Reading and Web-Based Education Resources

The importance of reading and studying in the clinical years cannot be underestimated. The faculty decided the weight of the NBME clinical subject exams given at the end of each clerkship should count as 10% of the clerkship grade. These NBME exams primarily assess medical knowledge. Students interested in applying for a US residency must realize the importance of their Step 2 CK score. Step 2 CK also assesses medical knowledge. To do well on the NBME clinical subject exams and Step 2 CK requires a prodigious amount of reading, studying and practicing questions. Students need to focus their reading in three areas:

  • Students must read and study about the patients and illnesses they are seeing. The chief advantage of this method is that it gives the student a story and a face with which to associate the facts about a given condition. Most students find that they retain more of their reading when they can employ a framework of personal experience. Above all, this approach emphasizes that reading supplements clinical experience. Detailed reading about patients’ problems can lead to better patient care. Comprehensive textbooks, specialty books, subspecialty books, medical journals, and other on-line references help students prepare for patient presentation on teaching rounds and conferences and enhance the student’s knowledge base. Students are required to do computer searches in order to find the latest evidence to support a diagnosis or a treatment. Such searches provide excellent sources for obtaining leads to appropriate up-to-date references. It is rather easy to get lost in these copious indices unless one knows exactly what to look for. Thus, it becomes critical to precisely define the questions regarding each patient and then find the answers to these questions in the medical literature. Students who read about their patients become more involved in patient care and develop problem-solving skills and clinical judgment. These are skills needed for the NBME exam.
  • A student will not see all of the important and major disorders within a six or twelve-week core rotation. If students’ reading selections are solely determined by their patients’ problems, they are limited by the number and variety of their cases. Students’ understanding of each specialty must go beyond the patient experience on the wards and in the clinics. For this reason, and also to assure a uniform background in medical studies at different affiliated hospitals, the University requires that a concise textbook be read and studied during each core rotation. By reading a concise textbook from “cover-to-cover”, students also learn the extent and breath of each clerkship specialty
  • By having the NBME end-of-clerkship subject exam weight 10% of the final clerkship evaluation, the faculty has emphasized the importance of medical knowledge and test-taking skills during the clerkships. In addition to the clinical experience and immersion into the health care environment, the third year demands a commitment to do well on written examinations. To this end the school will provide two web-based resources. 
  • At the beginning of a students clinical tenure, they will receive Kaplan Step 2 CK text books, as well as online access to study material and questions banks. This will be available for 12 months from its start. Students will also select a time frame to take the Kaplan Step 2 CS online course, as well as in person assessment. After completion of the CS online course, study materials will be available for 12 months. 
  • These resources are available to improve test-taking ability as well as medical knowledge. The clinical department monitors students’ performance on these programs to provide feedback to the clerkship directors and to assess students’ professional behavior. A key component of professional behavior is the commitment to complete assignments and to strive for excellence in medical knowledge.

Required Web-based Courses

These web based programs are the basis of educational requirements during clinical rotations. They give structure to protected academic time and independent learning. For this purpose the University makes available a number of web-based educational resources. The school posts these resources on SMS. SMS is the University’s student management system. Each core clerkships have corresponding web-based courses which students must complete.

  • USMLE World: Students must complete all the questions in Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Surgery and a minimum of 600 questions in Internal Medicine during the corresponding clerkship.The questions are separated into subjects as follows:
  • The questions are separated into subjects as follows: 



Number of questions

Internal Medicine










Communication Skills Course:  This course consists of 41 modules and is split between two Sakai Communication Courses. Students starting clinical training must study and pass the first web-based modules 1-12 in the Communication Skills course A to be eligible for clinical placement. The second Communication Skills course B begins when you start your first rotation. Each clinical department has designated modules to be an integral and required part of their rotation. Students will study the rest of the modules throughout their clinical training; particularly as it relates to patients they see. Completing this course is a requirement for graduation.

Cultural Competency Course:

This is a pre-placement course designed to increase awareness of the ways culture may affect your interaction with patients.

Overview of Web-based Courses

The details of the pre-clerkship requirements are found in this manual under. Each of the clerkship requirements are included in the curriculum of each clerkship in.

Pre-clerkship placement requirements:

  • Family Medicine 1/Internal Medicine 1
  • Infection Control Course (online)

Clerkship requirements:

Each clerkship has required web based courses which students must complete. These      courses fall into three groups:

         1. Communication skill modules

         2. USMLE World Step 2 Question Bank

         3.  eCoach Interactive Books

         4. Access Medicine

         5. Elsevier eLibrary