Elective Courses in the Patient Care Phase

What should I do with unscheduled time during my Patient Care Phase?

Almost everyone in the Patient Care Phase of their curriculum will have a period of six weeks with no required clerkship scheduled.  You may take that time off for personal activities, family time, or wellness, or you may decide to engage in research, community service, and/or career exploration.  It’s not required, but you could also take an elective which can contribute towards elective course requirements for graduation.

Who can help me decide if taking an elective is a good choice for me?

Ask your Career Advisor! You can schedule with them or meet for office hours.

What should I consider if I decide to take an elective? 
  • Its grading options. Four-week clinical electives are graded Honors/High Pass/Pass/ Fail. You typically want to avoid those this early in your clinical training – no need for an average grade in a course that could be important to your residency application when you might get a higher grade by waiting until you have more experience. Two-week clinical electives are graded Pass/Fail, so if you decide to take an elective this is a better option.
  • Your specialty considerations.  If you’re interested in a specialty that goes beyond the core clerkships (e.g., radiology, ophthalmology, urology) you might consider a two-week Pass/Fail elective. Again, we don’t recommend scheduling a four-week graded elective during this timeframe for the reason above.
  • Course prerequisites. Check the course description carefully as prerequisites may include:
    • Completion of all Patient Care Phase clerkships
    • Completion of a specific clerkship(s)
    • Permission of department (see below for more about this)
    • Acceptance to and participation in an SOM Pathways Program
    • No prerequisites

It’s your responsibility to know and adhere to prerequisite requirements.

How do I know what courses are available?

Use the guide on the eValue home page or watch the clerkship availability in E*Value video.


  • Choose the right Curriculum for the timeframe you need:
    • E&F Curriculum 2022-23 will give you ONLY courses offered Spring 2023
    • E&F Curriculum 2023-24 will give you ONLY courses offered Summer 2023, Autumn 2023, and Winter 2024
  • Use Required Course Group to narrow your search. “EF Clinical Electives” will result in just electives; “Clinical Electives” includes APCs and Sub-Is (you should NOT take APCs and Sub-Is during the Patient Care Phase).

How do I know if a course has prerequisites?

Click the box here that reads “UW SOM Explore & Focus Catalog”, then log in. Once you’ve found a course you are interested in, right click on the clerkship name or its brief description, hover over “Drill through”, then click on “Clerkship Full Details.”

How do I get an elective added to my schedule?
  • You: Check the availability AND prerequisites of any elective course you may want to add.
  • You: Use the Clinical Schedule Change Request Form to request to add an elective. IMPORTANT: If you change your mind and decide to DROP an elective you will also use this form.
  • SOM Registration: Makes the change if possible (see below for more about this).
  • SOM Registration: Emails you to notify you of the change; if the change is not possible the email will explain why.
  • You: Verify that the change is correct in eValue.

What is the timeline to add or drop an elective to my schedule?

Elective course scheduling starts: Friday 2/3/2023 at 9 AM PST

Requests submitted before this time will be deleted and will not be made.

Elective course scheduling closes: Dependent upon official course start date as listed in eValue

Drops or adds 6 weeks or less before the official start date of an elective require permission from the department clerkship contact. Permission must be received by SOM Registration (somreg@uw.edu) by Friday at noon before the 6-week mark. Hint: To find out the last day you can submit a schedule change request without departmental permission, count SIX FULL WEEKS back from the Monday start date and use the Friday before that.

I forgot about the form but I emailed/called/talked to (select all that apply):
  • someone in the department (faculty, staff, preceptor) or
  • a dean or director or
  • a staff member I know
and they said OK to my change. That works, too, right?

No. Only SOM Registration has the ability to make course changes in eValue.

If a course is on your eValue schedule, you’re enrolled in it; if a course is not on your eValue schedule, you’re not enrolled in it. Only SOM Registration has access to the part of the eValue system that makes changes.

Will SOM Registration honor changes I request via the form?

 If we can.

Some, but not all, of the reasons we can’t fulfill your request include:

  • The course you requested to add is full. We make course changes manually, and because courses at this point are first-come, first-served it’s possible that a course you thought had availability when you made your request has been requested by another student first.
  • Your form requests to add a permission-only course but we haven’t received permission yet. You’ll need to email the departmental clerkship administrator and forward their approval email to somreg@uw.edu .
  • You have requested a drop or add 6 weeks or less before the official start date of a course but have not sent us permission from the department clerkship administrator to do that.
  • You are asking to add a course that conflicts with another course on your schedule. Note that your request in this case will need to be both a drop and an add.
  • You do not have the prerequisites for the course.


Ask us! somreg@uw.edu