Medical School Program Rules

Note: The policies below apply to the Medical School (undergraduate) program. Institutional rules governing all academic programs at Albany Medical College, such as the Honor Code and immunization policies, can be found on the Institutional Policies page.

Detailed Plan

In the first two years of study, students must complete all the components of the curriculum in order to progress. The program offerings are known as themes in the first two years. The requirements are made known at the beginning of each academic year. Students must also complete the requirements of each of the longitudinal themes: Health Care and Society; Evidenced Based Health Care; Nutrition; Clinical Skills Laboratory; and LaGrange Medical Informatics. In the summer of the first year, students from combined degree programs may be required to complete specific program components.

Between the second and third year, students must take USMLE Step 1. Students cannot participate in any academic activity until they have taken USMLE step 1 unless approved by the Deans Committee- see USMLE Policy below. After taking USMLE 1 student MUST take a two week Orientation Clerkship in order to qualify for the third year. The Orientation Clerkship refines clinical skills and introduces procedures and protocols serving as the underpinnings of the third year rotations while allowing weaknesses in clinical skills to be rectified.

In the third year, students must complete the six required experiences: Medicine; Psychiatry; Surgery; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Family Practice; and Pediatrics.

To be assigned to a rotation off campus during the third year, a student must be in good academic standing. If a student has been placed on academic concern, warning or probation, they are not in good academic standing. Students on non-academic probation are also not eligible for away rotations.

The senior year consists of ten periods of four weeks each. There are 20 weeks of required rotations, 16 weeks of electives and 4 weeks of vacation. Students can take up to 12 weeks of one specialty area for academic credit within the 16 weeks of electives. Students taking more than 12 weeks in one specialized area of study must use vacation time for the endeavor. Such activities will show on their official transcript but no credits will be associated with the listing.

Required senior clerkships are Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Teaching to Learn/Learning to Teach, and a Clinical Selective (choice of Family Practice, Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery and Obstetrics & Gynecology). Required clerkships must be spent on campus. The directors of fourth year required clerkships may allow the required clerkship to be taken at another institution. If the required clerkship allows students off site, a student can request to take the required fourth year clerkship at another institution. The Albany Medical Center Clerkship Director of the required clerkship must approve it as an equivalent experience and monitor the student experience with the offsite faculty. The faculty at the institution where the student is rotating must evaluate the student based on Albany Medical Center Clerkship criteria and use an Albany Medical Center form to document their evaluation. The Albany Medical Center Clerkship director will determine the final grade for our transcript.

To do away rotations during the fourth year a student must be in good academic standing. If a student has been placed on academic concern, warning or probation, they are not in good academic standing. Students on non-academic probation are also not eligible for away rotations.

Away clerkships and electives are not permitted during Period 10. Students cannot take two required courses / clerkships at the same time. Any variation for good cause must be approved by the Dean’s Committee.

All students are required to complete 40 hours of service learning activities over the four years of medical school. The hours and demonstration of reflection will be monitored. The Office of Community Outreach and Medical Education is responsible for monitoring student progress, designing and approving qualified experiences.

Minimum Technical Standards for Admission and Matriculation

A candidate for the MD degree must have certain specified abilities including: observation, communication, motor, conceptual-integrative, quantitative, behavioral, and social skills. Technological compensation can be made for some handicaps in some of these areas, but a candidate must be able to perform in a reasonably independent manner.

The holder of an MD degree must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order to carry out the activities described below, candidates for the MD degree must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately integrate all information received and they must have the ability to learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data.

Candidates and students must have sufficient vision to be able to observe demonstrations, experiments, and laboratory exercises in the basic sciences. They must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.

Candidates and students should be able to speak, hear, and observe patients in order to elicit information, examine patients, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. They must also be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the health care team.

Candidates and students should have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples of emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are cardiopulmonary resuscitation, administration of intravenous medication, the application of pressure to step bleeding, the opening of obstructed airways, the suturing of simple wounds, and the performance of simple obstetrical maneuvers.

Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative

These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of physicians, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates and students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationship and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.

Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercises of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. Candidates and students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.

Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are all personal qualities that are assessed during the admissions and educational processes.