- Elective Study and Readings Blocks
- Clinical Electives Policy
- Clinical Electives Hours Policy
- Non-Clinical Electives
- Audit or Not-for-Credit Electives
- Elective Requirement Scheduling Policy
- Advising Guide for Clinical Elective Selections
- Choosing Electives
- Electives with a Timeframe of Three Weeks or Less
- Scheduling In-Town Electives
- Scheduling Out-of-Town Electives
- Procedures for Establishing New Electives
- Electives with Family Members
- Continuing Care Clinic Attendance During Elective Blocks
- Elective Military Scholarships
- Visiting Student Policy
Elective Study & Reading Blocks
Students may take up to four blocks of independent study or readings for credit. Any combination of study and readings for the four blocks is acceptable, either for credit or audit (e.g., 4 study blocks and 0 readings blocks, 2 study blocks and 2 audit readings block, etc.).
Any study block, credit or audit, granted for a student must be a supervised, organized experience, under the direction of the Learning Resource Specialist. A Study Block Goals and Objectives form must be completed by the student and submitted to the Learning Resource. Students are required to attend weekly Continuing Care Clinic while on a study block.
Any readings block, credit or not-for-credit, granted for a student must be a supervised, organized experience, and may be conducted with the Learning Resource Specialist or any physician approved by the Council on Curriculum. A Readings Block Goals and Objectives form must be completed by the student, signed by the evaluating physician, and submitted to the Council on Curriculum no later than the first calendar day of the block prior to the start date of the readings block or credit will not be issued. Students are required to attend weekly Continuing Care Clinic while on a readings block, whether credit or audit. Due to clinic responsibilities, a readings block may not be taken out of town.
Clinical Electives Policy
- Clinical electives are assigned to one of nine distinct categories by the Council on Curriculum: (1) Family & Community Medicine, (2) Internal Medicine, (3) Neurology/Psychiatry, (4) Obstetrics/Gynecology, (5) Pathology, (6) Pediatrics, (7) Radiology, (8) Surgery and (9) Other. To promote breadth of experience, clinical elective selection must conform to these guidelines:
- Students must complete at least three clinical electives, each from one of the nine categories, as a graduation requirement. Further selection of clinical electives may take place at the discretion of the student, with appropriate advising from the Docent and Education Team Coordinator.
- Students must also complete at least one Critical Care elective. This elective will also count toward the three required clinical electives chosen from the nine categories.
- All students must petition the Council on Curriculum to take more than 4 clinical electives from any one of the nine categories.
- Participation in clinical electives can take place in any order.
All clinical electives available for medical students are reviewed by the Council on Curriculum. The Council on Curriculum assigns each individual elective experience to a general UMKC elective category, and within each category the elective is matched to the most appropriate UMKC elective title. These agreed upon elective titles correspond to ACGME approved postgraduate training programs.
Clinical Electives Hours Policy
In order to receive credit for any medical school elective fulfilling requirements of the Clinical Electives Policy, students will need to attend clinical and educational activities for a minimum of 20 eight-hour days or 160 hours for that one block rotation. To qualify as a “clinical” elective, the majority of the time or >50% is spent seeing patients in a clinical setting. Examples of educational activities include but are not limited to: interaction with patients in clinic/inpatient wards; conferences; discussions; rounds; assignments online with products specified such as answers to questions or exercises, essays, short papers, or reading assignments with a graded assignment; field trips with assignments; and case discussions or reflective meetings with faculty. In accordance with the Council on Evaluation policy that students cannot be absent for any reason, either excused or unexcused, more than four (4) working days from a one-block elective, students can and should use days of educational activities or additional clinical experiences to complete adequate time in a clinical elective. Should a student determine that they are unable to meet the requirements necessary to satisfy a clinical elective experience, the student is responsible for contacting their ETC and Council on Curriculum without delay.
Students may enroll for credit in academic electives, research electives and humanities electives. These non-clinical elective experiences yield one block of required medicine credit, but they do not fulfill requirements for clinical elective blocks required for graduation. All non-clinical elective experiences must be approved initially by the Council on Curriculum; to receive credit for the elective, students must satisfy all requirements specified in the elective description form. Students taking any elective experience must also comply fully with attendance policies. Should a student determine that they are unable to meet the requirements necessary to satisfy a non-clinical elective experience, the student is responsible for contacting their ETC and Council on Curriculum without delay.
