Student Portal > Curriculum > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Module 5 has 11 months of requirements which will help you to select a specialty and acquire the credentials needed to apply for residency.

What are the requirements of Module 5?

What is the timeline for Module 5?

If you are graduating in 2019, the best way to plan Module 5 is to make yourself
worksheets with 16 months starting with January 2018 and ending with April 2019 (the last month in which you can do an elective). You will need to plot the requirements listed above and time to:

What is the residency application timeline?

The early match programs are: ophthalmology and urology. Match for these programs occurs in January with the applications due in late August/early September and interviews in November and December. The Match for all the other specialties occurs in March. Applications are submitted in September with interviews in November, December, and January.

Which specialties require a separate application process for the internship

• Anesthesia: Transitional Year or Medicine Prelim (only needed for some programs)
• Dermatology: Medicine Prelim
• Neurology: Medicine Prelim (only needed for some programs)
• Ophthalmology: Transitional Year or Medicine Prelim
• Radiology: Transitional Year or Medicine Prelim
• Radiation Oncology: Transitional Year or Medicine Prelim (only needed for some programs)

What is a SubI ?

A sub I is a course which allows you to demonstrate your ability to manage patients. This requirement can be fulfilled by taking EMR308 (Emergency Medicine), MED400 (Sub-internship in Medicine), FAM400 (Sub-Internship in Family Medicine), or PED300
(Sub-internship in Pediatrics).

What are the things which I need to consider when scheduling a Sub I?

Students who did not receive Honors for the medicine clerkship and are scheduled for a medicine Sub I (in any month but March) need to complete one of the following as a sub-I pre-requisite:

Students who receive Honors for the medicine clerkship are encouraged to complete one of the above months prior to the sub-I but are not required to do so.

A medicine Sub I is a pre-requisite for a medicine unit month
August is not too late for a family medicine, medicine, or pediatrics Sub I
EM recommends that an EM Sub I be completed before an away EM month

How are electives scheduled?

Registration is via lottery with rankings due as follows:

• in December 2017 for January – April 2018
• in March 2018 for May – August 2018
• in June 2018 for September – December 2018

What are electives and when do I register for them?

You will need 4 months of standard electives as listed in the on-line course catalogue.

These are generally one month long courses offered in all specialty areas at
HUP/VAMC/Presby/Pennsy/CHOP. There are also opportunities to develop clinical experiences with Penn faculty on an individualized basis either in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Electives include consult courses, Unit months, chances to explore dermatology, radiology, radiation oncology, and one-on-one preceptorships in surgery (their equivalent to an externship), etc

Where do I find the rotation dates?

The 2018 schedule is posted on the web at:

Are there any courses which are not offered all year-long?

A few courses (such as RAD300, some ortho preceptorships, etc) are not offered
in July or August, so you may want to request them for February-April with the
alternative being May and June, which are part of the next registration cycle.

Where do I go for advice?

Guide to Course Selection can be found by going to will soon be able to request career counselors in the areas that interest you. Other good sources for advice are upper classmen, faculty, the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Student Affairs who can answer questions that you may have.

What is Scholarly Pursuit?

Scholarly pursuit can be fulfilled by:

Details can be found on the student homepage under “Mod 5” category at

What are Frontiers Courses?

Frontiers are one- and two-week courses offered in late September/October and
February/early March. These courses focus on up-to-date trends in basic science
and their relationship to clinical medicine. The schedule may change for next
year, but details about this year’s courses can be found in Canvas. You will
register for these courses in August 2018.

Are USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 (Clinical Knowledge & Clinical Skills) required and
when should I take them?

You must take these exams but a passing score is not required for graduation.
Since they are required for licensure and are used by some residency programs
for screening purposes, students:

You can register for Step 1 or Step 2 by going to

Step 1 and Step 2-Clinical Knowledge are administered on computers and can be taken

You will register via the website and then call a Prometric Learning
Center to schedule the day and time of your choice.

There will be a class meeting in October to discuss Step 1 studying tips. This meeting will include a panel of upper-classmen.

What is the Clinical Skills Inventory and when is it offered?

Clinical Skills Inventory (CSI) is a graduation requirement which must be successfully passed. The summative exam assesses students cognitive and interpersonal/communication skills. The test is graded on a pass/fail basis with scores provided for both components.

Students are eligible to take CSI upon completion of all clerkships. The majority of students will take CSI at least one year before graduation with a small cohort completing this requirement in the same calendar year as graduation.

If a student fails one or both components of the exam, he/she will need to take the test again. Students who take the exam the year before graduation and who fail will be re-tested in January/February of the following year. Students who take the exam in the same calendar year as graduation will be scheduled for the exam early allowing time for re-enrollment if a passing score is not achieved. Students should leave time in their schedules for special remedial work if the exam is not passed on the second attempt. An individualized plan based on deficiencies will be developed and graduation will be contingent upon performance during remedial assignments.

Like Step 2 CS, CSI lasts a full day, during which you will see 12 SPs, one-on-one, in a clinic setting. You will be required to interview and examine SPs, and write a patient note after each encounter. The exam dates will be posted.

Detailed information will be provided via email prior to your scheduled exam
date. If you have questions prior to then, feel free to contact Denise LaMarra,
Director of the SP Program, at, 215-898-3520.

When will I be taking ACLS?

ACLS is a pre-requisite for the medicine and emergency medicine sub-internships with scheduling details to follow later in the fall.

If I want to do a rotation away, when would I do this and how do I apply?

Most students, who choose to do away rotations, do so in the summer and fall of
the last year. The application process is driven by the other medical school and
details can be found on the student homepage under the “Mod 5” category at

If I decide to take an extra year, when and how do I apply?

If you want to do a year-long program and are interested in applying for
funding, start with the Office of Combined Degree and Physician Scholars
Program's website

Some of the applications are time consuming so you may want to allow extra time
for Step 1 studying, if the due dates are in January or February. You will be considered as an active student as a school-required Sub-I and electives are recommended before an extray year program begins.
long as you are spending half of your time on medically related educational activities. The maximum amount of tuition charged is four years which is 8 semesters. During an additional year, you will pay the general fee, technology fee, and other miscellaneous charges in order to maintain your status as a medical student.

© The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania || Site best viewed in a supported browser. || Site Design: PMACS Web Team << Return to Portal