School of Medicine

Clinical Curriculum

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Your clinical experiences are critical to getting the training and, ultimately, the residency and career you want. Your goal is to learn all you can. To achieve that you need exposure to many patients.

Training in the facilities of the Texas Medical Center, the world's largest medical complex, presents you with a variety of settings and patient populations that is hard to match anywhere in the world. With no dominant ethnicity in Houston, the diversity of the population is reflected in the patient population at our affiliated clinical facilities. Rich exposure to patients and families from many cultures and ethnic groups will prepare you to work anywhere in the world. You will learn first-hand how health beliefs and practices are influenced by culture.

The clinical curriculum begins in January of your second year. You will have input into the order in which you rotate through the required clerkships—Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Surgery, Psychiatry, Family and Community Medicine, and Neurology. This phase of your training uses patient-centered learning techniques, which include taking histories, performing physical examinations, reviewing laboratory results, and working with faculty physicians to manage patients through diagnosis and treatment.

You may tailor your clinical experience to your interests by pursing other specialties through rotations called “selectives," a sub-internship, and through lots of electives.

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Patient Variety and Volume at Outstanding Teaching Hospitals

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Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center

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Jointly owned by Baylor College of Medicine and Catholic Health Initiatives, this private adult teaching hospital consistently ranks among the best in multiple specialties in the U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Hospitals” survey.

Harris Health System

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The central clinical facility for this public healthcare system is Ben Taub Hospital, which is contiguous with the Baylor campus and serves as a teaching hospital for Baylor students for all specialties and their subspecialties. Ben Taub includes a Level I Trauma Center, an award-winning cardiac program and a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Medical students may also have rotations at Harris Health’s Thomas Street Health Center, the nation’s first free-standing treatment facility dedicated to the care of patients with HIV/AIDS.

Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center

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One of the VA’s largest hospitals, MEDVAMC serves as the primary healthcare provider for almost 130,000 veterans in southeast Texas. Veterans from around the country are referred to the MEDVAMC for specialized diagnostic care, radiation therapy, surgery, and medical treatment including cardiovascular surgery gastrointestinal endoscopy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and treatment of spinal cord injury and diseases.

Texas Children's Hospital

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The primary pediatric training site for Baylor students is the largest pediatric hospital in the nation. Texas Children’s is ranked in all 10 subspecialties in U.S. News & World Report’s list of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals, where it is also ranked the best in Texas and the fourth best pediatric hospital in the nation. The Texas Children’s Women’s Pavilion is a state-of-the-art center for obstetrics and gynecology.

TIRR Memorial Hermann

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Ranked second among the nation’s rehabilitation facilities according to U.S. News & World Report, TIRR focuses on providing care to individuals who have experienced catastrophic injuries or illnesses. TIRR is home to the Baylor College of Medicine/University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Alliance.

MD Anderson Cancer Center

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One of the world’s most respected centers devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education, and prevention, MD Anderson has ranked among the nation’s top two cancer hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” survey since the survey’s inception.

The Menninger Clinic

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Considered one of the top centers for psychiatric care in the world, Menninger ranks in the top five in U.S. News & World Report listing of best psychiatric hospitals.

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Students also have the opportunity to complete clinical rotations in private practices at Baylor College of Medicine and throughout Houston as well as in community health centers around the city. Baylor’s affiliation with the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio offers additional elective opportunities outside of Houston.

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Making the Grade

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Coordinators of Core Clinical Clerkships and faculty that supervise Clinical Electives render a narrative summary concerning the quality of the students work at the conclusion of the course accompanied by a grade designation.

Narrative summaries are considered part of the student's permanent record. In clinical clerkships the principle guidelines used in evaluation include but are not limited to:

  • Quality of student's work-ups of patients (history and physical examination, diagnosis, recommendations) and the student's presentations of findings
  • Fund of knowledge: understanding the disease processes as demonstrated on rounds, in conferences and on oral examinations, written examinations, and National Board Subjects examinations)
  • Analytical ability: The ability to appraise and integrate in a logical formulation a patients presenting problem with the physical findings and diagnostic information into a coherent assessment and treatment plan
  • Acceptance and discharge of clinical responsibilities, professional maturity and conduct, initiative in the clinical environment and attendance
  • Quality of interactions with patients and other members of the healthcare team
  • Dress, cleanliness and general overall appearance deemed appropriate for a physician

Additional information about the clinical curriculum is available in the Student Handbook.

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Texas Medical Center
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Texas Medical Center

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Along with Baylor College of Medicine, many of the top-ranked clinical and research institutions in the national are members of the Texas Medical Center. With 50 million developed square feet, the TMC is the eighth largest business district in the United States. Each year over the institutions of the TMC have over 10 million patient visits and perform more than 180,000 surgeries.

Explore the TMC.
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Pathways

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Check out our pathways, specialized tracks that span the four years of medical school and include both classroom, clinical and/or research activities in the specific areas of interest.

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Requirements

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View requirements for Degree Doctor of Medicine and Core Competency Graduation Goals.

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Compact

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View Compact Between Teachers, Learners and Educational Staff.

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Glued feet: The importance of compassion and healing in medicine

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Read this third-year medical student's reflections on a patient encounter that led to the realization that simple acts of compassion can have a significant impact on a patient and a physician.

The article is published in Progress Notes, the student magazine of Baylor College of Medicine. In it, students of the College share their stories from the clinics, their thoughts on medicine and healthcare, and stories from the frontlines of research.

 

Read Progress Notes