Each student must do at least one and up to two Specialty Track Clinical Distinction Courses in their third year.

Specialty track courses will be featured in your MSPE or Dean’s Letter. This means your project can help you show exactly who you are and why you should match at the program of your dreams.

Specialty Tracks have the following features:

  1. Idea, topic or specialty
  2. Activities
  3. Design Structure
  4. Core Competencies
  5. Entrustable Professional Activities
  6. A contract of learning
  7. A narrative evaluation
  8. A faculty sponsor

Each of the 8 features above is explained in the pages in this section. If you follow each of the steps outlined in these pages,  your Clinical Distinction project will allow you to excel, contribute meaningfully to your MSPE and result in a rewarding experience.

Most students start with step 1 because they are excited about an idea, or are focused on a residency goal. You can follow each of the steps in a linear manner

Steps to Design a Specialty Track

However, a student could also start with step 2 or even step 4 or 5. Because the core content of Clinical Distinction is the AOA Core competencies, a student can approach the decision about what activities to do based on an evaluation of which competencies they feel strongest with and which they want to work on. Similarly, a look at the 14 EPAs might spark a student to realize which of these 14 key activities they want to be able to practice during the month.

Another approach

You can see in the diagram above that the green tasks – getting a sponsor, writing a contract and getting it approved, and writing a narrative – are linked and have a certain order to them, however approaching the steps to specialty project design does not have to be a linear step-wise process.

Review all the pages in this section so you understand what each entails and dive in where it suits you best!

If you have any questions in this process, your Clinical Distinction Advisor can answer them. All Clinical Distinction advisors can answer any of your questions, so if you aren’t able to get to your¬†assigned advisor, contact another one.