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FAQ | Designing Your FCE

AY 2020 - 2021 Flexible Experiences (FE) Calendar

note : Schedule is subject to change.

THEMATIC SECTION 1: Begins 06/01/2020
Block 1A | June 10 - June 26, 2020
Block 1B | June 29 - July 24, 2020*
Block 1C | July 27 - August 24, 2020
FE1 | August 31 - September 4, 2020

THEMATIC SECTION 2: Begins 09/07/2020
Block 2A | September 7 – October 2, 2020*
Block 2B | October 5 - October 30, 2020*
Block 2C | November 2 - December 1, 2020*
FE2 | December 14 - December 18, 2020

THEMATIC SECTION 3: Begins 01/04/2021

FE3 | January 4 - January 8, 2021
FE4 | January 11 - January 15, 2021
Block 3A | January 25 - February 19, 2021*
Block 3B | February 22 - March 19, 2021
Block 3C | March 22 - April 16, 2021

*The following dates are Federal Holidays: July 3, 2020; September 7, 2020; October 12, 2020; November 11, 2020; November 26, 2020; and February 15, 2021. Students should follow the clinical site policies regarding requirements for attendance.

Click to view the full Core Clinical Experiences (CCE) Block Calendar

updated 05/14/20 jgg

I am having trouble finding the self-enrollment option. Where can I find this?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer PeopleSoft Self-Enrollment for AY20-21. All scheduling and enrollment will be managed by FCE course leadership using the following model.

Step 1 | complete by May 30 2020 | Please submit the online Preferences form in which you will…

  • Identify which FCE weeks you plan to complete
  • Name first and second preference for Clinical Department in which the FCE will take place
  • If you wish to design your own FCE (Student Designed) you may indicate this; the full proposal will be due later

Step 2 | June – July 2020 | Kindly select specific experiences, based on your choices in Step 1, when notified by FCE leadership to do so.
Note: Student-designed experience proposals must also be submitted at this time.

Basic FCE Course Requirements

  • There should be a minimum of two 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.
  • 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. All FCEs must be 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)

Where can the best ideas be found?

 05.06.20 | jgg

What types of activities qualify?

  • NEW: there are no department restrictions for AY20-21 so you can repeat 1 experience for 2 weeks to meet the minimum requirement of 2 FCEs
  • 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 (with special approval)

What sorts of activities do not qualify?

  • an experience that is continuous 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 supervised by a qualified sponsor
  • FCE cannot be used to study for the boards
  • FCE cannot be used as "Capstone time"

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  email the program administration as you plan an FCE to occur outside of the formal FE term schedule.

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 UMass Chan FCEs, although we recommend they do so in addition to a supervisor who is a topic expert.

Blackstone House Librarian - Leah Honor, MLIS 

Brightwood House Librarian - Catherine Carr, MLIS 

Burncoat House Librarian - Jessica Kilham, MLIS AHIP

Kelley House Librarian - Tess Grynoch, MLIS

Quinsigamond House Librarian - Becky Baltich Nelson, MLS, MS

Tatnuck House Librarian - Tori Rossetti 

When must self-designed FCE proposals be submitted?

NEW for AY20-21, if students are interested in submitting a self-designed proposal, they must submit all of the details in June-July 2020. Details will follow and be communicated via email from the UMMSFCEProgram mailbox.

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

At the direction of the President’s Office, all UMass campuses are implementing a new online pre-travel registration tool called Terra Dotta. Terra Dotta is not a travel reservation tool; it will be used by UMass Chan Medical School to capture traveler destination and emergency contact information and enable the campus to account for and locate traveling faculty, staff and students in the case of an emergency or incident. Terra Dotta will replace the international travel registration process and paper pre-travel authorization form currently in use.

Effective May 2018, all school-related domestic, international and in-state overnight travel must be pre-registrations need to be registered in Terra Dotta. All pre-travel registrations need to be registered in Terra Dotta via the UMass Chan International Support Services (ISS) website.
Of note: Because there are extensive travel restrictions in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we strongly discourage planning experiences that require travel.

updated 5.18.20 | cjb