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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

The learning objectives of all third-year clerkships are based on the general MD Curriculum Program Objectives that have been established by Geisinger Commonwealth. These include:

  • Medical knowledge: Students must demonstrate understanding of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, and the application of this knowledge to the care of patients. Students must demonstrate appropriate depth of knowledge about the presentation and management of illness and the evidence-based knowledge that is the foundation of patient care.
  • Practice-based learning and improvement: Students must demonstrate an ability to locate, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence for the improvement of patient care practices.
    Interpersonal and communication skills: Students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange, therapeutic, ethically-sound relationships and collaborative decision-making with patients, their families and professional colleagues.
  • Patient care: Students must demonstrate patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of patients in the context of their families and communities. Students will demonstrate and advocate for appropriate treatment of illness and also the promotion of health maintenance, disease prevention and wellness as it pertains to each discipline.
  • Professionalism: Students must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles and sensitivity to contextual issues in a diverse patient population. This includes demonstration of a commitment to continuous learning, dedication to patient care, respect, compassion and integrity in all activities.
  • Systems-based practice: Students must demonstrate an awareness of, and responsiveness to, the larger context and system of healthcare, as well as the ability to call on other resources in the system to provide optimal healthcare to patients and their families.

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