AY 2015 - 2016 Flexible Experience (FE) Calendar

Block 1A: FE1 6.8.2015 - 2.12.2015
Block 1B: FE2 7.13.2015 - 7.17.2015
Block 1C: FE3 7.20.2015 - 7.24.2015

Block 2A: FE4 9.28.2015 - 10.2.2015
Block 2B: FE5 10.5.2015 - 10.9.2015
Block 2C: FE6 11.9.2015 - 11.13.2015

Block 3A: FE7 2.1.2016 - 2.5.2016
Block 3B: FE8 3.7.2016 - 3.11.2016
Block 3C: FE9 3.21.2016 - 3.25.2016

FE-spring break 3.4.2016 - 3.18.2016

If I select "any timeframe", will EVOS know when I am supposed to be assigned?

Yes. The one thing EVOS can do on its own is assign you to the appropriate blocks. In fact, selecting “any time frame” allows EVOS to work at its most efficient level because it knows your block assignments.

Is there an option on EVOS that allows me to preference a Self-Design?

Select FCE 381 Student Design as if it’s a regular FCE (select your preferred Time Frame). Don't forget to submit your proposal via the FCE Program website.

Is it possible to sign up for an FCE and then defer to a self-designed FCE if it comes together?

Yes. In fact, unless you are absolutely sure that you will be able to plan a self-designed FCE, the best strategy is to select pre-designed FCEs at this time.

How should the DR trip be entered in EVOS as an option?

Select FC369 Dominican Republic as if it’s a regular FCE (select Time Frame FE-SB for spring break). If you really want to go, and know that you can, make the DR trip your first preferred.

You may also select the DR trip as a 5th FCE. Add that request via the comment box at the end of the selection process, so we can add it by hand before all the enrollment information goes to the registrar’s office.

re: using spring break in lieu of an assigned FE... FE-SB (spring break) is specifically available for FCEs 381 Self-Designed, Capstone Self-Designed, and 369 Dominican Republic trip. Students may request of FCE supervisors that a "special section" be offered during FE-SB, in which case the student is allowed to drop one assigned FE term.

How do I use a pre-designed FCE for my Capstone?

FCE 385 Clinical Experiences in the Medical Care of Children in Foster Care

FCE 385 Learning Objectives

  • describe the child welfare and legal setting in which children in foster care are placed
  • perform initial medical assessment of child entering foster care and comprehensive medical evaluation of child in foster care
  • demonstrate competency with medical literature on issues of children in foster care
  • explain the impact of childhood adverse events on health through the lifespan

Capstone project: Developing medical student curricula for self-study related to foster care

The student with a Capstone titled above could use this existing FCE to obtain experiential learning regarding the foster care system; discuss valuable resources with supervisors in the FCE; receive feedback on their curriculum plan.  Review of the medical literature which is an objective of the FCE could be used to write the background for the Capstone.

Are the dates of the FCE weeks built in around surgery and OB flexible?

The nine (9) flexible experience (FE) terms are “hard-scheduled” to be aligned with the clerkship rotations, such that there is one FE “attached” to each of the nine clerkship blocks (see “calendar” below); unless otherwise pre-arranged, FE dates are not flexible. Students’ four FE terms are assigned according to their CCE block assignments, specifically aligned with the two medicine and two surgery rotations. The FE schedule is only as “flexible” as the student’s clerkship schedule can be; that is, if a student changes/swaps his/her clerkship rotations, the FE term(s) “travels” with the rotation.

For example, the CCE assignment: Block 1: FC, PE, PS; Block 2: SU, OB, SU; Block 3: ME, ME, NU, assigns the FE terms: FE4, FE6, FE7, FE8.
[for the sake of the example] let’s say one swaps Blocks 1 & 2 such that: Block 1: SU, OB, SU; Block 2: FC, PE, PS; Block 3: ME, ME, NU --> the FE term assignment becomes FE1, FE3, FE7, FE8

Having “said” all of the above… While it does take planning, it is certainly possible to schedule a self-designed FCE during the winter & spring breaks in lieu of assigned FE terms.

