Clerkship Curriculum

Rush Medical College’s M3 and M4 curriculums provide students with training in patient management in a variety of clinical settings while offering students the flexibility to pursue individual interests.


The M3 year begins with the required Clinical Resources and Skills for the Hospital, or CRASH, course. CRASH reinforces the clinical skills you learned during the M1 and M2 years, and introduces new skills that you will use throughout your clerkships. During the course, you gain hands-on experience in skills such as basic life support, blood draws and reading electrocardiography. Survey results show the CRASH course to be very valuable prior to entering the formal M3 year.

M3 clerkships

Your M3 year is comprised of the following required core clerkships:

  • Internal medicine (eight weeks)
  • Pediatrics (eight weeks)
  • Surgery (eight weeks)
  • Obstetrics and gynecology (six weeks)
  • Neurology (four weeks)
  • Psychiatry (four weeks)
  • Primary care (four weeks): family medicine or internal medicine
  • Optional time available for elective clerkships (six weeks)

The Seven Core Clerkships in the M3 Year (2018-19)

  • Three 16-week Super blocks
  • One-third of the students will begin with each of the three blocks and then follow sequentially as indicated below.

The Seven Core Clerkships in the M3 Year (2018-19)

The core clerkships are mainly offered at Rush University Medical Center and the John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County, the flagship hospital of the Cook County Health and Hospital System. Stroger is a public hospital with a mission to provide outstanding medical care to those who cannot afford to pay. With the busiest emergency department in Chicago and one of the largest Level I trauma centers in the United States, Stroger cares for patients with a diverse multitude of conditions.

M4 clerkships

During the M4 year, students complete the following requirements:

  • Emergency Medicine Clerkship (4 weeks)
  • Subinternship in one of the following: internal medicine, family medicine, surgery or pediatrics (4 weeks)
  • Thirty-two weeks of electives (12 weeks of which can be taken at institutions other than Rush)

Students are also mentored through the Careers in Medicine program, which prepares you to apply for and interview for residency training upon graduation.

Grading for M3 and M4 clerkships

Grading for all core and elective clerkships is as follows: honors, high pass, pass or fail.

USMLE Step 2 exam

In order to graduate, M4 students must pass both parts of the United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE, Step 2 exam (clinical knowledge and clinical skills).