Audit or Not-for-Credit Electives
Some clinical and non-clinical electives are designated as Audit (or “not-for-credit”) experiences. No academic assessment is made of student performance during an audit elective; however, the student is still responsible for adhering to all requirements outlined in the elective description form. Reasons an elective may be classified as audit could include: a clinical elective does not meet the minimum UMKC SOM standards for the assignment of credit (the clinical elective does not require 3 weeks attendance or 160 hours of contact). In these circumstances, only the Council on Curriculum may approve participation in an elective on an audit basis. Students may not designate any clinical or non-clinical elective as a not-for-credit experience, since only the Council on Curriculum has the authority to do so. Should a student determine that they are unable to meet the requirements necessary to satisfy a not-for-credit elective experience, the student is responsible for contacting their ETC and Council on Curriculum without delay.
Elective Requirement Scheduling Policy
Students cannot schedule any of the three required clinical electives from the nine designated categories or the critical care elective requirement for the block of their graduation. Exceptions are only made by the Associate Dean of Curriculum in situations of to academic difficulty.
Advising Guide for Clinical Elective Selections
UMKC residency directors have assembled a list of elective recommendations that students can use to advance their career goals. The residency directors believe these elective choices would strengthen the competitiveness of a student applying for their residency. A list of commonly chosen residencies with elective suggestions from the different UMKC categories is provided here as a guide only.
Electives are an important aspect of each student’s medical education. Students have the responsibility of thoroughly investigating electives with the assistance of their Docent, Education Team Coordinators and Council on Curriculum staff. Students may choose to take any elective that has been previously approved by the Council on Curriculum. In order for students to determine if an elective has been approved, they should contact their Education Team Coordinator or the Coordinator of the Council on Curriculum. Approved electives can be viewed by searching the Electives Database maintained by the Council on Curriculum. If the elective is not in the Electives database, students should follow the steps listed under “Procedures for Establishing New Electives”.
Electives with a Timeframe of Three Weeks or Less
UMKC students are NOT permitted to enroll for credit in clinical electives which do not last for a duration of at least one calendar block. Students who do enroll in approved clinical electives which last for at least three weeks will be permitted to do so only on a Not-For-Credit basis. Only in those instances where an approved clinical elective is scheduled for three weeks or less will an explanation for the assignment of a No Credit be provided within the official School of Medicine MSPE letter.
Scheduling In-Town Electives
(Kansas City Metropolitan Area)
Students are allowed approximately four weeks to research in-town elective choices. It is beneficial to discuss elective options with peers, Education Team Coordinators, Docents, and the Council on Curriculum staff. Information on most area electives is available in the Electives database.
Students will be asked to submit three choices for every in-town clinical elective block. For basic science electives, only one choice is typically required. From mid-February to mid-March, students submit elective choices for the Summer and Fall semesters (June-December). Spring Semester (January-May) choices are due during mid-September to mid-October.
When choosing a clinical elective in the Kansas City area, a student must list second and third choices. Students should make certain that all choices are educationally acceptable. Students will be moved into their second or third choice if the first or second choice is not available. It is necessary to indicate the specialty area, the physician and the medical center for each elective choice. In-town electives must be arranged through the Education Team Coordinators.
Scheduling Out-of-Town Electives
Out-of-town electives are handled differently than in-town electives. Elective information and course descriptions are available in the Electives database. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange out-of-town electives. Students should keep their Education Team Coordinator informed of the status of these electives. Electives that have not been approved by the Council on Curriculum must be arranged prior to the beginning of the elective. The approval process is explained under “Procedures for Establishing New Electives.”
Year 5 & 6 students may not miss more than four blocks of Continuing Care Clinic per academic year. This allows for three blocks of out-of-town electives and one block of vacation. Year 4 students are allowed two blocks away from clinic per academic year. This allows for one elective block and one vacation block.
Procedures for Establishing New Electives
It is important that decisions concerning electives be made well in advance so the necessary approval may be obtained. If students wish to schedule new electives that have not previously been approved by the Council on Curriculum, they should use the New Elective Course Description Form. Detailed instructions for completion can be found on the form.
The Course Description Form must be completed and returned to the Council on Curriculum no later than the first calendar day of the block prior to the start date of the elective. If course description information cannot be acquired within this time frame, the student should contact the Curriculum Office to discuss the situation.
Electives with Family Members
If a student wishes to petition to take an elective under the supervision of a family member the following criteria must be satisfied:
- At least two-thirds of the clinical experience must be spent and supervised by a non-family member in the practice. A detailed daily schedule showing supervision by non-family member partner(s) will need to be provided with the elective petition.
- During the clinical elective a log of activities must be maintained and signed daily by the faculty that supervised the student. This log will be turned in at the end of the rotation to confirm item #1 above.
- Students who receive approval to take an elective with an immediate family member must have a non-family member be the evaluator of the student’s performance. The name of the evaluator should be provided on the application to take the rotation or elective.
