What Are Clinical Rotations? Clinical Education FAQs

Q. What are rotations?

A. During the third and fourth years at LECOM, students are required to complete a total of 24 clinical rotations (12 per year). Each rotation is four weeks in length and is classified as either core, elective or selective. All core rotations (internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, surgery, psychiatry, emergency medicine and ambulatory medicine) and fourth-year selectives must be completed with a LECOM affiliate. Electives can be based in any specialty and at any domestic medical facility. Other rotations (family practice and rural/underserved medicine) are similar to electives.

Q. How are clinical rotation groups assigned?

A. During the second year, the class is broken down into 13 clinical rotation groups of equivalent size (class size/13). Each group then chooses a group number (1 through 13) that has been assigned a schedule of his or her upcoming third and fourth year. Historically, each class has self-selected his or her own group composition and group rotation number.

Q. Once you have selected a group, are you free to switch rotation sequence?

A. No. Once your selection is finalized (generally during mid-second year), your third and fourth year rotations must be completed during the scheduled time periods of the assigned sequence.

Q. How do you choose where you do your rotations?

A. Once a year, all students (MS II & MS III) are given a master list of sites from which each student can choose core and selective rotations for his or her upcoming third and fourth year, respectively. The list of choices exceeds the number of students in a rotation group. This master list is compiled on a yearly basis by the Associate Dean of Clinical Education and consists of hospitals, clinics and physicians who have, through an affiliation agreement, accepted to train a specified number of LECOM students on a four-week rotational basis.

Q. Are you free to change your rotation sites during your third or fourth year?

A. A student-to-student swap within a group is permitted as long as this information is transmitted to the Office of Clinical Education. Once your schedule is finalized, all other changes are not permitted.

Q. How do you obtain information regarding clinical rotations?

A. During your first year, an overview of clinical rotations will be given periodically by the Associate Dean of Clinical Education. During your second year, the entire process of clinical rotation selection will be outlined in a very detailed fashion through scheduled meetings, as well as in the Clinical Clerkship Handbook. The handbook contains general and specific information relative to clinical education, such as curriculum, rotational goals and objectives, student protocol, grading, rules and regulations.

Q. How do you obtain information regarding clinical rotation sites?

A. General information for all the LECOM affiliates is available through the Office of Clinical Education as well as each hospital's respective website and literature. The Office of Clinical Education also compiles institutional evaluation data for every rotation, which is available for student review at the LECOM Learning Resource Center. For student elective rotations at non-affiliated sites, other resources include:

  • Lake Erie Consortium of Osteopathic Medical Training
  • Website of the AOA for postdoctoral education — www.opportunities.osteopathic.org
  • Website of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
  • ACGME Directory (LECOM Learning Resource Center)
  • Website of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • Hospital websites and literature
  • Other students, interns, and residents

Q. I know a hospital or physician in my hometown that may be interested in offering student rotations. Can I complete some of my rotations there?

A. Several of our current affiliates evolved through student contacts. If a hospital expresses an interest in becoming a LECOM affiliate it must be willing to accept all LECOM students on a particular core rotation throughout the year. The hospital must sign the standard LECOM Affiliation Agreement, which is required by the AOA. Any interested hospital CEO or medical staff can contact the Office of Medical Education for further information.

Unfortunately, most teaching hospitals already have one or more medical school affiliations and can only offer elective rotations, which you are always free to pursue on your own. Others that are not teaching hospitals may take several years to meet the requirements to become a LECOM affiliate.