Clinical Research Rotation


The clinical research clerkship takes place in year 3 or 4 of medical school and can replace the Rural rotation. It is 5 weeks long and must be done as one continuous block. Below are some frequently asked questions about this rotation.


1.  How/when do I schedule this rotation?  

This rotation is initially scheduled by Marcia DeCaro as part of making your 3rd year rotation schedule. It normally replaces the Rural rotation on the standard schedule. However, when looking at the rotation schedule options, you should pick a rotation schedule that puts this rotation at the end of year 3, or you can complete it at the beginning of year 4. We strongly recommend completing at least nine months of clerkships before you start your research rotation.

2. What are the learning objectives? 

See attached document.  

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? 

This is the hardest question. The mentor has to be an experienced investigator who is conducting hands-on human research.  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.


Marcia DeCaro schedules all Medical School clerkships. Email is preferred, but you can also call 503-494-4101

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