What are Clinical Rotations in Medical School?

Clinical rotations are the final phase of the medical program. The medical aspirants get an opportunity to visit the clinics and work under the supervision of expert doctors and medical professionals in a hospital setting. Learning medicine through practically working in the hospitals, dealing with patients, providing treatment and care to patients caters to excellent learning experiences. During the medical school rotations, the future doctors receive rotation assignments to perform as healthcare team members. The clinical rotations are an essential part of the medical program. These valuable rotations offer a hands-on experience that lays the foundation for a successful career in the medical field.

The second phase of medical school marks the students’ transition from being in the classroom to moving into the hospitals or from theory to practice. A medical course spans five years of the academic course, further divided into ten semesters. The first five semesters comprise the basic science course, a foundation course that focuses on the core theories of medicine. After spending five semesters learning theories, the students are subjected to the clinical medicine program. The clinical medicine program’s major portion deals with clinical rotations. To learn about clinical rotations in detail, read this article.

Types of clinical rotations

In general, the students need to complete 80 weeks of clinical rotation in medical school. The clinical medicine program consists of a 7 weeks research module followed by 72 weeks of clinical rotations. There are two types of clinical rotations, namely core clinical rotations and elective clinical rotations. 

Core clinical rotations span around 42 weeks that generally include the following topics:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Psychiatry
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Family Medicine

Elective clinical rotations allow the medical students to focus upon their specialty of choice. The elective rotations are an excellent opportunity to master your choice of specialty that can help you during your residency program.

How long are clinical rotations?

The duration of core clinical rotations and elective clinical rotations are different. Core clinical rotations are longer than elective clinical rotations. Students can complete the core clinical rotations in 42 weeks, whereas electives last 30 weeks.

However, depending upon the rotations, there is a fair possibility of completing the core and elective requirements in one rotation. For instance, a 12-week internal medicine core can include an 8 week in the hospital and another 4 weeks in the clinic. 

A clinical shift is usually 8 -12 hours long, scheduled during the week, throughout the day, and even on weekends. Moreover, clinical rotations for medical students include overnight call duties.


Becoming a successful physician or medical professional requires a lot of strength and persistence. If you aspire to enter the medical field, you must know that medical professionals are compassionate, hardworking, and knowledgeable. Thus, if you are passionate about medicine, a medical program can best suit your future goals. Consider pursuing a medicine course from accreditated Caribbean medical schools to gain an excellent learning experience. The path of becoming a doctor is different for every individual. Hence, choose a program that can match your future objectives. If you are eyeing a medical course, then log on to our website for more information!

Sadia Khan

I am a digital marketer who believes that the right content promoted on the right platform at the right time is the key to success. I help businesses to promote and sell their products and services to customers via the organic medium. My expertise is to create a brand reputation in the market using various content marketing strategies. My goal in life is to provide value and not just sell the product. I am a strategic planner, a critical thinker, and a project manager who knows how to communicate and collaborate successfully.

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