Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Flexible Clinical Experiences Course Overview

What is the FCE Course?

This is a required student-driven course, which complements the clerkship rotations in the Core Clinical Experiences (3rd) year (CCE). The individual flexible clinical experience weeks are specifically designed to

  • allow for career exploration and or development, and planning for senior study
  • allow exposure to evolving and cutting-edge branches of medicine
  • provide an opportunity to work with recognized experts in different fields of medicine and allied sciences
  • provide exposure to novel concepts or systems of care not normally available within the core clinical experience
  • allow for student designed innovative experiences within the guidelines for this elective

When are the FCE weeks scheduled?

Students’ four FE weeks are assigned according to their clerkship 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 week(s) “travels” with the rotation.

What qualifies as an FCE?

Broadly, any topic related to medicine or healthcare qualifies for the FCE. The various possibilities include:

  • introduction to a medical specialty not offered as a core curricular experience
  • activity designed to help with career planning
  • development of skills pertinent to the practice of medicine outside of the core curricular 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 curricular experiences (only with special approval)

How do I know what’s available?

  • Navigate to the Experience Handouts page(s) on the course website to read full descriptions. You will see only those FCEs that are available to you when you self-enroll via PeopleSoft.

Can I design my own experience?

Absolutely! Navigate to the online Student Proposal Form on the FCE Course website to submit your proposed experience. The proposal must contain information to support the following criteria. 
To submit faculty designed experiences, navigate to the Faculty Proposal Form.

  • 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)
  • Library-based FCEs must be supervised in part by your House Librarian
  • The experience must be supervised by a qualified sponsor
  • The experience cannot be used to continue with a clerkship rotations or contribute to the student’s evaluation of the clerkship - i.e. the faculty evaluating a student for the clerkship should be different from the FCE sponsor.

How and when do I pick my FCEs?

You may pick or self design your FCEs up to one month before the start of the FCE week. Please navigate to the Create Your Schedule links for instructions for scheduling your FCEs.

What if I want to change my scheduled FCE?

You may change your FCE schedule at any time up to one calendar month previous to each FCE week.

Where do I find the answers to other questions I may have?

Because the FCE Course doesn’t fit gracefully into the BBLearn platform, we maintain a comprehensive course website that we hope has all the information you need to successfully complete the course. You may also email the FCE Course Team with any questions and or concerns via

updated JUL 24 2019 | cjb