Med III Core Clerkships

Work alongside experienced family physicians 

The family medicine clerkship rotation is six weeks in length and partners with the Department of Psychiatry to form a 12-week block. The family medicine clerkship rotation is one of the few opportunities for you to work directly with family physicians and a rare opportunity to work outside of a tertiary care hospital setting. 

You'll receive an orientation to all of your clerkship experiences, including family medicine, in your second year.

Match process

In the spring before your clerkship year, the Department of Family Medicine will place you with community clinical teachers using a random, computerized match process.    

You can request:

  • two three-week blocks with different preceptors
  • one six-week block
  • specific preceptors
  • specific locations

Alternatively, you can request areas of interest such as:

  • obstetrics
  • emergency medicine
  • geriatric or palliative care

Clinical teachers provide their availability, the number of students they can take over the year and preferences for three- or six-week blocks. 

Although this system is designed to match you to one of your selected preferences, there are times when this cannot be accommodated. For example, if a majority of students select a specific location, such as Halifax, for their rotation, there may not be enough preceptors available to place everyone there.

Orientation and seminars

At the beginning of your six-week family medicine rotation, you'll attend an orientation webinar.        

During your family medicine rotation, you’ll participate in eight additional webinars:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Chronic Cough
  • Family Violence
  • Hypertension / Rashes
  • Preventive Health Part 1
  • Preventive Health Part 2
  • Well Baby
  • Women’s Health

You'll also give a 10-minute project presentation, by webinar, during your rotation.


The bulk of the rotation is spent with clinical teachers wherever they are in the community (clinic, hospital, nursing homes or house calls). You'll also spend one half-day per week in the community, learning about health-related community resources. 

The objectives for the rotation reflect common problems, presentations and procedures in family medicine. You'll complete a logbook on One45 to help you ensure that you're meeting the goals for your clerkship.


You must ensure your preceptor completes the required ITERs (in-training evaluation report). Your preceptors will complete Formative ITERs. When your formative ITERs, project presentations and community half-day logs have been completed, the clerkship director will complete the summary ITER. 

At the end of the 12-week family medicine/psychiatry block, you'll also write a multiple-choice/short answer family medicine exam. In March, there will be a formative OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination). If you've completed your family medicine rotation before March, you'll have three family medicine stations on this OSCE. The September OSCE is a summative OSCE and all specialties are combined in this OSCE.


All clerkship materials and information for the family medicine clerkship is available to current third-year students on Brightspace. You can access Brightspace at by using your NetID user name and password.