Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

What's Clerkship Like at UofO

Recommended Posts

I was curious as to what the clerkship rotations/electives are like at UofO. Do the med students get a lot of hands on experience? If possible, can some current UofO med students provide some personal examples as to how their clerkship went/is? THanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am in the English class so this is mostly specific for this class as the French class is structured slightly differently.


So the elective experience is what you make of it in first and second year while pre-clerkship. You have ample opportunity to do electives as there is only half day class for four of the five weekdays. As well there are some mandatory clinical experiences in pre-clerkship which include Physician Skills Development (PSD), Community Preceptor Program, Rural Week, and a Second Year elective week. PSD is a once weekly small group led by a physician on history taking with real patients or physical exam skills with standardized patient. Community Preceptors is a program where you are matched with a family physician in first and second year and do two day elective in first year and three days in second year. Rural week is a week-long rural elective set up through either ERMEP or ROMP typically at the end of first year. Also in second year there is a mandatory elective week in whatever you choose in March.


Clerkship is organized into two main components. In third year you complete all the core rotations which are split into six week blocks each of which is paired so there is a written exam on two rotations every twelve weeks. There is also two OSCE, one after you have completed four rotations and one at the end of third year, both of these have stations on all the material covered in third year. You must complete a minimum of one block rural (for rural rotation: 4 weeks are rural and the other 2 are in Ottawa). The rotations are as follows:




- Acute Care (General, Civic)


- Mandatory teaching Mon & Wed afternoon: lectures, PAL (assigned student led topics)

- 4 Week Emergency – 12 shifts (8 hours each), Mon & Wed am teaching shifts, EMS ride-along

- 2 Weeks Anesthesia – OR daily from 7am-3/4pm, one night of “call” until midnight


- Internal Medicine (General, Civic)


- 6 Weeks assigned to a team on the Clinical Teaching Unit (CTU), teams consist of a staff physician, a senior resident (usually second year), approximately 3 junior residents, and 2-3 medical students

- Daily you round 1-2 times per day, and have 2-4 patients assigned to you whose care you manage

- Calls – usually 8-9 (typically 7am until 10am the next day) in which you will be first call and so will deal with floor issues and will complete consults or admissions from the emergency department

- There are typically one hour lectures at lunch daily




- Mandatory Selectives (General, Civic, Riverside, Community Sites)


- 2 weeks of a pediatric sub-specialty i.e. child and youth protection, endocrinology, gastroenterology, respirology, cardiology, etc. OR two weeks of pediatric surgery

- 1 week of ENT and 1 week of ophthalmology

- 2 weeks of a selective: typically you can choose two one week rotations which include dermatology, radiology, pathology, radiation oncology, palliative care, rehabilitation


- Pediatrics (CHEO)


- 3 weeks on Wards: teams like CTU, 4-5 call shifts (not first call, so mostly consults/admissions)

- 2 weeks Emergency: 3-4 shifts, 2 teaching shift, Wed half day teaching (grand rounds, emergency rounds, simulation session)

- 1 Week on NICU/Neonatal Care: 1 patient in NICU, teaching day at Montfort, 15 well newborn exams, one c-section

- PAL (assigned student led topics daily at 4pm for 1hr), pediatric OSCE


- Teaching: Joint Wed afternoon half-day lectures




- Surgery (General, Civic, CHEO, rural)


- 3 weeks General Surgery: 2 weeks acute care team (emergencies), 1 week another team, 3-5 call shifts (not first call, mainly consults/admissions)

- 2 weeks Orthopedics OR Urology: you will be required to do 2-4 “calls” (these are typically only until midnight, and for urology are home call)

- 1 week Elective: you can choose whichever specialty you want, there is typically 1-2 “calls” until midnight


- Obstetrics and Gynecology (General, Civic, Rural): 1 week on birthing unit, 1 week perinatology/maternal-fetal medicine, 2 weeks gynecology, 1 week community, 1 week with the Chief


- Teaching: Joint full day Friday lectures, excused from clinical responsibilities




- Family Medicine: First 2 weeks everyone is in Ottawa, teaching occurs then


- Psychiatry: 4 weeks adult, 1 week geriatrics, 1 week child


The other portion is fourth year. You must complete a mandatory two weeks in a medicine sub-specialty and two weeks in a surgical subspecialty. You will get 18 weeks of elective time, 10 weeks prior to CaRM applications are due. You will also do four weeks of back-to-basics to prepare for the LMCC Exams.


Sorry for writing so much, if you have any questions let me know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whoops, re-reading the question I am unsure if you wanted to know the structure or how hands it is? Clerkship you are basically doing clinical stuff all the time. In internal medicine you have patients that are yours, and for all of them you see patients essentially all the time, get to perform procedures (suturing, casting, foley catheter placements, IV placements, spinals, epidurals, lumbar puncture, intubations, etc.) and in surgery you get to do things like hold retractors or camera, open the patient (i.e. initial cut), close via staples or suturing, and occassionally other things depending on the preceptor. I loved all of my clerkship rotations so far and have had a wonderful experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Atreides re-the hands-on experience, it's really good. I was in the French class and in surgery, was mostly 1st assist, if not then 2nd assist. You get to do tons in all rotations, yet there's an appropriate amount of supervision.


I just wanted to add that I think the structure of our clerkship is one of the best I've head of. Although other programs probably have similar structures, it's not necessarily the same everywhere and it's not something that mattered to me early on, but I realized during my training how good it was.


I think it's great that we do all our core rotations in 3rd year. That way we have an idea what we like before we actually have to arrange our electives. I liked that when you start 4th year, you get to do all your electives, which is good for getting to know programs and getting reference letters from different universities before CARMS is due. The core rotations first - electives later worked well for me. I also enjoyed all the freedom we had about which electives we wanted to set up & when.


These are things that may seem far away but once you get there and need to make career decisions & match to the specialty of your choice, they become quite important.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found in the English stream that you may get to do a little less during surgery if you are at the Civic or the General because there are more people. That being said I still got to be first assist twice.


Dont forget you can also do surgery in other places - like Pembroke for example, where you will often be first assist.. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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

  • Create New...