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Education / Medical Scientist Training Program / For Current Students / Longitudinal Clerkship Enrollment


Longitudinal Clerkship Enrollment


The MD-PhD program has a required Longitudinal Clerkship Experience (LCE) that is completed during the PhD portion of the training program.  The two primary purposes of the LCE are to provide MSTP students with 1) clinical experience in direct patient care to further develop their communication, physical examination and clinical reasoning skills and 2) an opportunity to work in clinical settings with physician-scientists.  For each LCE completed (see details below), students will be awarded two (2) medical school elective credits which apply to the graduation requirements for the M.D. degree.

Longitudinal Clerkships are clerkships generally conducted in the ambulatory/outpatient setting on a weekly or biweekly basis. These clerkships are completed by MSTP students during the graduate phase of training. Students, in consultation with a faculty preceptor, will identify 2-3 clinical knowledge areas and/or clinical skills in which the student will gain proficiency by the end of the LCE.


LCE Learning Objectives

  1. Improve patient interviewing, physical examination and clinical reasoning skills.
  2. Gain understanding of and experience in continuity of care relationships.
  3. Gain exposure to career options by preferentially working with faculty preceptors who have direct experience and insight into the life of the physician-scientist.
  4. Experience mentorship with the preceptor on balancing clinical and research activities. 
  5. Receive general career guidance from the faculty preceptor that complements other MSTP career counseling programs and opportunities.


LCE Requirements

  1. All students are encouraged to complete a minimum of two (2) Longitudinal Clerkship Experiences -before the end- of their third year of graduate training (G3).
  2. At least one of the LCEs must involve direct patient care and must be completed in an ambulatory, patient care-oriented setting.
  3. LCEs must consist of either half-day or full-day clinics on a weekly or biweekly basis.
  4. Students must complete a cumulative minimum of ten (10) full days of clinic time for credit.
  5. LCEs must be completed in a longitudinal fashion and must each be completed over a period of no longer than twenty-four (24) weeks.
  6. Attend at least three (3) Longitudinal Rounds Sessions (see below) during each LCE.


Longitudinal Rounds (LR)

  • Longitudinal Rounds are interactive seminars during which MSTP students synthesize LCE clinical encounters into succinct patient presentations and discuss a variety of relevant diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. LR sessions will be held monthly and students must attend a minimum of three (3) LR sessions and present at least one (1) patient encounter during the course of each LCE.


LR Learning Objectives

  1. Refine oral presentation skills and synthesis of patient histories and physical examinations.
  2. Gain exposure to a broad range of medical sub-specialties via sharing of LCE experiences among students.
  3. Improve differential diagnosis, assessment/plan, and team-based medical decision making skills in a wide variety of clinical disciplines.
  4. Develop skills in the incorporation of relevant technology (e.g. eRecord review of lab values) into patient presentations, and review HIPPA regulations of patient privacy with respect to electronic patient information.



No more than one (1) Longitudinal Clerkship Experience may be completed per semester, and no more than two (2) Longitudinal Clerkships may be completed per academic year.  No more than eight (8) total weeks of clinical elective credit may be earned for Longitudinal Clerkship Experiences.  Students must register for the LCE before beginning as retroactive credit will not be given per medical school policy. Students who begin a longitudinal clerkship but fail to complete it within the allotted time (24 weeks as noted above) will be assigned a grade of “Withdraw” or “Withdraw Fail” by their preceptor.  The grade will be noted on the student’s medical school transcript in accordance with medical school policy and no credit, including partial credit will be given. Students are expected to complete all appropriate evaluations of the LCE.

Accepted Longitudinal Clerkship Experiences include:

  • Ambulatory, clinical specialties (e.g., medicine, medicine subspecialties, neurology, psychiatry)
  • Ambulatory, clinical component of a procedural or surgical specialty (e.g., OB/GYN, radiation oncology)
  • Diagnostic specialties (e.g., pathology, radiology)

Any student seeking advice on identifying LC preceptors should reach out to the LC Director, Laurie Steiner, MD or the MSTP Administrator.



Graduate-phase MSTP students must enroll in their LCE in MedSIS via the following link:

  • Within the "Academics" tab, select "Add/Drop Requests"
  • Indicate the appropriate academic year, and select "New Request"
  • Request Action: "Add"
  • Course Title: PHDCLK
  • Select the appropriate institution, dates, and preceptor from the drop down menus

Note: All clinical electives completed in graduate school, regardless of format, must be approved by the student's Advisory Dean. Deviations from the policy stated require advanced approval by both the student's advisory dean and graduate advisor.

For Longitudinal Rounds, graduate-phase students sign-up on a rolling basis for monthly sessions through a Google Doc. For more information and to check the course Director’s availability, please reach out to the MSTP Administrator.



To receive credit for the clerkship, students and their preceptor must complete evaluations to be reviewed by both the medical school and the MSTP.

For all longitudinal clerkships, the MSTP staff will send an evaluation to the preceptor directly, immediately following completion of the clerkship hours through MedHub. Once submitted and reviewed, and all Longitudinal Rounds attendance and presentations have been accounted for, the student will receive credit. Students will also be sent a course evaluation to complete for both the LCE and LR experience(s).

For all clerkships completed prior to the 2020-21 academic year, students will fill out the “Evaluation Form for MD/PhD Longitudinal Clinical Experience” located under the Forms section of the MSTP website. They will then have their preceptor fill out the remaining section(s) and submit to the appropriate personnel listed on the form.  Once submitted and reviewed, and all Longitudinal Rounds attendance and presentations have been accounted for, the student will receive credit.