The Clinical Curriculum

The clinical years of the SGU curriculum aim to transform students who have learned the basic sciences into students who can deal with patients and their problems in a hospital or outpatient clinic. To do this, numerous new clinical skills, professional behaviors and considerable medical knowledge must be added to that which the student has previously acquired. The clinical years in this way prepare students for postgraduate training.

The vast amount of required knowledge and the ever-accelerating rate of discovery reinforces the notion that the practicing physician must forever be a student of medicine and a continual learner.  Knowledge includes the development of efficient methods for the acquisition, interpretation and recording of patient information and a systematic approach to patient care. This provides a framework on which to arrange rapidly changing and increasingly detailed medical information.

The 80 weeks of the clinical curriculum encompass 42 weeks of core rotations, 12-14 weeks of additional required rotations, and 22-24 weeks of electives.

The core rotations define the third year of medical school and include 12 weeks of internal medicine, 12 weeks of surgery and six weeks each of pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry and, frequently, family medicine/general practice. (Students who do not complete family medicine in the third year must do so in their fourth year). The third year is a structured educational experience that is similar for all students. The Office of Clinical Education Operations along with the affiliated hospitals manages the scheduling of the third year.

The fourth year consists of four weeks of family medicine/general practice (if not done in the 3rd year), four weeks of a sub-internship, four weeks of an internal medicine rotation, and 22-24 weeks of electives of student choice. Each student can schedule the fourth year based on individual educational interests and career choice and are encouraged to consult an advisor when doing so.

There is no optimal sequence of core rotations. They are generally completed before taking sub-internships and electives. On occasion, a hospital may schedule a primary care rotation or elective anytime in the third year.  The listing below does not indicate the sequence of courses. Core rotation schedules are determined by the hospital and the Office of Clinical Education Operations.

Core Rotations


Internal Medicine


Obstetrics and Gynecology








Additional Requirements


Family Medicine


Sub-Internship (any core specialty)


Internal Medicine Required Rotation



24 - 26



Please note that all core rotations, as well as Family Medicine, the Internal Medicine required rotation and the sub-internship in any of the core rotations (Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Surgery, or Psychiatry) must be done at an affiliated hospital.

Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine do not qualify for the sub-internship graduation requirement. However, it will count as elective credit.