What is a "Capstone FCE"?

Use the Capstone self-designed FCE to develop a unique experience that will specifically inform your Capstone project. You may or may not decide to ask your Capstone project advisor to be your FCE supervisor; you may want to gain experience in a department that does not naturally “fit” into your project plan; or you may want to work with another professional who has expertise in your topic. The Capstone FCE must not serve simply as “more time” to work on your project (e.g., extra digging in the library); it must be a distinct, independent piece that informs your project. You may design up to two distinct Capstone FCEs.

What are the student responsibilities prior to the start of an FCE?

Please refer to Day-One Instructions on the FCE handout to ensure that you report to right place at the right time Contact the FCE supervisor at least one week prior to the FCE start date to introduce yourself Contact the FCE administration as soon as possible if you have any problems contacting the FCE supervisor please contact the supervisor and the FCE administration if you are unable to show up for the first day of the FCE

What should I do if I have a really awful FCE experience?

Contact the FCE program administration immediately via UMMSFCEProgram@umassmed.edu

Basic FCE Program Requirements

  • There should be a minimum of three distinct experiences and no more than one repetition of one FCE experience will be allowed. In most cases where the same experience is repeated, it will be done for two consecutive FCE sessions, providing for a longer experience.
  • The student should choose experiences in at least two different departments within or outside the medical school. This is in keeping with the spirit of these electives which allow for the students to gain diverse experiences during these electives.
  • Experiences are required to be supervised by a qualified sponsor. For student designed electives the sponsor can be chosen by the student, their learning community mentor, clerkship directors, course director or other faculty who may guide the student.
  • An FCE cannot be used to continue with a core clinical experience, or contribute to the student’s evaluation of the core clinical experience - i.e. the faculty evaluating a student for the CCE should be different from the FCE sponsor.
  • All FCEs cannot be in research, medical education or healthcare administration. There must be at least 2 clinical experiences. The clinical experiences could be in the hospital or community setting.

The following criteria must be met for all FCE experiences

In addition to program requirements outlined above...

  • The experience should be related to an aspect of medicine, healthcare, medical education, community service, or healthcare administration, as it applies to the individual or the community.
  • The experience must have at least one clearly stated objective.
  • One FCE requires a total of 45 hour time commitment by the student in the one-week period (combined face-to-face and 'homework/study/reading' activities)

What are the AY 2015-2016 Flexible Experience TERM DATES?

AY2015-2016 Flexible Experiences TERM Calendar
Blue highlight indicates adjacent terms
FE1 (1a) June 8, 2015 June 12, 2015
FE2 (1b) July 13, 2015 July 17, 2015
FE3 (1c) July 20, 2015 July 24, 2015
FE4 (2a) September 28, 2015 October 2, 2015
FE5 (2b) October 5, 2015 October 9, 2015
FE6 (2c) November 9, 2015 November 13, 2015
FE7 (3a) February 1, 2016 February 5, 2016
FE8 (3b) March 7, 2016 March 11, 2016
Spring Break March 14, 2016 March 18, 2016
FE9 (3c) March 21, 2016 March 25, 2016


Does an FCE have to occur during one of the formally defined FE terms?

A student-designed FCE can occur at any time during the appropriate academic year, dependent on faculty supervisor approval and FCE program administration acceptance. Please cc: the program administration as you plan an FCE to occur outside of the formal FE term schedule.

Is there a deadline for submission of a self-designed FCE proposal?

Students may submit a self-designed proposal at a minimum of 4 weeks before the start of the exercise/course. Because the student may have already been assigned a different course via the enrollment process, s/he must drop the assigned course as soon as their self-designed course is approved.

Faculty sponsors and supervisors may submit a proposal at any time, although we recommend submission occurs in January, prior to the beginning of the next academic year, in time for the initial enrollment period.

