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Year 3 curriculum/LIC

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine is among the first medical schools in the U.S. to adopt the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) model as the standard clinical experience for the entire medical school class in the third year.

At Geisinger Commonwealth, third year is an innovative longitudinal integrated curriculum with a hybrid of inpatient and outpatient experiences. This hybrid model provides for outstanding continuity of outpatient care with dedicated outpatient faculty, and also allows for intensive inpatient training in each core discipline. This curricular approach also helps students develop a cohort of “continuity patients” in each clerkship and allows students to take part in the initial assessment, the plan of care, the intervention and in follow-up. The long-term nature of these relationships provides for a period of sequential learning with incrementally greater levels of responsibility that are not achieved in brief clerkships. It also allows for longitudinal assessment and feedback that are critical to the development of competence. In addition to the specific inpatient and outpatient experiences for our six core clerkships, students also complete an 80-hour rotation in emergency medicine and four weeks of electives and selectives.

How does it work?

The year is divided into two halves. For one half of the year, students complete the outpatient curriculum working in all six clerkships simultaneously. For the other half of the year, they complete inpatient curriculum (primarily in hospital settings), selectives, electives and emergency medicine.

A sample student schedule is shown below.

GCSOM MD year 3
Sample third-year student schedule

Outpatient curriculum

During the six-month outpatient curriculum, students work one-on-one with attending physicians in an outpatient setting. This experience emphasizes continuity of students with their preceptors and patients, and allows the students to integrate into patient care in a meaningful way. During the outpatient curriculum students participate in six clerkships simultaneously.

Please note that the image below is an example of a student's outpatient schedule; each student will have a unique schedule.

GCSOM third-year outpatient schedule sample
Sample third-year student outpatient schedule

Inpatient curriculum

Inpatient experiences primarily occur in hospital settings. These experiences allow for training with acutely ill, hospitalized patients in numerous disciplines. They also provide for experience in obstetrics, surgery and anesthesia. Students will often work with interdisciplinary teams and residency teams in these settings.

In addition, students must also complete a two-week selective in one of the following: Introduction to Diagnostic Imaging, Pathology/ Lab Medicine, Neurology/Neurosciences, Anesthesia or Nutrition in Medicine.

Students also complete a two-week elective in a discipline of choice, as well as 80 hours of emergency medicine during the inpatient curriculum.

The required and elective inpatient schedule is summarized below.

Adult Medicine
Emergency Medicine

  • Introduction to Diagnostic Imaging
  • Pathology/Lab Medicine
  • Neurology/Neurosciences
  • Anesthesia
  • Nutrition in Medicine

No. of weeks
Four weeks
Four weeks
Three weeks
Three weeks
Two weeks
One week
Two weeks
Two weeks


Two-week rotation

Clerkship Education Day

Clerkship Education Day is held each Friday afternoon from 1:30 to 5 p.m. This time is dedicated to group learning activities, case conferences, reflections and other core curricula.

Core weeks

Students are required to participate in two core weeks at our North Campus in Scranton to emphasize preparation for residency.

Year 3 learning objectives

  • Medical knowledge: The competent graduate will have the necessary body of knowledge within the basic, clinical and cognate sciences (e.g. epidemiological and social behavioral) to be prepared for successful transition into graduate medical education training. Moreover, the graduate will have the skills that will enable the continual assimilation and utilization of the concepts and knowledge discovered throughout the years following medical school to optimize patient care.
  • Practice-based learning and improvement: The competent graduate will be self-aware and understand his/her learning needs to continually optimize their professional performance and patient care. The graduate should be able to investigate, reflect, and evaluate his/her patient-care practices and to critically filter, appraise and assimilate evolving scientific evidence.
  • Interpersonal skills and communication: The competent graduate will have essential verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills, as well as compassionate and culturally sensitive interpersonal skills that promote effective information exchange and collaboration with patients, patients’ families and professional associates.
  • Professionalism: The competent graduate will have professional integrity with awareness of and commitment to the principles and responsibilities of the medical profession and a profound respect and unconditional regard for human dignity.
  • Patient care: The competent graduate must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health. The graduate will be required to construct appropriate, fundamental management strategies (diagnostic and therapeutic) for patients with common health problems that may be emergent, acute or chronic, across the spectrum of disciplines, while considering costs for the patient and others. The graduate must be able to combine knowledge of basic biomedical, clinical and cognate sciences to accomplish the above.
  • Systems-based practice: The competent graduate will have an awareness of the larger context and systems of healthcare and will aptly strive to contribute to system improvement. The graduate will have sensitivity and responsiveness to the interrelationships of the individual, their communities and the healthcare system.

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