be well-versed in many fields of medicine as well as focus on the specialties that most capture their interest, establish patterns of independence and initiative for lifelong learning, and demonstrate the medical knowledge and clinical skills necessary to enter graduate medical training programs

The curriculum consists of two four-week advanced clinical selectives, or sub-internships; four four-week general electives; one two-week general elective and one four-week Advanced Biomedical Sciences course. A minimum of four fourth-year courses (including one advanced selective) must be taken under the supervision of MU School of Medicine faculty.

Advanced Clinical Selectives

Two four-week advanced clinical selectives from the core disciplines — child health, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and surgery — are required. One must be in a surgical area, and one must be in a medical area. Advanced clinical selectives build on the knowledge and skills acquired during third-year core clerkships. Students are expected to assume more responsibility for patient care in the selectives than in the clerkships.

General Electives

Eighteen weeks of general electives are required. Several fourth-year electives are available at our rural sites and at our Springfield Clinical Campus and count as on-site courses. Off-site experiences are available but must be approved by the appropriate department.

Advanced Biomedical Science Course

This four-week course revisits the biomedical sciences in the context of a patient, disease, diagnosis or problem. Several options are available. For example, students may:

  • Search and analyze the literature, integrate and evaluate data, produce a paper or presentation;
  • Conduct original research with mentors from the basic or clinical sciences;
  • Attend a series of graduate-level lectures and discussions of current literature; or
  • Function as co-facilitators for patient-based learning (PBL), write a PBL case or serve as an academic tutor.