What is the lead time for planning a self-designed FCE?

For an offsite FCE, we recommend you begin the process 3 or 4 months in advance of the experience term. Offsite FCEs frequently require additional paperwork, such as CORI clearance, and or a letter from the dean. It is the responsibility of the student to request, collect, and submit required paperwork.

Note: It is required that all communication be documented via email, and cc:d to the UMMS faculty sponsor and FCE Program administration.

Where can the best ideas be found?

  • student designed FCEs for the previous years
  • learning community mentor
  • specialty advisors
  • colleagues in the learning communities
  • Foundation of Medicine faculty such as LPP preceptors, core & community clerkship directors
  • GSN 2nd year clerkship preceptors & colleagues, and enrichment electives faculty directors of free clinics (eg. Harvey Clermont, MD; Erik Garcia, MD; Jen MacDonald, MD/PhD at http://www.worcesterfreeclinics.org)
  • Michael Kneeland, the Associate Dean for Allied Health & Interprofessional education; student interest group advisors (residency program directors).


What types of activities qualify?

  • introduction to a medical specialty not offered as a core clinical experience
  • activity designed to help with career planning
  • development of skills pertinent to the practice of medicine outside of the core clinical experiences, e.g., Allied health professionals, complementary and alternate medicine and community health service projects related to the medical field
  • international experiences related to healthcare
  • research exploration and or preparation conference attendance if the student is presenting his/her own work
  • physician as a patient and community advocate teaching related to medicine and public health
  • humanities as it pertains to medicine hospital administration; medical leadership
  • activities enhancing clinical skills
  • remediation of mandatory core clinical experiences

What sorts of activities do not qualify?

  • a third week in the same experience doing all experiences in the same department, even if it is with different faculty sponsors
  • an experience that is continous with a core clinical experience and has the same faculty person evaluating the student for the FCE as for the core experience (i.e., an FCE cannot be used to enhance your evaluation of a core experience)
  • an experience unrelated to healthcare, or not supervized by a qualified sponsor
  • conference attendance if the student is not presenting his/her own work
  • FCE cannot be used to study for the boards
  • FCE cannot be used as "Capstone time" (see additional considerations for Capstone FCEs FAQ)

Evaluation & Assessment (e*Value)

All FCE evaluation and assessment is managed by UMMS Institutional Research, Evaluation, and Assessment (IREA) via e*Value, a web-based application which allows users to submit evaluations from an active internet connection. For e*Value questions see UMMS eValue FAQs – Educators

What additional considerations are required for a Capstone FCE?

  • FCE supervisor may be the CSD advisor, but we recommend identifying a different supervisor
  • Capstone FCEs must be able to stand on their own merit, though they can be used to support Capstone efforts
  • Capstone FCE proposals must be submitted at least one calendar month in advance of the FE term to allow time for CSD advisor review and approval of the proposal objectives
  • A maximum of two Capstone FCEs per student will be approved

Please feel free to discuss the requirements with Dr. Malkani or Ms. Burnham.

Are there additional requirements for FCEs that contain a library component?

Yes. Because the processes for discovering appropriate resources on a given topic are so varied, all library-based research FCEs require direct supervision by the student's House Librarian. We recommend students meet with their House Librarian before submitting a self-designed proposal. of note: Lamar Soutter librarians may sponsor and supervise UMMS FCEs, although we recommend they do so in addition to a supervisor who is a topic expert.


What additional considerations are required for an International Medical Education FCE (ie, travelling to another country)?

All curricular activities that take place outside of the United States are subject to UMMS International Medical Education (IME) policies and procedures as are outlined on the OUME IME website. Students who plan an international FCE are required to complete all relevant IME documents in addition to the Self-designed FCE proposal. 

Please don't hesitate to contact us via UMMSFCEprogram@umassmed.edu if you have questions.

What is the Student Clinical Education Hours Policy?