If a student applies to take an elective without following the above procedure, the Council on Curriculum may decline the petition or accept the petition with a recommendation to the Council on Evaluation that the student will not receive credit for the elective or rotation.
Continuing Care Clinic Attendance During Elective Blocks
All students are required to participate in Continuing Care Clinic for one half day per week beginning in Year 3 until they graduate from the program. Students do not attend clinic during vacation blocks and out-of-town electives. Year 5 & 6 students may not miss more than four blocks of Continuing Care Clinic per year. Year 4 students may not miss more than two blocks of Continuing Care Clinic per year.
Students who participate in an elective block within the Greater Kansas City Area (within a 25 mile radius of the School of Medicine) are required to participate in their regularly scheduled weekly clinic. Students participating in an elective outside of the Greater Kansas City Area are not required to participate in their weekly clinic and the block will be counted as one of their allowed blocks away from clinic during that academic year (includes one vacation block each year).
Elective Military Scholarships
Students on a military scholarship are required to use vacation and elective blocks to fulfill basic training or military maneuver requirements. If used, the elective block is classified as MEDICINE 9714 – Academic General. This block counts toward the required 38 medicine blocks but does NOT count as a clinical elective.
Visiting Student Policy, UMKC School of Medicine
- Department chairs and/or the director of medical education at an affiliated clinical site will decide whether to take visiting students into electives. Visiting students can be added to electives as long as:
- UMKC students are given priority in choosing which blocks they will take electives.
- The majority of elective placement occurs during the elective placement process, which occurs twice in each academic year at elective placement meetings. Students inform their education team coordinator of their elective choices, and are placed according to Council on Curriculum policy. UMKC students are placed in electives for blocks 1-8 in March , and in electives for blocks 9-13 in October. After these dates, visiting students may be accepted into electives.
- So that the education of UMKC students is not compromised, limits on the number of visiting students accepted should be set and followed. Each visiting student is eligible to take no more than two electives, a total of 8 weeks, at UMKC.
- UMKC students are given priority in choosing which blocks they will take electives.
- Visiting students shall not be scheduled on the same teams/shifts as UMKC medical students during clerkships that are required for UMKC medical students. When accepting visiting students, the total number of students including the visitors should not exceed the maximum number of students set by each clerkship director.
All domestic MD or DO students must apply through the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) service to be considered for eligibility and placement in an elective.
- Students at MD or DO schools in the United States may view elective opportunities using the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) service. Students must complete all required elements of the application to be considered for placement. The coordinator will notify the student through VSLO regarding the status of the application(s) and any offers or denial of placement.
- Students from medical schools outside of the United States must apply in one of the following ways:
- Students at MD schools outside of the United States whose institutions are listed as “home schools” in VSLO must apply through the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) service. Students must complete all required elements of the application to be considered for placement. The coordinator will notify the student through VSLO regarding the status of the application(s) and any offers or denial of placement.
- Students attending one of the four affiliated international institutions should contact the coordinator in the SOM Medical Humanities/International Office for information about potential elective options and application materials.
- Harbin Medical University – Harbin, China
- Medical University of Graz – Graz, Austria
- Instituto Tecnológico Y De Estudios Superiores de Monterrey – Monterrey, Mexico
- Peking University – Peking, China
- Students attending a school that is not listed as a “home school” on VSLO and are not attending one of the four affiliated international institutions must contact the coordinator in the SOM Medical Humanities/International Office for information about potential elective options and application materials.
- International visiting students are strictly limited to an observational role in any approved elective rotation.
- The decision to accept a specific domestic visiting student for an elective will be made by the elective coordinator or by the departments/hospitals in which the student wishes to take the elective. This decision is based on the maximum number of students that the elective can accept in each block, available faculty/staff, and other parameters as defined by the department.
- All visiting students from international institutions must be approved by the instructor/department.
- All visiting students accepted at University Health will be responsible for completing compliance/HIPAA training. A UH representative will contact students via email with instructions for completing this mandatory requirement. Each block, the electives coordinator will provide a list of all visiting students and elective assignments to the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Medical Officer, as well as UH Security.
- As required by the school’s accrediting body, the visiting student coordinator will keep a running record of numbers of visitors, the electives they took, and the type of school they attend (Liaison Committee on Medical Education accredited, America Osteopathic Association accredited, etc.). For that reason, each elective contact person at CMH and St. Luke’s Hospital must report to the School of Medicine’s elective coordinator every six months the number of students who take an elective and the type of school from which they came (LCME, AOA, etc.).
- Post-graduate MDs or DOs will not be scheduled into medical student electives.