Middle Clinical Experience (MCE)

The Middle Clinical Experience (MCE) places students in a variety of ambulatory and inpatient environments. College of Human Medicine MCE students are all over the hospital and outpatient environments, working with patients and health care team members, as they see patients with the conditions they are learning about. Clinical rotations include physical therapy, emergency medicine, nutrition, women’s health, adult wards, pharmacy service, pediatric wards, newborn service, respiratory therapy, care management/social work, nursing, and palliative care/pain management. We believe that students need to observe and engage in practice in a variety of settings, and with broad perspectives, therefore the MCE consists of substantive ambulatory and inpatient rotations which stress strong integration of clinical work and the underlying necessary science required to care for patients and work within the health care system. Students work with residents and attending physicians, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists, and other health care team members as they move through these clinical rotations.

The MCE builds on the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students developed in the ECE. The MCE continues to challenge students to integrate their basic and social social knowledge with clinical skills, therefore the classroom experiences remain integrated. Students continue to have Large and small group sessions as well as labs. Once a week, MCE students engage in Weekly Scholar Group, which is a continuation of the Post Clinic Group from ECE. In MCE students use the community they built in ECE to continue to gain new content knowledge, and develop clinical skills through debriefing. Unique to the MCE, students also meet in Rotational Study Groups to discuss Chief Complaints and Concerns relevant to the specific clinical rotation they are attending at that time (such as vaginal bleeding, if they are doing ambulatory Women’s Health). 

Specific goals of the Middle Clinical Experience are:

  • To expand skills in interviewing, physical examination, diagnostic reasoning, communication, and documentation in authentic care settings
  • To begin to perform hypothesis-driven histories and physicals
  • To gain further understanding of the necessary biological and social science knowledge required to understand and interpret the clinical data gathered in evaluation of common complaints
  • To develop further understanding of the health care system and the patient experience
  • To expand skills as a member of interprofessional teams
  • To prepare for national licensing examinations

Two weeks during the middle clinical experience on the inpatient wards might look like this:


A weeke during the middle clinical experience on the nutrition consultation service might look like this: