Years 3 and 4: Clinical Applications

MD Curriculum Map (Years 3 and 4)


Third Year 

The third year of medical school is traditionally considered to be one of the most clinically transformative periods in a physician’s career. Year 3 begins in May and includes six core clerkships in southwest Michigan organized in four 11-week blocks. You have several weeks of dedicated time after the third block to study and take USMLE Step 1.

Third Year Clerkships 
  • Family and Community Medicine 
  • Internal Medicine and Neurology
  • Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 
  • Psychiatry 
  • Surgery 
  • Women’s Health 

The first week of each third-year clerkship block provides specific preparation for the upcoming clerkships, including training using simulation and standardized patients. The last week provides capstone experiences and assessments. Throughout the third year there is further integration of basic science principles with clinical cases so you’re well prepared. 

Fourth Year 

The fourth year continues to build your clinical skills and allows you to explore and finalize your desired area of practice. The fourth-year begins with a course specifically to help you prepare for USMLE Step 2.

Fourth Year: 4-week Required Advanced Clerkships 
  • Advanced Emergency Medicine
  • Advanced Critical Care
  • At least one Advanced Hospital-centered clerkship
  • At least one Advanced Ambulatory clerkship

You have the opportunity during the fourth year to explore your specialty options with 18 weeks of electives, 10 weeks of flexible time to accommodate residency interviews, and four weeks of vacation. 

All students are in Kalamazoo in March for Match Week and a Profession of Medicine capstone focused on biomedical ethics. 

Transition to Residency polishes your skills and prepares you to immediately excel as a new resident, with special emphasis in areas that directly relate to your chosen residency program. 

Clinical Affiliates

You will train at sites of our major affiliates, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare, with exposure to a wide range of pathology at over 190 training sites in southwest Michigan and beyond. You will learn in two large hospital settings that are nationally recognized for exceptional quality of care. In past years, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare have received no less than 100 awards and recognition for quality initiatives, including the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, American Stroke Association Primary Stroke Center designation, and the American Hospital Association McKesson Quest for Quality Prize. The proven commitment to quality standards translates into a level of training experience that rivals major university medical centers while providing the advantage of a community-based, diverse patient population. 

Borgess Health is part of Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare corporation in the U.S. Borgess operates more than 120 sites in 15 southern Michigan cities including five owned or affiliated hospitals, a nursing home, ambulatory care facilities, home health care, and physician practices. The flagship hospital, Borgess Medical Center, is a 424-bed tertiary care hospital offering more than 40 clinical specialties. 

Bronson Healthcare is a not-for-profit, community-governed healthcare system based in Kalamazoo. Bronson offers clinical services throughout southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. The flagship hospital, Bronson Methodist Hospital, is a 415-bed tertiary care hospital that received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2005 and has Magnet designation for nursing excellence.

WMed Clinics are located on the Oakland Drive Campus. There are four primary care clinics and approximately 12 specialty clinics. WMed Clinics offer a full range of ancillary services and care for a broad range of patients, serving as the medical home for a historically underserved and underinsured patient population. WMed Clinics are accredited by The Joint Commission, and also certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Care Medical Home. The primary care clinics— family medicine, internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, and pediatrics—have designations as a Patient-Centered Medical Home from both the National Committee for Quality Assurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

You will also see patients as part of the Kalamazoo Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center that serves historically underserved patient populations in Kalamazoo County. Clinical rotations are also available at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center that serves more than 42,000 Veterans in 22 counties of southwestern Michigan.