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Foundations of Clinical Care (FCC)

Year 2: Entering Clinical Care

Now that you’ve made it through the 13-month preclinical curriculum, it’s time to dive into full-time clinical work!

Your M2 year divides into six core clerkships:

  • Surgery
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry

Though the sequence looks different for each M2 student, you’ll all take on new responsibilities and put your first-year course knowledge into practice over this year.

Curious about what each clerkship experience is like? Read more about our core clerkships.

Jumping into clerkships for the first time can be an intimidating experience. But with our Master Clinical Teachers program, you can dive into hands-on learning under the caring guidance of expert physicians. Learn more about our one-of-a-kind MCT program.

Success in Year 2

Clerkships are foundational to everything else you’ll learn in clinic afterwards, so a competency-based assessment system allows you to see exactly where your strengths and areas for growth lie.

Throughout your M2 year, you’ll get a sense of how you’re doing through:

  • Milestone-based assessments from residents and attending faculty
  • Narrative feedback from your peers and clinical teams
  • Clerkship shelf exams at the end of each clerkship
  • VC3 hands-on event at the end of M2
    At this week-long event, you’ll be exposed to scenarios in CELA from the 25 Presenting Problems. Carefully simulated with standardized patients, you’ll receive immediate feedback from faculty evaluating your performance and capabilities.
    This event is just one step in preparing you to move into the Immersion Phase, helping you identify your clinical strengths and areas for growth.

Throughout it all, your portfolio coach will be there to walk with you through feedback from various sources and set timely goals for personal growth.

Meet an M2: Bushra

Bushra RahmanFor second-year medical student Bushra, the M2 year means clinical growth in more ways than one.

On the one hand, Bushra jumped into the six core clerkships with the rest of her M2 class. From Surgery to Pediatrics, these clerkships train her in increased clinical responsibilities on the clinical team and help her decipher which specialties she wants to explore further.

But Bushra is also making progress through her second year of VPIL, an interdisciplinary clinical team where she works alongside nursing, pharmacy, and social work students to provide holistic care to patients at a nearby clinic one afternoon each week.

“My biggest takeaway from this experience is that interprofessional collaboration is necessary for all successful medical ventures, whether they are academic in nature or focused more on measuring and improving clinical outcomes,” Bushra said.

FCC Phase Leadership

Travis Crook, M.D.

Travis W. Crook, MD

Moving from the basic sciences of M1 to the immersive clinical experience of M2 can be a big transition, but Dr. Crook is dedicated to being a resource for you every step for the way.

Dr. Crook brings his extensive experience as a medical educator to his work as phase leader for the clerkship year. Besides overseeing and directing logistics for the six core clerkships, he continues innovating this curricular phase based on student feedback and his own research.

Dr. Crook is also involved on the ground as he directs the pediatric clerkship, one of the six core clerkships. Plus, after experiencing firsthand the family feeling that pervades VUSM, he’s excited to continue spreading that supportive and engaging atmosphere for medical students entering clerkship.