Summary of Requirements

  • Documented approval from Clinical Site, research PI, MPH advisor or GH program
  • Rotation Request Form
  • Clinical Preceptor Evaluation
  • Site evaluation


The clerkship style track is designed for students who want more clinical experience and don’t want to have to create a project, write a contract and draft a self evaluation. This track is identical to the 4 week selective experience with the exception of the registration code. Because it is a clinical distinction course, and not a selective, the course is not eligible for honors, even if the preceptor marks honors on the grading sheet (CPE). Because Clinical Distinction is a four week course it cannot be divided into two two week blocks, as the selective can.

As with selectives, students who choose to do the clerkship can use this time for:

  • A clinical rotation
  • MPH completion work
  • Research
  • Global health program activities

Making the Most of your Clinical Distinction Course: Combined clerkship activities and independent study – a Specialty Track option

Students who want to distinguish themselves but also want to do a clerkship can do a specialty track which includes clinical activities. They would follow the requirements for the Specialty Track, not the Clerkship style track. The same is true for a student who wants to do research, global health or work on their MPH. Each of these can also be combined into a specialty project.

Benefits of this turning a clerkship into a clinical specialty track include:

  • An opportunity to demonstrate distinction, which will be featured in the MSPE
  • A chance to get comfortable with the Specialty track process to improve the CD experience
  • An opportunity for self directed learning within the random learning environment of clerkships
  • An opportunity to be a top performing clinical student by taking the initiative for focused self evaluation and training.
  • The ability to do two – two week clerkship activities within one Clinical Distinction Course
  • The ability to create a clinical activity schedule that suits learning needs and lifestyle.

Further, a Specialty Track which includes clinical activities is one of the most robust ways to design a specialty project as it allows meaningful workplace assessment of the Core competencies by actually of performing entrustable professional activities with a faculty observer present. These are key features of the language residency directors speak.

For information on how to create a specialty track, read the section Design your Specialty Project and reach out to your Clinical Distinction Advisor.

Let’s get back to the clerkship style track:

To Do list

  1. As with all other tracks the first steps to the Clerkship track is to get approval from your faculty sponsor and to register for the course on time. For the Clerkship track your faculty sponsor is your preceptor, principal investigator, MPH advisor or Global health program director. Contact the appropriate faculty in advance and document their approval. In the case of clinical rotations, the site must approve your rotation time. Be sure to follow the same steps as for selectives so that credentialing and letters of good standing can be handled in a timely fashion.
  2.  Once you’ve registered for the course, make sure you know, from the site, what is expected of you on the first day. It’s a good idea to review the Clinical Rotations Manual before starting Selective rotations.
  3. At the end of the course you will be prompted by NI to complete a site evaluation. It’s due on the last day of the rotation.
  4. At the end of the course your preceptor will be asked to complete an evaluation of your work in NI (the clinical performance evaluation or CPE)
    • It’s a good idea to talk to your preceptor about your performance, both halfway through the rotation and on the last day. This is the best way to get important feedback so that you can be more successful!


  • For research and MPH completion, additional information is needed and in some cases you will have to apply for an IRB. This information will be asked for when you fill out the rotation request form.
  • For Global health you must follow the Global Health Program requirements. You’ll be asked for some information when completing the rotation request form, so make sure your program is approved and you can meet all the requirements before registering for the course.
  • Choosing a Clerkship is a viable option for students who want to do a clinical activity without as much personal investment. It will be noted in your MSPE only as a selective with comments from the preceptor, if they write any on your CPE (evaluation.) The minimum that will appear is the name of the selective specialty and the passing score.