Your Medical Education: The Third and Fourth Year Medical School Curriculum

The third and fourth years of medical school are spent learning hands-on patient care. They are the "clinical" years. Third year students complete eight week rotations through various departments in the hospital which include:

Internal Medicine
Surgery
Pediatrics
Psychiatry
Obstetrics/Gynecology
Family Medicine

The fourth year rotations are longer and are called Clerkships. Students are required to rotate through Internal Medicine, Surgery, and often Neurology, but are encouraged to choose elective rotations in departments that they may be interested in pursuing as a specialty. Students are also given time off to apply for residency and interview for prospective programs.

Paying for Your Medical Education

Most medical school students accumulate a great deal of debt. The 2009-2010 AAMC Annual Student Tuition and Fees Report found that the average in-state tuition and fees for first-year medical students at public universities was $23,622. For out-of-state nonresident students, the average public university tuition and fees were $44,309. The average tuition and fees for first-year medical students at private universities was $41,063. These costs do not include health insurance fees, possible tuition and fee raises, books, housing, and other living expenses incurred during the typical course of medical school.

Tuition and fees for a medical education range from about $10,300 per year for residents at public universities, to $51,200 per year for non-residents at private schools. On top of tuition you can add costs of around $3,000 per year for books, fees, and materials. Unless you live with your parents or a supporting spouse, you will have basic living expenses too. Working while in medical school is virtually impossible since you simply will not have the time. Therefore you will most likely take out a few student loans. Fortunately, your earning potential will be great, so obtaining loans isn't very difficult. The Financial Aid office at your school will have many resources and a lot of information to help you fund your education.

Try this link for Student Loan Consolidation

Articles in this series:

  • Becoming a Doctor Are you trying to decide whether becoming a doctor is right for you? Take a realistic look at what it takes to get there.
  • Steps to Become a Doctor Premed Planning - The timeline and steps to become a doctor, including undergraduate studies, gaining experience in the medical industry and taking the MCAT.
  • Applying to Medical School Ready to apply to medical school? Be prepared for the application process and for medical school interviews.
  • How to Become a Doctor What to Expect in Medical School - Medical school curriculum, USMLE, and the cost of medical school
  • NRMP and Medical Residency What is residency for doctors? Medical Residency, ERAS, NRMP, the Residency Match and the Scramble - The process of getting matched with a medical residency position, and the medical resident's role.
  • Being a Doctor What It's Like to be a Doctor

Visit all the MomMD resources for becoming a doctor.

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