Fifth Term and You

The transition from basic sciences to clinical rotations

Trinity School of Medicine’s curriculum goes the extra mile for medical student success. Its on-campus fifth term is no exception. Trinity’s fifth term is a guided transitional period with two main goals: providing a facilitated review that guides students to a successful USMLE Step-1 exam (regarded by the NRMP as the most significant part of securing a residency), and preparing students for clinical clerkship training.

The term takes place in St. Vincent for several key reasons. First, the continued focus and support of Trinity's campus and community, as well as access to resources and faculty, are optimal for USMLE Step 1 preparation. This is only multiplied by our students' continued access to Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, Trinity's affiliated teaching hospital. 

Strategies include
  • Faculty-facilitated preparation through comprehensive reviews that integrate basic science concepts with clinical scenarios and provide formative assessments during these periods.
  • Four to five diagnostic tests administered to assess student readiness with good correlations to USMLE Step 1 performance.
  • Participation in clinical rotations at Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.
  • Grand rounds style case presentations are undertaken by student groups.
  • Completion and certification for Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). Students also complete Borne Pathogens (BBP) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) certification and recertification which are required for all clerkships in the US.
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), reviewing and refreshing clinical skills is a primary focus through active learning opportunities. 
  • Review of the undergraduate Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) demonstrating preparation for clinical training. This subset of the EPAs developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) focus the student on skills required to begin clerkships.
  • Students work closely with the clerkship coordinator to  finalize their 3rd year clerkship schedule, a major competitive advantage and boost to quality of life Trinity offers for a hectic time in any medical students' life.

Term 5 is designed to maximize student success and readiness, with well supported, performance oriented goals for each student. Faculty are accessible and student groups embody the team approach to preparing for the rigors of USMLE preparation and clinical skills demonstration.

Student Comments about the 5th Term

"For the MCAT, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I had great grades, so I thought it [the MCAT] wasn’t going to be a big deal. I wasn't prepared for the format. It didn't go well. With Trinity, our unified exams [Trinity's exams designed to prepare students for the USMLE Step 1 and discern their strengths and weaknesses throughout the Basic Sciences], are designed not just to evaluate, but to help you build up the mental stamina you need for the Steps."

“During 3rd and 4th term, my professor taught me to think like a doctor, integrated it for me, which was, as I came to find out, also how I should think for [step] exams. Working with patients and coming up with diagnoses was very important.”

"Great focus, great faculty, great interaction; it meant great outcomes. I felt very well prepared in the basic sciences, and was able to approach the Step 1 exam confidently."