During the third and fourth years students participate in a number of required and elective clerkship experiences. Third-year required clerkships include internal medicine, surgery, family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, and psychiatry. Clerkships combine inpatient experience with extensive time in the ambulatory setting, using one of the private office settings available to students and taking advantage of the Loyola University Hospital, the adjoining Hines Veteran’s Affairs Hospital, and several outstanding community hospitals in the metropolitan Chicago area.
The third-year is meant as a time of learning while serving as an apprentice in clinical medicine. The clinical curriculum provides students with a breadth of learning needed to maximize their career choice by allowing a tailored program, especially in the fourth year, to give students the best possible preparation for successful residency training. Students are carefully supervised by resident and attending physicians, yet they are encouraged to develop their skills and appropriate independence in formulating plans for diagnosis and treatment. Students also consider possible future residency choices and career paths in medicine through formal sessions run by the Office of Student Affairs, the MedCareers program, and interactions with residents and attending physicians. Many clinical departments sponsor interest groups that provide information about different specialties, as well as advice and strategies for those interested in a particular career path. A third-year elective is offered in several subspecialties for a limited number of students who are serious in their consideration of a subspecialty not offered in Year 3 and opt to have a clinical experience to help guide their choice of residency.
The fourth-year features a combination of required subinternships and elective experiences. It also is time when students are making their choice of residency programs and need advice on interviewing, outside electives, application processes, and strategies for the match program. We strive for demanding and rewarding clinical experiences that will make Stritch graduates ready for residency while providing a series of programs, advising, and support to assist students in choosing for their future. We view the fourth-year as a critical part of education and have high standards:
- Two one-month long subinternships are required in internal medicine and intensive care. Students have the option of choosing from a neonatal ICU, surgical ICU, or medical ICU.
- A month-long clerkship in neurology also is required.
- Electives are chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor and planned to help the student become prepared for residency. These may be taken from the broad selection of electives available on campus and at other accredited medical schools.
- There are some opportunities for international experiences. The advisor also helps the student think about what residency programs are a good fit for the student’s plans and hopes, as well as giving guidance about developing a final list for the match.
The Office of Student Affairs closely supervises the process of residency application and match, presents a variety of programs to assist students in thinking about what the student needs to do and how best to accomplish these tasks, and provides counseling on specific issues and concerns that come up for students.