Core Clinical Medicine (Clerkships)

Third-year students spend a great deal of time in clinical training opportunities throughout New York City.

During clerkships, students function as members of the clinical team with attending physicians, residents, interns, nurses, and allied health professionals. Through a combination of supervised patient care, conferences, lectures, individual feedback and teaching rounds, students apply the knowledge and skills they acquired in their first and second year courses. At these sites, students continue to broaden their knowledge of the clinical manifestations of disease processes, and develop their interviewing and physical examination techniques and their communication skills. They begin to assume responsibility, under supervision, for the evaluation and treatment of patients. The goal of third year clerkships is to provide students with opportunities to develop their skills in the evaluation and care of patients. Students also participate in the Transition to Clerkship course, a week-long program that occurs before students begin clerkships.

Clerkships are paired during the Core Clinical Medicine year to support integration of relevant basic science knowledge.

This mini-course provides an overview of skills, knowledge and attitudes required for clinical clerkships. Through lecture and small group exercises, students learn about the continuum of care of patients from hospital admission through discharge and follow-up, the medical student’s role in patient care, the learning habits and attitudes required to succeed in clinical settings, and methods of assessment and evaluation used in the clinical years. Precedes clerkships.

Robin K. Ovitsh, M.D.

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Associate Dean of Clinical Competencies

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Clerkship is a 6-week rotation that highlights the health care for women of all age groups. Students rotate through three clinical divisions, including outpatient clinics, Labor/Delivery, and Gynecology/Gynecology-Oncology. Required didactics for all students are on Mondays and take place at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Clerkship objectives and requirements of students are presented during orientation. Each student is required to present a clinical case observed during their rotation. Daily schedules may include rounds, evaluation of outpatients, preparing patients for surgery, assisting in surgeries, labor and deliveries, postoperative/postpartum care, and more. Some students will be assigned to affiliate sites including Kings County Hospital Center, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, and Maimonides Medical Center. We look forward to having each student rotate in our clerkship. Our intention is that this experience to be education and meaningful in every student’s professional growth.

Clerkship Director: Melanie Peters, M.D.

Clerkship Coordinator: Ms. Takiya Swaby

The clerkship in Pediatrics is a five-week rotation in which students will be exposed to a rich curriculum encompassing birth through adolescence. Students will learn to take complete care of your patients, with an emphasis on disease prevention, growth and development, nutrition, and the diagnosis and management of common pediatric illnesses. Students will forge relationships with children and their families as they enlist them to be partners in their care. In essence, students will learn to think and act like a pediatrician.

Clerkship Director: Temitope Jose, M.D.

Clerkship Associate Director: Laura Dattner, M.D.

Clerkship Coordinator: Shevonne Williams

There are six sites in the psychiatry clerkship, each of them offers a different structure and experience while still meeting clerkship objectives. Students on "Consultation Liaison” (C/L) services evaluate and treat patients on the medical floors who present with psychiatric symptoms, often delirium, anxiety, and depression. Students on psychiatric inpatient services evaluate and treat patients hospitalized on inpatient units with acute episodes of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. At some sites, students spend their entire six weeks on the same service. One advantage to this structure is that students become a valued and functioning member of the treatment team. At other sites, students spend time on various services. One advantage to this structure is that students get a wider clinical exposure.

Clerkship Director: Jeffrey Feola M.D.

Clerkship Coordinator: Audra Koenig

During the Neurology clerkship, students will acquire the basic skills of neurological assessment of the adult and pediatric neurology patient. Each student plays an important role on their respective teams and will have adequate time to spend with the patients assigned to them. Students will be able to take detailed histories, following physical findings over time, and report findings to team members. Students will be expected to hone their bedside skills and demonstrate competence in performance of the neurologic assessment, including the fine art of history-taking and the performance of the bedside exam.

Clerkship Co-Directors: Lisa R. Merlin, M.D. 

Clerkship Associate Director: Nuri Jacoby, M.D.

Clerkship Coordinator: Nathalie Deare

Students are introduced to clinical medicine; develop skills and knowledge needed to evaluate patients; learn the principles underlying therapy; and develop an appreciation of their role as a member of a health-care team, a sense of responsibility for the well-being of their patients, and an understanding of the effort and dedication required of a caregiver.

Clerkship Director: Isabel M. McFarlane, M.D., FACP

Clerkship Coordinators: Sunday McCray and Andrea Holder

The clerkship in Primary Care I is a four-week clinical rotation in which students will have an opportunity to assume the role of PRIMARY STUDENT- PHYSICIAN in a variety of primary care settings. We anticipate that this experience will provide a rich exposure to the challenge of providing care to non-hospitalized patients.

It is expected that students will meet, evaluate and follow children, families, and adults with a range of acute and chronic problems that require care as well as routine Health Care Maintenance.

This experience will challenge students to master their clinical skills in medical interviewing, physical diagnosis, laboratory assessment, including skills in the interpretation of tests, reviewing X-rays and reading EKGs. Student’s knowledge of basic pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and the management of diseases will grow, as will their ability to set reasonable priorities for each medical encounter. This priority setting will necessarily involve consideration of the patient's perspectives and needs.

Clerkship Director: Edward Allen, MD

Clerkship Coordinator: Ida Askew-Stevens

Perioperative Care/Anesthesia

The anesthetized patient provides an excellent model for students to learn how to recognize and treat individuals whose respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous system have been electively depressed. Students are able to apply basic-science principles to understand the pathophysiology of the patient with CNS, cardiovascular, and respiratory depression. Students become knowledgeable about the risks and hazards of anesthesia and the problems unique to the specialty. Students are expected to take an active part in the perioperative care of patients presenting for surgery and anesthesia. In addition to participating in clinical care, students attend rounds, conferences, and lectures.

The Anesthesia clerkship is a two-week clinical rotation in the department of anesthesiology. Students will gain clinical exposure and receive the didactics that will introduce them to the specialty of anesthesiology. Students will work closely with faculty and resident preceptors who will help broaden their overall clinical experience and provide them with an introduction to the field. Downstate students are lucky to have this rotation as a required part of core clerkship rotations as It allows them to acquire the medical knowledge, understanding and better perspective of the specialty.

Clerkship Director: Dennis Dimaculangan, M.D.

Clerkship Coordinator: Karen A. King


As an active member of the surgical team, the medical student will participate in the care of assigned patients through taking histories, performing physical examinations, and engaging in the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that are within the scope of her/his competence. The student will be expected to expand their knowledge through the evaluation and assessment of the surgical problems presented by her/his patients.

Clerkship Director: Jon Kirwin, M.D.

Associate Clerkship Coordinator: Irina Kovatch, M.D.

Interim Clerkship Coordinator: Audra Koenig

Students are required to complete two 2-week Core Year elective during the Core Clinical year (MS3). These Selectives are designed to give students an opportunity to see and participate in fields of Medicine that they may not be exposed to at all during clerkships.