Year 2 - Clinical Rotations

Duke University School of Medicine Foundation of Excellent MS2 curriculum


The goals of the core clerkships include developing students’ skills in accurate patient-based problem-solving and appropriate use of resources to diagnose and treat patients. The core clerkship rotations include:

  • Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Surgery (8 weeks)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (6 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (6 weeks)
  • Family Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • Neurology (4 weeks)
  • Radiology (4 weeks)

Additional required courses include:

  • Clinical Skills Course teaches essential clinical skills in the practice of medicine. The course meets two afternoons a month in small groups for applied practice including problem sets and discussion. The course kicks off with a three-week “Clinical Skills Intensive” at the start of the second year which lays the foundation for students’ clinical rotations.
  • Clinical Skills Foundation 2 (CSF2) continues to work in all aspects of the doctor-patient relationship. Working together in the same small groups from Year 1, students will reflect on their experiences on the clinical rotations. Discussion topics include ethics, suffering, spirituality, pain, professionalism, and end of life issues. Students develop skills in giving bad news and counseling around advance directives.
  • CDHD - The Cultural Determinants of Health & Health Disparities 2 course takes a deeper more reflective dive into the topics covered in year 1 during the time you are immersed in the clinical environment. This course uses reflective writing, lectures, and small group discussion to meet course goals. 

In addition to these requirements, students have two “selective” periods in the second year. These two-week selectives provide an opportunity before the fourth year for students to learn about clinical subspecialties that are not covered by clerkships. There are approximately 30 selectives from which to choose. Second year rotations and selectives give students a taste of the major patient care disciplines, and of different care settings – seeing patients not only in hospitals, but also in outpatient clinics.

Students practicing injections