Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Typical Week in Pre-Clerkship

Recommended Posts

What is a typical week as a pre-clerkship student at Queen's like? How many hours of class are there? Are the lectures during pre-clerkship years true lecture style, similar to undergraduate courses? What about small group sessions? Are the small group sessions structured as problem-based learning, or is another format used?


How much patient contact is there in the first two years? In what capacity do you have contact with patients? Ae you just observing, or do you have the opportunity to get involved? How much time is set aside for observerships/clinical electives?


How is grading done during the first two years? Are marks (or essentially, the determiniation of pass/fail) based solely on exams, or are there assignments/presentations/etc.? How often are the exams? Are they cummulative?


Thanks for your help!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can take a look at the pre-clerkship class schedules here. It's usually something along the lines of 3-4 hours of class each morning, anatomy/expanded clinical skills one afternoon, PBL one afternoon, regular clinical skills another afternoon. Sometimes there are classes like clinical epidemiology in the afternoon as well.


Lectures are like undergrad-style lectures. Some profs try to be a little more interactive, but they are in the minority. There are two types of small group learning used: PBL-style, which is more student-led, and case-based, which tends to be more tutor-led. The quality of these sessions, I've found, is totally tutor- and group-dependent.


After the first few weeks of clinical skills, you will generally see standardized or real patients at least once a week. This can be in either the Clinical Education Centre or KGH/HDH. Generally, the intention is to do a history and physical exam with these patients, not just observe. There are separate sessions arranged to practice specific skills e.g. pediatric history/physical, MSK exam, gyne exam, rectal exam, etc. There is also expanded clinical skills, which is kind of your chance to learn about the things you'll be referring patients to e.g. audiology, laryngoscopy, diabetes teaching centre, nerve conduction studies, radiology, etc. There is also one technical skills session a term, where you learn suturing, basic airway management, IV stuff.


Observerships are also another opportunity at Queen's. Although there is sadly little time set aside for it, you will have an afternoon or two free a week, and classes are skippable. No, really, it won't hurt you to miss a morning. Really. Docs are pretty good about taking students for a half day or so to show them the ropes. The interaction with patients you get here depends on the physician. I think the majority give the student more of an observer role. However, when in first year, I had some who told me to go in, talk to/examine the patient, and dictate the referral note. Your experience tends to be more like the latter if you can spend more time with your preceptor. There is (was?) a rotating observership program after first year that sets you up with physician from different specialties for a week each, which I found to be a great experience.


For the most part, marks are based on one set of exams at the end of the term. There's been a bit of change to this (e.g. MSK), but about 90-95% of your mark will be based on a multiple choice, short answer and practical exam of the material presented that term. The rest of your mark is made up of small assignments (law, ethics geriatrics, etc.) PBL is pass/fail. Clinical skills is considered a separate course, with the mark made up by the OSCE and tutor evaluations. OSCEs can have scenarios with any of the material you've covered up to that point. Some people dislike having just one set of exams at the end of the term. I didn't think it was so bad - it gave me more flexibility with my study time as I didn't always have to worry about the exam right around the corner.


Hope that answers some of your questions!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...