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MD Program: Accelerated Three-Year Primary Care Track (PC3 Track)

Below, you will find an outline of the program structure of the Accelerated Three-Year Primary Care Track program offered at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU)


Program Structure

Year one (M1)

Students in the PC3 track start the year six weeks before their colleagues, with a unique course titled, "Introduction to Basic Clinical Skills." This course is designed to provide new medical students with fundamental concepts in medical communication, history-taking and physical diagnosis. The skills learned in this course will be put to use from the start of the first year. They will then take a one-week course called the "Clinical Practice Course," which is a clinical immersion experience that provides early opportunities to practice clinical skills with outpatients in primary care and subspecialty offices.

PC3 students spend a half-day every month at an NCQA-recognized Patient Centered Medical Home Clinic in your respective discipline (Pediatrics in Camden or Internal Medicine in Willingboro). Students work directly with their primary care faculty preceptor to engage in coordinated patient-centered care as part of a multidisciplinary team. PC3 students will also spend time in this clinic in their M3 year during a longitudinal rotation.

All of the other academic experiences in the first year match with those of students following the "traditional" four-year medical education program.

At the end of the M1 year, after a short break, PC3 students participate in a five-week course titled, "Transforming Healthcare in an Urban Environment." This course provides medical students with fundamental knowledge and experience delivering healthcare in underserved urban communities like Camden. The building blocks of this course are designed to explore and address barriers to care using innovative models of healthcare delivery. Through experiential learning, students build their knowledge of social determinants of health and healthcare disparities, public health advocacy, and policies impacting urban health, healthcare for the homeless, trauma-informed care and more. Students also learn how teams at Cooper University Health Care and in the Camden community are transforming healthcare in diverse communities with complex medical and psychosocial needs.

Year two (M2)

Students in the PC3 track continue to participate monthly in the Patient Centered Medical Home clerkship, with increased responsibilities and independence, as well as additional exposure to population health management and behavioral health resources within primary care.

PC3 students take their USMLE Step 1 examination at the end of their second year along with their colleagues following the "traditional" four-year medical education program.

Year three (M3)

The third year is redesigned for those students enrolled in the PC3 track.

During the fall and winter, PC3 students have four-week clerkship blocks (Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics and Family Medicine/Adult Primary Care). Some blocks have additional outpatient time built in, but the PC3 students have exposure to the same "core" clerkships as do the "traditional" four-year students. Although PC3 schedules are different from the traditional track, PC3 students are paired together within their rotations and will be in clinical teams and in didactic settings with your fellow students from the traditional track. 

During the spring, PC3 students spend 11 continuous weeks in a longitudinal outpatient rotation called CLOC (Cooper Longitudinal Outpatient Clerkship). They spend their CLOC rotation honing their clinical skills. Students in the PC3 track spend one half-day a week one-on-one with attending physicians in each of six areas: Neurology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Psychiatry and Obstetrics-Gynecology. The CLOC experience is only available within the PC3 track. 

PC3 students spend their CLOC time for their respective chosen specialty (Internal Medicine or Pediatrics) at their Patient Centered Medical Home site.

The Step 2 CK examination is scheduled after the core clerkships. Students will have special faculty-led review sessions over the summer and fall to prepare for this.

The year ends with a four-week subinternship in the student's chosen, respective discipline (Internal Medicine or Pediatrics), prior to entering residency training. During the subinternship, a senior medical student takes on the clinical responsibilities of an intern on an inpatient medical team, under the close supervision of a senior resident and attending physician. This ensures that each student's clinical skills are at their peak prior to starting residency.

Program Highlights

Pediatric Residency Primary Care track at Cooper University Health Care

Residents in the Pediatric Residency Primary Care track engage in advocacy experiences working with children in Juvenile Detention; with special-needs children in school settings; and on health education projects in a local Camden school. With 6 months of outpatient time per year, there is ample opportunity for outpatient time for clinical experiences in subspecialty clinics, and research projects as well as dedicated primary care didactic time. Residents have clinical months in Adolescent Medicine and Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics, as well as exposure to Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Senior Pediatric Residents also have the opportunity to pursue a global health experience during their training.

Click here for additional information on the Cooper Pediatrics Residency Program and Primary Care Track.

Click here to check out the Pediatric Residency Program on Instagram.

Internal Medicine Residency Primary Care Track at Cooper University Health Care
Residents in the Internal Medicine Residency Primary Care Track experience additional outpatient clinical time; dedicated Primary Care didactics; elective opportunities in HIV Care, Addiction Medicine, Women’s Health and outpatient subspecialty clinics. Residents also provide care outside the office setting via home visits, rounding in subacute rehabilitation centers and via telephone medicine. Senior Internal medicine residents may also participate in Cooper’s Global Health Initiative in Ghana

Click here for additional information on the Cooper Internal Medicine Residency Program and Primary Care Track.

Click here to check out the Internal Medicine Residency Program on Instagram.