The Fifth Semester at Avalon University School of Medicine is an extension of the basic sciences, and serves as a bridge semester between the basic sciences and the clinical sciences. The objectives of this semester are to learn and understand the clinical skills essential for medical practice, and this semester also serves as a board preparatory semester in preparation for the USMLE Step 1 examination. The Fifth Semester is 14 weeks in duration, with the first 8 weeks being the board preparatory portion which is completed on the island of Curacao, and the final 6 weeks is the Introduction of Clinical Medicine portion which is completed in Youngstown, OH.
Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM): 8 Credit Hours
Introduction to Clinical Medicine is a course designed to help develop the clinical skills which are essential for medical practice. Our clinical faculty mentors students with the help of patient interaction, and with this practical experience students gain the clinical skills such as – administering physical examinations and taking patient history, doctor to patient communication skills, and emphasis on development of ethical standards. We have preceptors in four medical disciplines that will give exposure in the respective specialties of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and General Surgery. Lectures are also given by the preceptors to explain the differences in each of the specialties.
Students will be divided into smaller groups, and the preceptor will discuss the class schedule during orientation. Preceptors will work with the students individually to evaluate and refine patient contact skills. At the conclusion of the course, students are given an evaluation of their performance and awarded an grade.
Getting into Residency (GIR): 2 Credit Hours
Getting Into Residency are lectures designed to give students a general overview of the residency application process. Students will gain insight into what it requires for international medical graduates (IMGs) to secure a residency position, what specialties are best for IMGs, and how to approach the residency application process.
- Course options for IMGs
- Researching hospitals & programs
- Overview of the NRMP Match & ERAS process
- Setting yourself apart as a candidate
Comprehensive USMLE review: 12 Credit Hours
Avalon University has partnered with Kaplan Medical as a resource to help students prepare for their medical licensing exam. Students will take a Kaplan diagnostic exam at the beginning of the semester that will show strengths and weakness in their basic science knowledge. Along with the board preparatory instruction from the Avalon preceptors, students are set up with Kaplan Medical’s web based system which includes the following:
- Intensive and structured 8 weeks of Board preparatory course by Avalon faculty
- Group discussions on Board preparatory questions
- Daily lectures during eight weeks of Board preparatory course
- Weekly grand quizzes
- NBME exams
- Over 200 hours of online lectures
- Full Length simulated diagnostic exam
- 3 month access to Kaplan Qbank
- Complete set of Kaplan step 1 notes
- Step 1 QBook with 850 practice questions
In addition, throughout the Fifth Semester we also cover the following topics by lecture and/or presentation. As students continue their education to the Clinical Science phase this information will provide valuable tools that will be needed during clinical rotations. Since the Fifth Semester is a pre-clinical semester, below are other components that are integrated into the curriculum :
- Basic Life Saving/CPR Certification
- Certification in Blood Borne Pathogens
- HIPAA Certification
- Applying to the USMLE Step Exams
- Subject Specific lectures geared toward USMLE subjects