PHASE 3: Explore & Focus

Explore and Focus Phase

This 15-month phase of the curriculum is designed to allow students to explore potential specialty careers, through a combination of required and elective clinical clerkships. Students will participate in required Advanced Patient Care clerkships, required Neurology/Neurosurgery and Emergency Medicine, and clinical elective opportunities. Students will finish the Explore and Focus phase with a requires Transition to Residency experience. At the UW School of Medicine, students participate in 20 weeks of clinical electives across 19 specialties.

Explore and Focus Phase Curriculum Resources

See Academic Credits Requirements for full SOM Graduation requirement details.  Graduation requirements may vary depending on entry year.

Please refer to the departmental websites for more detailed information about Required Explore & Focus Phase Clerkships.

Clinical Encounters are logged for your Emergency Medicine, Neurology or Neurosurgery required clerkships. For an overview on the process please see here.

  • FAQ page for Clinical Encounters

The Explore & Focus Clerkship Catalog includes all potentially available elective, APC and Sub-I clerkships students can take during their Explore & Focus Phase. Clerkships listed in the E&F Catalog do not guarantee open availability; check eValue for availability information.  For permission-only clerkships- Departments don’t always know in advance the availability for permission-only clerkships. This means that often there is no availability listed in eValue. Contact the Department Clerkship Administrator to ask about availability for timeframes of interest if you do not see it listed in eValue.

Clerkship offerings and availability are determined by the department and site, and are subject to change. If you have questions regarding the availability of a specific clerkship, please contact the appropriate department.

Information about your travel around the WWAMI Region.

The WWAMI Track Program during the Explore & Focus Phase allows accepted students to be scheduled for 12 weeks in one specific state/region within WWAMI. Additional Information can be found on the WWAMI Track website.  Please note the following for E&F Track:

  • Accepted Patient Care Phase Track students are not automatically entered into Track for their Explore & Focus Phase; students must apply for an E&F Track spot if interested.
  • If you are considering applying to an Emergency Medicine residency program, you must take MED EM 606 for your required EM rotation at HMC/UWMC in Seattle, and therefore should not apply for an Explore & Focus Track, since your EM rotation must be scheduled at your Track site. For additional details, please contact the Department of Emergency Medicine. Due to availability limitations, we are unable to offer exceptions.

There is a formal process in place for any student that wishes to challenge or appeal their clerkship grade.  Information can be found on the Clinical Grade Review Challenge and Appeal Process page.