As working significant numbers of hours continuously has been shown to contribute to reduction in performance and increased incidence of significant errors in work, the clinical faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School require the following: In order to allow medical students to perform maximally—to effectively assist in the clinical care of patients and to learn from their patients, clinical medical students will be expected to follow ACGME intern clinical work hour restrictions. [Approved by CDC October 2010, implementation July 1, 2011]

read more....

Do grades have to be turned in for the student to receive credit?

FCEs are not graded, per se. However faculty sponsors are required to complete an assessment of each student's performance, including the recommendation that the student receives (or does not receive) credit. All student assessment and program & FCE evaluation will be done via e*Value at the end of each FE term. (see Evaluation & Assessment above)

What is the difference between an FCE supervisor and an FCE sponsor?

A healthcare professional who directly supervises and evaluates your FCE experience is designated as your FCE supervisor. Every FCE also requires a UMMS faculty member to be named as a sponsor. For most FCEs offered within UMMS, the FCE sponsor and supervisor are the same person. However, if your FCE supervisor does not hold a faculty position, you will also be assigned a faculty sponsor to oversee the FCE experience. For self-designed FCEs outside UMMS, it is the student's responsibility to identify a UMMS faculty member as the FCE sponsor.

What are the responsibilities of the "UMMS faculty sponsor" for FCEs supervised by a non-UMMS physician and done outside UMMS?

  • act as liaison to FCE program administration on behalf of non-UMMS faculty sponsor
  • act as liaison to FCE program administration on behalf of student
  • if necessary, collate multiple student assessments in order to assign credit to student
  • assist student in naming an evaluating supervisor, if other than yourself

What is the policy and process to have a "non-UMMS" faculty supervisor, from another institution?

Students may work with a doctor (or other approved healthcare professional) outside the medical school as long as a UMMS faculty sponsor who can and will vouch for the experience is named, and there is a clear objective and brief description of what the student will do. The outside supervisor will receive the program evaluation. If the student has problems finding a faculty sponsor, Dr. Malkani will sponsor the FCE if FCE details are provided, and there is assurance from the outside professional that they are willing to do a week-long experience with the student.

Note: please identify UMMS faculty sponsors on the proposal form, including affiliation(s) of non-UMMS supervisor.

Is it possible to remediate an FCE?

This is a credit or no-credit experience and we anticipate that failure to earn a credit grade in the FCE will be a rare occurrence as these are student driven electives. The final decision on whether remediation by the student is needed for this elective lies with the faculty mentor or sponsor. Remediation will have to be done before graduation, either in the same elective, or if this is not possible, in a different FCE elective. If a serious professional issue is identified during the FCE elective, they may be included in the MSPE. All individual failures will be reviewed by the program director. Absences due to illness will be reviewed by the faculty sponsor and any decision for remediation will be taken in consultation with the program director.

Can an FCE be used to remediate a required FOM1 or FOM2 course??

Yes, with approval from the course leader of the course in need of remediation Remediation may require a specially designed FCE

What is the role of the FCE Supervisor

  • Parking Access to facility
  • Clear schedule for each day to be provided at start of FCE
  • Any credentialing required
  • Communication with department or clinic administrator or nurse managers about the program and expectations on working with students


I would like my UMMS student to observe surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital - what do I need to know?

St. Vincent's requires students to have successfully completed training in standard OR surgical aseptic techniques, which include gowning, gloving, and scrubbing. St. Vincent Card Access is required for entry to OR areas.

UMMS students complete "scrub training" either during the Transitions to Core Clinical Experiences (CCE), or at the beginning of the third year Periopertive and Maternal Care thematic section. The UMMS Office of Student Affairs (OSA) provides a list of trained students to St. Vincent's periodically through the academic year.

To obtain card access, please contact Donna.Davisson@stvincenthospital.com in St. Vincent's Education Department. The FCE leadership team will work to obtain a appropriate training verification if necessary.


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