Clerkships and Electives


All University of Florida College of Medicine students must take their required third- and fourth-year clerkships on the University of Florida campus, including UFHSC Jacksonville, or at sites utilized by the required clerkships. In case of extraordinary circumstance, petitions for exceptions to this policy will be heard by the ASC. No student from other institutions will be allowed to take required courses or clerkships at the University of Florida (e.g., courses or clerkships that are required either by the student’s home school or the University of Florida).


Faculty course and clerkship directors are responsible for ensuring that students are appropriately supervised onsite at all times when assigned to clinical settings.  The attending physician is responsible for the supervision of all medical students assigned to their clinical service.  The attending physician has medical and legal responsibility for the patient’s care and is ultimately responsible for patient evaluation and management.  Supervision and teaching of medical students may be delegated to resident physicians and other health care providers when appropriate.  The Office of Medical Education reviews syllabi and medical students’ evaluations to ensure that supervision is appropriate at all times.  Among other assessment variables, students evaluate the quality of teaching of faculty and residents and the quality of feedback they receive.  If a problem in supervision is apparent, the Associate Dean of Medical Education (in Gainesville or Jacksonville) will meet with the respective clerkship director(s) to address the issue(s). 


Medical students may participate in organ procurement trips. Participation of the medical student is optional. Accepting or declining to participate must not affect a student’s evaluation on a clerkship.


The senior year is comprised of thirteen, four-week periods, during which students must obtain a minimum of 36 hours of course credit. Students must schedule 16 credits of elective courses and five required courses listed below:

  1. Anesthesiology & Critical Care (4 weeks)
  2. Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  3. Neurology (4 weeks)
  4. Transition to Residency (3 weeks/4 credits)
  5. Advanced Clinical Practice Selective in Cardiovascular Surgery, Community Health and Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurosurgery, OMFS, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pediatrics, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Surgery or Urology (4 weeks)

Elective courses and clerkships provide students with the opportunity to select educational opportunities that align with their educational plan and career interests. UF COM has extensive resources, in addition to offering flexibility for planning an individualized program.

Electives in both the basic and clinical sciences serve to broaden the student’s experiences. Electives also provide the student with opportunities to strengthen learning gaps and/or to pursue subjects of special interest. There is no set maximal number for electives in a specific area. Students review their schedule with their academic advisor for appropriateness of their choices.

The goals of electives are to:

  • Facilitate the student’s increasing responsibility as an adult learner for educational self-determination
  • Provide opportunities to augment previous experience in clinical and basic sciences in preparation for the student’s chosen career
  • Provide opportunities to acquire and utilize skills which will be helpful in the student’s future career (example: Radiology for a student who will be pursuing Internal Medicine)
  • Provide opportunities to strengthen identified learning gaps
  • Provide experiences to meet the needs of students with specific goals, such as research, postdoctural education, international experiences, and/or special learning activities outside the UF COM

MedCat has been prepared to provide students electronically with essential information needed in selecting electives. The Phase 3 Director, who reports to the Associate Dean for Medical Education, approves all electives that are subsequently listed in MedCat.  Students are to meet with their academic advisor to discuss elective choices. The Phase 3 Director will review the schedules of students who are in the bottom quarter of the class to ensure that they provide an appropriately rigorous educational experience.

All electives taken at locations other than UF Health facilities or the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Gainesville are considered to be external electives. The detailed rules governing electives are explained in the Senior Elective Catalog. Most students will be limited to a maximum of three external electives. Any student who wishes to take more than three months of external electives must obtain their advisor’s permission, the approval of the Phase 3 Director, and the Academic Status Committee. Students who rank in the lower quarter of the class are usually limited to one external elective. However, they may formally petition the Academic Status Committee permission to take additional electives.


Combined degree students (e.g., MD/PhD, MD/MPH) may petition the Academic Status Committee for a waiver of 4 weeks of elective credit during Phase 3 toward the MD degree for each year of training outside the MD program for a maximum of 16 credits.  This will require endorsement by the professional or graduate program and approval by the Academic Status Committee of the COM.


Students who complete an advanced degree program outside the combined degree option (e.g. MD/PhD) may petition the ASC for a waiver of 4 weeks of elective credit applied toward the MD degree for each year of training outside the MD program for a maximum of 16 credits. The student must provide justification for the degree enhancing their medical career. Endorsement is by the Associate Dean of Medical Education or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs with
approval by the ASC.