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    Academics /
    Clinical Program

    Clinical Sciences at UMHS

    The Clinical Science Program—completed during semesters five through ten—is when students transition from the classroom setting in  St. Kitts  to hospital settings in the U.S. and Canada. The program is designed to give students a broad spectrum of medical practice, training in clinical skills, and patient contact.

    The program begins with the fifth semester at our Portland, Maine Campus, followed by 78 weeks of clinical rotations at U.S. and Canadian teaching hospitals. Clinical rotations are split into 48 weeks of core rotations and 30 weeks of electives.

    Clinical timeline

    umhs whiteboard study

    Fifth semester, Portland, ME

    Students work both in the classroom and in local clinical settings in Portland—including hospitals and outpatient clinics—where they are further immersed in clinical medicine. The semester also includes an intensive USMLE Step 1 preparation course from Kaplan.

    umhs clinicals

    Core rotations (48 weeks)

    After passing USMLE Step 1, students transition into their core clinical rotations. Every student takes the same six core rotations—Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Psychiatry, and Family Medicine—at one of our affiliated hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.

    clinical education umhs

    Elective rotations (30 weeks)

    The final 30 weeks of medical school consist of elective rotations, where students explore specialties that align with their interests. Hundreds of additional hospitals, beyond our affiliate list, are available for electives.

    Fifth semester, Portland, ME campus

    The fifth semester consists of two required courses: Introduction to Clinical Medicine II and Biological Basis of Clinical Medicine. The semester also includes a live 15-week USMLE review course through Kaplan Medical.   Once students complete the 5th semester they are prepared to sit and pass USMLE Step 1 and seamlessly transition into the clinical program.

    The UMHS facilities in Portland, Maine feature:

    • A skills laboratory
    • Multiple examination rooms
    • A large classroom

    Experienced Maine doctors teaching in real clinical settings

    All student clinical experiences are led by a team of experienced Maine-based physicians, many of whom have decades of medical practice and teaching experience. Students are assigned to work with physicians in actual patient-care settings at hospitals, clinics, and office health centers in and around Portland. The opportunity to work beside renowned Maine physicians is designed to build student clinical capabilities, increase student confidence, and enhance student performance on the USMLE.

    Life in Maine

    In the fifth semester, students have an opportunity to enjoy all that Portland, Maine has to offer, including succulent lobster, beautiful lighthouses, and scenic views. Portland offers all the amenities of a big city, such as museums, parks, and great shopping. Maine also offers mountains for skiing and hiking, rivers for canoeing, and of course, the incredible Atlantic coastline.


    USMLE Preparation

    During the last six weeks of the fifth semester, Kaplan instructors come into the classroom to work intensively with our students on USMLE Step 1 preparation. However, at UMHS, USMLE prep starts much earlier than that.

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    A smooth transition to the U.S. and Canada

    The fifth semester gives students a chance to fine-tune their clinical skills under the supervision and guidance of our faculty and preceptors, before seamlessly transitioning into the Clinical Program. 


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    umhs portland maine campus

    Fifth semester curriculum

    Course Credits
    Introduction to Clinical Medicine II 7 Credits
    Biological Basis of Clinical Medicine 4 Credits
    Total 11 Credits

    Introduction to Clinical Medicine II
    7 credits
    Biological Basis of Clinical Medicine
    4 credits

    Clinical rotations (semesters 6–10) 

    After passing Step I of the USMLE, students are placed at our affiliated teaching hospitals throughout the United States for their core rotations. This occurs under the guidance of clinical faculty, and under the supervision of the Dean of Clinical Sciences. For students who want to complete their core and elective rotations in a specific region, we have established regional centers consisting of multiple hospitals.

    78-week clinical program

    These clinical clerkships include 48 weeks of mandatory core clinical rotations, as well as 30 weeks of elective rotations. The core rotations represent the primary areas of medical practice, and the elective rotations provide students with an understanding of various specialties.

    A flexible and expanding clinical network

    UMHS has created clinical hubs in key regions such as Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, and Puerto Rico, so students may complete the entirety of their rotations within a select region. Our goal is to continue to strengthen and build out these geographic hubs.

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    umhs clinical program

    Clinical Curriculum

    Course Credits
    Internal Medicine 12 weeks
    Surgery 12 weeks
    Pediatrics 6 weeks
    Obstetrics and Gynecology 6 weeks
    Psychiatry 6 weeks
    Family Medicine 6 Weeks
    Electives 30 weeks
    Total 78 weeks

    Core rotations (48 weeks)

    Internal Medicine
    12 credits
    12 credits
    6 credits
    Obstetrics and Gynecology
    6 credits
    6 credits
    Family Medicine
    6 credits

    Elective rotations (30 weeks)

    Students can choose from dozens of electives to engage in a variety of specialty medical fields, such as rheumatology, radiation oncology, pathology, and more. These electives serve to provide the necessary credits for graduation, while increasing the student’s exposure to various aspects of the medical field.