Year 4 Structure

Office of Medical Education

Year 4 structure


Year 4 curriculum, as shown in the diagram, features 32 weeks of electives, in addition to a required four-week advanced clinical rotation in Rural Health.

The fourth year of medical school is spent in Reno, Las Vegas and rural Nevada communities in clinical settings, in doctors’ offices, affiliated hospitals and university-operated ambulatory care centers.

The Fourth-Year Electives are designed to provide students with:

  • a foundation for a graduate medical education program in the student's chosen field;
  • in-depth clinical experiences in medical areas not usually included in the graduate medical programs of a chosen specialty;
  • a broad base of clinical experiences applicable to most specialties in medicine when a student is uncertain about plans for specialty training; and
  • an opportunity for the student to demonstrate potential to the staff of a high priority graduate medical program.

Elective courses that make up the individualized program of study may be taken at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's affiliated hospitals in northern and southern Nevada, or at any accredited medical school or teaching hospital in the United States or Canada.

Students who wish to participate in out-of-country electives must obtain prior approval from the Associate Dean for Medical Education and must complete the requirements outlined by the Internal Medicine electives coordinator in Reno.

Elective Requirements

The curriculum for the fourth year is comprised of a minimum of 36 weeks of scheduled elective experiences. Of those 36 weeks, four weeks will be used to complete the required Advanced Clinical Experience in Rural Healthcare rotation. Contact Patrick Enking for more information on the rural rotation.

Of the remaining 32 elective weeks:

  • No more than 12 of the required 36 weeks may be taken in any one sub-specialty. If more experience in a given sub-specialty is desired, those weeks must be in addition to (over and above) the 36 weeks required for graduation.
  • No more than six of the required 36 weeks may be taken in non-clinical electives. A non-clinical elective is defined as an elective with minimal or no patient care, i.e. the basic science electives, independent study/research electives, etc. If more time is desired in these types of electives, those weeks must be in addition to (over and above) the 36 weeks required for graduation.
  • A maximum of 12 weeks may be taken at out-of-state locations.
  • As it is the goal of the School of Medicine to provide a diverse and well-rounded clinical experience throughout the medical education curriculum, fourth year elective schedules submitted for approval must be well balanced. The Clinical career Advisors are available to help achieve this goal. The clinical Career Advisors and the Associate Dean for Medical Education reserve the right to deny approval of unbalanced or otherwise inappropriate schedules.

Graduation is dependent upon satisfactory completion of the 36 weeks of elective experience. One unit of credit is offered for each elective week taken. A student who is absent more than three days of any four-week elective, or one day of any two-week elective will be denied credit for that rotation.

Except in extenuating circumstances, such as personal or family emergencies and health problems, failure to provide the required two-week advance notice for an elective change will result in a professionalism report being completed and being placed in the student's record. A "no-show" to an elective will result in a grade of "Fail" for that elective as well as placement of a completed professionalism report in the student's record. Electives that result in a "Fail" will not be counted toward the required 36 electives needed for graduation.