Clinical Applications

Core Clinical

Core clerkships are traditionally considered to be one of the most clinically transformative periods in a physician’s career. Core clerkships begin in April and are organized into six 7-week blocks. Rotations occur in southwest Michigan. You have several weeks of dedicated time to study and take USMLE Step 1 after your fourth clerkship. 

Core Clerkships 

  • Family and Community Medicine 
  • Medicine
  • Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 
  • Psychiatry and Neurology
  • Surgery 
  • Women's Health 

The first days of each core clerkship block provide specific preparation for the upcoming clerkships, including training using simulation and standardized patients. The last section provides capstone experiences and assessments. Throughout core clerkships there is further integration of basic science principles with clinical cases so you’re well prepared for USMLE Step 2 CK. 

Advanced Clinical

Advanced clerkships continue to build your clinical skills and allow you to explore and finalize your desired area of practice. Your transition into advanced clerkships begins with ACLS certification and preparation for USMLE Step 2CS. 

4-week Required Advanced Clerkships 

  • Advanced Emergency Medicine
  • Advanced Critical Care Medicine
  • Advanced Hospital Medicine

You have the opportunity during advanced clerkships to explore your specialty options with 20 weeks of electives, 14 weeks of flexible time to accommodate residency interviews, and 4 weeks of vacation. 

All students are in Kalamazoo in March for Match Week and a Profession of Medicine capstone focused on biomedical ethics. 

Transition to Residency polishes your skills and prepares you to immediately excel as a new resident, with special emphasis in areas that directly relate to your chosen residency program.

Clinical Affiliates

You train at sites of our major affiliates, Ascension Borgess and Bronson Healthcare, with exposure to a wide range of pathology at over 190 training sites in southwest Michigan and beyond. You learn in two large hospital settings that are nationally recognized for exceptional quality of care. In past years, Ascension Borgess and Bronson Healthcare have received no less than 100 awards and recognition for quality initiatives, including the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, American Stroke Association Primary Stroke Center designation, and the American Hospital Association McKesson Quest for Quality Prize. The proven commitment to quality standards translates into a level of training experience that rivals major university medical centers while providing the advantage of a community-based, diverse patient population. 

  • Ascension Borgess
    Ascension Borgess consists of more than 120 sites of care as well as three hospitals in west Michigan including Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Ascension Borgess- Lee Hospital in Dowagiac, and Ascension Borgess-Pipp Hospital in Plainwell. In Michigan, Ascension operates 15 hospitals and hundreds of related healthcare facilities that together employ approximately 26,000 associates. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Nationally, Ascension includes approximately 165,000 associates and 34,000 aligned providers.
  • Bronson Healthcare
    Bronson Healthcare is a not-for-profit, community-governed healthcare system based in Kalamazoo. Bronson offers clinical services throughout southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. The flagship hospital, Bronson Methodist Hospital, is a 415-bed tertiary care hospital that received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2005 and has Magnet designation for nursing excellence. In addition to its Kalamazoo location, Bronson has three other hospital locations: Bronson Battle Creek, Bronson LakeView, and Bronson South Haven. Bronson also has many physician practices, outpatient and lifestyle improvement and research centers, home healthcare services, the Bronson Health Foundation, and Bronson Athletic Center. Bronson is one of the area’s largest employers, with a workforce of more than 9,000. 
  • WMed Clinical Practices
    WMed clinical practices are located on the Oakland Drive Campus and on Mall Drive in Portage. There are five primary care practices and more than 20 specialty practices. WMed offers a full range of ancillary services and care for a broad range of patients, serving as the medical home for a historically underserved and underinsured patient population. WMed practices are accredited by The Joint Commission, and also certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Care Medical Home. The primary care practices—family medicine, internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, and pediatrics—have designations as a Patient-Centered Medical Home from both the National Committee for Quality Assurance and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
  • Other Affiliates
    You will also see patients as part of the Kalamazoo Family Health Center and Grace Health in Battle Creek; both are federally qualified health centers that serve historically underserved patient populations. Clinical rotations are also available at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center that serves more than 42,000 veterans in 22 counties of southwest Michigan, Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, and the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital.