Section 5: Scheduling of Students for Clinical Rotations

5.1 Clinic Registration

  • Students register for their clinic rotations by submitting a clinic registration form (available on the registrar’s Moodle page) to the associate registrar during the clinic registration period following academic registration. The registration timeline is announced to all students at the beginning of each quarter. Every attempt will be made to honor students’ requests, but this may not be possible. All clinical rotations must have adequate student coverage to ensure quality of patient care.
  • Fixed rotations for primaries and interns (see below) will be assigned before the registration period for the upcoming term begins; this helps to ensure that class conflicts are prevented.
  • Students have the opportunity to trade rotations with classmates after the clinic schedules have been posted, as long as the registration deadline is strictly observed. The deadline to request a change to clinic schedules is four weeks prior to the beginning of the following quarter, and is published at the top of all clinic schedules.
  • For more information, refer to “clinic schedule adjustment period” under Section 5.3 Add/Drop Policies.

5.2 ND Priority Registration for Primaries

The associate registrar schedules ND primary clinic rotations according to a priority registration system that allows all students equal access to the faculty and shift times.

  • Every student is given first-priority status for one quarter of each academic year. The priority registration process optimizes the likelihood that the student will receive most of their requested rotations. However, due to the limited number of spaces available on each rotation, NUNM cannot guarantee that every student will be assigned their first choice of clinic rotation.
  • ND students will be required to complete a community clinic rotation in their first-priority term.
  • During another quarter, each student will have second-priority status. Registration requests are scheduled after those of first-priority students. Many students with second-priority status receive requested rotations.
  • During the remaining quarter, the student will have third-priority status. Registration will be scheduled after students having first- and second-priority status.
  • ND students will also be assigned a term in which they will be required to complete a Saturday rotation as a primary.

5.3 Add/Drop Policy for Clinic Rotations

Students have a three- to five-day schedule adjustment period, after the clinic schedules with assignments have been posted, to add or drop rotations without being charged. This provides the opportunity for students to trade clinic rotations. Students must contact the associate registrar to coordinate these schedule changes. After the clinic schedule adjustment period, students must use the following procedure to change their clinic schedule:

  • In order to add or drop a clinic rotation, students must contact the associate registrar directly.
  • A final deadline for changes is included on the clinic schedules, posted on the registrar’s Moodle page.
  • ND primary and CCM interns who wish to add or drop any clinic rotations after the clinic schedule final deadline must complete the “Petition to Deviate from Current Policy or Requirements” form and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. It will then be submitted to the program dean, a decision will be made, and the student will be notified of the outcome by the associate registrar. While awaiting a decision, students are required to attend all scheduled clinic shifts and adhere to all current clinic policies. All fees concerning clinic rotations will continue to apply.
  • A $50 add/drop fee will be charged for any rotation changes after the deadline date.

5.4 Scheduling of Holiday Clinic Rotations

NUNM Health Centers recognize holiday periods that correspond with breaks in the academic schedule. Students have a holiday clinic requirement of 24 hours that is fulfilled during these holiday periods. These hours count toward missed shift makeup hours and are not part of the total hour requirement. In order to provide continuity of patient care, students are scheduled consistently with their regular academic clinic schedule as often as possible. Holiday shifts are required for all ND primary and CCM intern students.

  • Students request the weeks that they would prefer to fulfill their holiday requirement in order of preference. Based on this information, the Registrar’s Office schedules students for specific days and times.
  • Scheduling is completed in the fall term, in order to allow sufficient time to make holiday travel arrangements.
  • Students are required to attend all of their assigned holiday shifts. Trades are allowed as long as they are communicated to the Registrar’s Office at least four (4) weeks prior to the clinic shift.

5.5 Scheduling of Special Clinic Opportunities

Chinese Medicine Fixed Rotation

CCM students have the opportunity to apply to have a fixed rotation with a clinical faculty member of choice. If approved, students are scheduled for one rotation per term with their mentors throughout fall, winter and spring quarters of their internship year. This focused time studying under the tutelage of one faculty supervisor is found to be beneficial by many students. In many cases, students have the opportunity to request to mentor with the same faculty supervisor who teaches their Traditional Mentorship Tutorial classes in the final year of the program.

Fixed Rotation Guidelines

  • The fixed rotation is highly encouraged, but optional.
  • The application process for the fixed rotation occurs in the spring term prior to the final year of clinical education.
  • If selected, a student is assured a rotation with that faculty member for three sequential terms (fall, winter, spring). In some cases, fixed rotations begin in the “required summer” term.
  • Students can apply to do their fixed rotation with a faculty supervisor at any clinic location—NUNM Health Centers or the community clinics. If applying with a faculty member who supervises at multiple locations, the student should request a location preference.
  • To preserve the opportunity for students to work with a variety of practitioners, a minimum of two “non-fixed” slots are maintained for each internship rotation.
  • A student may participate only in one fixed rotation.

Fixed Rotation Application Process

  • Fixed rotation applications include a simple paragraph or essay regarding the student’s desire to work more closely with a specific clinical supervisor. They are submitted directly to the clinic supervisor, who communicates their selections to the associate registrar. The associate registrar will notify students of fixed rotation assignments and coordinate scheduling prior to general clinic registration. Students are encouraged to contact faculty directly for more information about their specialties and practices before applying to work with them.
  • Students may apply to do a fixed rotation with more than one attending physician or supervising practitioner, but if accepted by more than one faculty member, must choose only one.
  • Fixed rotations are scheduled prior to all other clinic scheduling.
  • Fixed rotation confirmations are posted by the associate registrar.

Fixed Primary Care ND Clinic Rotations:

Each student is assigned two (2), two-term fixed rotations during their year(s) as primary medical intern. Fixed rotations provide increased mentorship to students, they increase the experience of patient management and follow up, and they improve patient continuity and clinic access.

Fixed Rotation Guidelines

  • Students will complete two (2), two-term fixed rotations during their clinical experience, i.e., four (4) out of 13 rotations (15 for students who matriculate prior to fall 2015). Ideally, one fixed rotation will be at NUNM Health Centers–Lair Hill or NUNM Health Centers–Beaverton, and the other rotation will be at one of NUNM’s community health centers. For scheduling purposes this is not always feasible and students may be assigned two fixed rotations at an NUNM Health Center or two at community clinics.
  • Stand-alone ND students will be registered for one fixed rotation for the first half of the final clinical year (Summer/Fall = SF); the other will be the second half (Winter/Spring = WS) of the year.
  • Concurrent degree (ND/MSOM) students will complete one fixed rotation during their required summer (continuing through fall) and the second fixed rotation in winter/spring of the final year.
  • Final decisions will be made by the registrar and dean’s office, which will attempt to accommodate students’ top choices.
  • Fixed rotation placements on shifts will happen prior to first priority clinic registration—students will automatically be registered for fixed rotations to ensure they do not conflict with required classes. Fixed rotations do not count as a priority term request. Everyone will be registered for fixed rotations and then priority registration will proceed after that.
  • As previously mentioned, there are a limited number of fixed slots available per doctor (typically no more than 3 per rotation) to allow all students the opportunity to work with a variety of physicians.