Transition Clerkship


The Transition Clerkship is a required clerkship for all rising 3rd year medical students. Students complete the clerkship during the week prior to starting their first clinical clerkship. For the 2011-2012 academic year, the Transition Clerkship will run from Monday, June 27 (2011) through Thursday, June 30.*

*Students headed to Asheville or Charlotte for their entire 3rd year will complete their Transition Clerkship activities in Chapel Hill by 5pm on Wednesday, June 29. They will have a separate orientation session in Asheville or Charlotte on Thursday, June 30. Details on that session will come separately from Asheville and Charlotte.

Learning Objectives

Many of the learning objectives for the Transition Clerkship are based on the UNC SOM Core Competencies with Milestones. The numbers in parentheses below identify the Year 3 Competency Milestones that correspond to the clerkship objectives.

The overall goal of the Transition Clerkship is to help smooth the transition from the preclinical to the clinical years. It is hoped that at the conclusion of the Transition Clerkship students will feel better prepared and less anxious to start their clinical clerkships.

More specifically, it is expected that by the end of the Transition Clerkship all students will:

  1. Understand the roles and responsibilities of a 3rd year medical student. (SBP3073)
  2. Know what information they need to obtain during an orientation session to a ward service or an outpatient clinic experience. (PBL&I3056, PBL&I3057)
  3. Know how to complete their tasks as medical students on an inpatient team, including how to pre-round, organize patient data, present during rounds, write H&Ps and progress notes, call consults, write prescriptions, and follow patients during their hospital stay. (MK3003, MK3005, PC/CS3023, SBP3065)
  4. Understand how they should learn as 3rd year students, including the importance of self-directed, independent learning. (PBL&I3055, PBL&I3056, PBL&I3057)
  5. Understand how their performance as a 3rd year student will be evaluated.
  6. Understand how the concept of “Professionalism” relates to their lives as 3rd year students, including understanding how the focus during 3rd year changes from being centered on their learning to also encompassing patient and family care. (P3045, P3049, P3050, P3054)
  7. Understand what student mistreatment is (and is not) and know when and how to get help if needed.
  8. Understand the importance of self care during years of clinical training that can be tiring and emotionally challenging. (P3053)
  9. Discuss with peers and clinically active faculty potentially difficult, yet common, situations that might arise during clinical training. (IP&CS3039, IP&CS3041, IP&CS3042)
  10. Understand important “Things to Know” about the hospital system, including the basic hospital layout, patient safety and privacy issues, and infection control measures. (PBL&I3063)
  11. Have a basic approach to the interpretation of chest x-rays.
  12. Have a basic approach to the interpretation of an EKG and be able to recognize common EKG abnormalities.
  13. Complete Basic Life Support (BLS) training.
  14. Practice basic procedures (including IV insertion, medication administration, arterial blood gases and lumbar punctures) on patient simulator models. (PC/CS3018)


The Transition Clerkship is a required clerkship.  Unless granted special permission from a Clerkship Director to miss the clerkship, all students must complete the clerkship.

The Transition Clerkship will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.  To pass the clerkship, students must attend and actively participate in all sessions.  Students must also complete the clerkship evaluation form at the end of the clerkship.

Students are expected to wear clean white coats and their UNC ID at all times during the clerkship.  Men must wear shirt and tie; women should be comparably attired.   "Policy on Professional Business Attire" for UNC Hospitals