From classroom to clinic: A milestone moment

M.D. students gear up for their first rotations with a two-week course, Transition to Clinical Experiences

February 22, 2016

Transitions courseOn February 22, 2016, the M.D. Class of 2018 marks an important moment in the OHSU School of Medicine's curriculum transformation as the first class to make the transition from YOUR M.D.'s foundations courses to the start of clinical experiences. 

The traditional model of M.D. education includes two years of coursework followed by two years of clinical work. YOUR M.D. accelerates this timeline, with students diving into clinical experiences midway through their second year.  

In preparation, students underwent a rigorous two-week course, Transition to Clinical Experiences, designed to help them learn the necessary skills, behaviors and attitudes to make the transition from the classroom to a patient care environment. The objectives taught during the two week course also align with the OHSU defined competencies and the Association of American Medical Colleges' (AAMC) Core Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs). The OHSU School of Medicine is one of ten schools nation-wide piloting the use of these 13 integrated activities which represent the skills and experiences M.D. students should have as new physicians transitioning to residency training.

Transitions courseAfter completing the Transitions course, student in rotations will be able to: 

1. Recognize patients requiring emergent care and demonstrate the ability to appropriately call for help and initiate basic life-saving maneuvers.
2. Communicate effectively and efficiently with patients, colleagues and staff in both oral and written form.
3. Demonstrate standard patient and personal protective equipment safety measures appropriate to the health care environment.
4. Recognize gaps in knowledge, skills and attitudes, identify and begin to utilize effective strategies for lifelong learning.
5. Understand the core professional, ethical, legal and clinical expectations of students regardless of health care environment or discipline.
6. Understand and employ effective strategies to balance personal wellness alongside clinical duties.

Although the two week Transition course comes with major expectations –student cannot proceed to rotations without passing the course –the enthusiasm in the rooms was palpable as learners performed simulations, practiced hand-washing and proper gowning and gained basic proficiency in catheter placement. Faculty, too, showed excitement at working with the learners in sessions devoted to safety with sharp tools, mental health and more. 

"By aligning Transition to Clinical Experiences with the our OHSU defined 43 competencies for physician graduates and Core EPAs, we're helping our students to not only become ready for their clinical rotations, but to establish a foundation of skills and knowledge that will serve them later in residency," said Tracy Bumsted, M.D., MPH, associate dean for undergraduate medical education, OHSU School of Medicine. "We believe that by giving students this foundation earlier in their education, they will advance more quickly towards competence."

Congratulations, Class of 2018, and thank you to the physicians and preceptors who helped make this milestone possible! 

Transitions course Transitions course 

Transitions course Transitions course



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