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Visiting Medical Student FAQs


What steps are being taken to ensure safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?

Please be reassured that the safety of visiting learners is a top priority. We will ensure students have adequate workspace and personal protective equipment. PPE donning and doffing guidelines will be reviewed at orientation. Visiting medical students will not be expected to care for COVID-19 positive patients or patients under investigation (PUIs). Visit valleychildrens.org/covid19 to learn more about how we are responding to this rapidly-changing situation. 

We will add more content and provide updates here as the situation warrants.

As a medical student, how much discretion will I have to make clinical decisions?

Medical students are strongly encouraged to develop their own assessments and plans and present them during rounds. Students will be supported and supervised by residents and/or attendings to ensure a safe environment as well as independent decision.

Does the student work with a limited number of physicians?   

The answer to this question could vary between divisions, based on what works best for continuity of care. There are 1-2 students per rotation block to enhance individual learning.

How much contact will I have with faculty and residents?

Faculty are very accessible and residents work with them closely. Inpatient sub-interns have the chance to work with hospitalist and subspecialty faculty directly. Similarly, students on outpatient electives will closely work with individual faculty and residents

What is the education like?

We put a great deal of emphasis on practical teaching and learning in an academic environment. In addition to morning reports and noon conferences, rounds on the ward are designed to enhance learning with each individual patient case.

Are there specific milestones or assessment tools for completion of evaluations?

We require the completion of a SCO (Structured Clinical Observation) form prior to the end of the rotation. The SCO (Structured Clinical Observation) form includes History and Physical Exam (1 attending, 1 resident) which may be completed for any observed portion of history or physical examination.

Will you accept COMLEX scores in place of USMLE scores?

We accept COMLEX scores in addition to -- but not in place of -- USMLE scores.

What if I have more questions?

If you have questions about our program that aren't listed here, please contact our office.

Medical Education Department
Main 559-353-5141
Fax 559-353-5318
ume@valleychildrens.org