The Fourth Year of Medical School Has Value After All

fourth_yearGraduating students from the University of Colorado, which has very few fourth-year requirements, were asked about the utility of the fourth year.  These students felt that the fourth year served several important goals.  For the subset of students who had not already made their career decision, the early part of fourth year was an important opportunity to try out and get advice regarding several specialties.  Four other main themes emerged:  strengthening a residency application; developing needed skills to reduce fear of internship; pursuing personal interests both in and out of school; and exploring diverse practice settings. Students appreciated the ability to individualize their schedules for fourth year. –Laura Willett, MD

Cosgrove EM, Ryan MJ, Wenrich MD. Empowering fourth-year medical students: the value of the senior year. Acad Med. 2014 Apr;89(4):533-5

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