Clinical Research Rotation


The purpose of the Clinical and Translational Research Experience is to provide a mentored continuity experience with clinical research. It will include direct patient contact with study participants, as well as clinical study staff. They will consent patients, develop a deeper understanding of clinical trials, limitations, regulatory agencies and more. Students will develop an understanding of the institutional review board process, and clinical research design and implementation. The clinical research clerkship takes place in year 3 or 4 of medical school and fulfills the Continuity Clerkship requirement. It is 8 weeks long and must be done as one continuous block (don't schedule it for the blocks before and after winter break) with one mentor. Below are some frequently asked questions about this rotation.

1.  How/when do I schedule this rotation?  

This rotation is scheduled through the elective lottery process. You can schedule it whenever, but you must have completed the 7 cores first. You must register for it at least 60 days before you want to start it so there is time to get everything arranged with a mentor, usually students do it during 4th year.

2. What are the learning objectives/competencies assessed? 

See attached document.  

Competencies that your mentor might be able to evaluate you on:

  • Patient Care and Procedures—1, 2, 3, 4,
  • Medical Knowledge—1, 4,
  • Practice Based Learning and Improvement—3, 5, 7
  • Interpersonal and communication skills—1, 3, 5, 6, 7,
  • Professionalism and Development—1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10,
  • System-based practice –3, 4, 5,
3.  What is the schedule for the rotation? 

The rotation has two important parts. The mentored experience, which is the most important, and the supplemental CTRC experiences, which are intended to enhance the mentored experience.  The mentored experience should include direct research patient contact, as well as working with study staff, attending lab meetings and clinics, etc.  The supplemental CTRC experiences are in general not mandatory, as long as the student is getting sufficient exposure through their mentored experience.  The exception to that is attending an IRB meeting, which is mandatory.  The CTRC experiences are all listed here, with contact and scheduling information.  

4. How do I find a mentor? 

The mentor has to be an experienced investigator who is conducting actively enrolling clinical trials.  We can constitute a mentoring team if there is no single mentor who qualifies in a field the student is interested in.  You need to identify 1-2 specific areas of interest (a topic, disease, specialty), be as specific as possible, you can also identify  2-3 people you would like to work with. Then take those  choices to Mary Samuels who coordinates the program and she can assist you in setting up your mentorship for this rotation.


Mary Samuels coordinates this clerkship and helps set up mentors. Email is preferred.