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CPC: Fourth-Year Electives

The Fourth-Year Primary Care Electives program offers Primary Care educational opportunities in:

  • General pediatrics, family medicine, and general internal medicine in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Indian Health Service locations
  • International locations
  • Longitudinal Acting Internship
  • Specific modules created for this course at Fishburn, Cherry Drive, State College, and Lebanon sites

Should you have any questions or concerns throughout the course of the rotation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our opportunities include:

PCMED 741 – Medical Director-Practice Management
PCMED 742 – Longitudinal Advanced Elective – Outpatient
PCMED 743 – General pediatrics, family medicine, and general internal medicine in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
PCMED 744 – General pediatrics, family medicine and general internal medicine in the Continental U.S.
PCMED 745 – Indian Health Service locations
PCMED 746 – International locations
PCMED 748 – Penn State Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

Find more information about the individual options here.

The course was designed for students to:

  1. Participate in a primary-care-related experience that enhances a general area of the student’s interest.
  2. Learn the basic functions of primary care: personalized “first contact” care, comprehensive preventive care, continuity of care over time, economy of care, and coordination of referral care.
  3. Apply and broaden basic knowledge, attitudes, problem-solving skills, and communication skills learned in previous primary care rotations.
  4. Define the vital functions of a primary care provider within a given community.
  5. Identify the impact that the socioeconomic and cultural dynamics of a community have on health care delivery.
  6. Observe, identify, and model medical and ethical/moral behavior in doctor- patient interactions.

Site Selection

In January of the student’s third academic year, the student may select from the numerous established opportunities

If you choose to develop your own experience, refer to the requirements for the site. Please notify the course coordinator in Room C1613 of your proposed site location two month ahead of start date for national and six months ahead for an international rotation.

Students considering Indian Health Service sites and International sites should begin that process in the third year of medical school, and contact the course coordinator with intent at least six months prior to the rotation.

Student Profile

You are required to complete a student profile before the rotation. This profile should be forwarded at the time of choosing your site to the Center for Primary Care, Room C1613. This will provide important information to us and to your preceptor that will help make this a successful experience and meet your needs while you are at the site. You can fill out the student profile here, or obtain the form from Darlene Getz (C1613).

The Student Profile is required to be submitted to the Office of Primary Care two months (or six months, for international students) ahead of time. Failure to do so may result in a lack of approval and/or inability to participate in the course.

PA AHEC Form – CR-1 (required for all rotations in Pennsylvania)

The entrance form must be filled out prior to the rotation and sent to the Center for Primary Care. This form will be included in the rotation confirmation notice.

Course Proposal

You are required to finalize plans for the elective by submitting a proposal. The proposal should contain the course objectives as are appropriate to your elective site.

Please forward your proposal to the course coordinator in the Center for Primary Care, Room C1613. Your proposal will be reviewed by the course co-director who will serve as your course advisor. A template for the proposal is attached.

If you create your own four-week primary care experience, the proposal must be based on the goals and objectives of the course.

International sites must be approved by the Center for Global Health. Student will need to obtain the form through the Center for Global Health.

Course Assignment

With prior approval of the course Co-Director, a project may be done in health promotion or disease prevention. This project should be one that can be accomplished during the month and it should benefit the practice site or the community. A written proposal must be submitted prior to the beginning of the rotation to discuss with the course Co-Director. You must have a plan for the project objectives, and be able to plan a method of implementation and outcome.

In place of a project, a paper, at least five (5) pages in length, specifically addressing one or more objectives you accomplished during the outlined on your proposal, may be written. For example, a paper from a rural health clinic might address the community dynamics of the clinical site, such as, knowledge of interdisciplinary resources, socioeconomic and cultural diversity, and community-specific health care issues.

The paper submitted for your assignment should be double-spaced, with 12 font type and 1 inch margins.

Request for Absence

With approval from the course Co-Director, one day is allowed for a four-week experience; any time taken after that must be made up.

A written request for absence shall be submitted to the Center for Primary Care before the rotation begins. You and your preceptor will be notified with the approval.

Evaluation of Preceptor and Experience

Your evaluation of the experience and this course is due on the day you hand in your written assignment. A site evaluation form will be included in the rotation confirmation notice.

Failure to do so will result in a deferred grade initially and final grade will be capped at a Pass.

Evaluation and Grading of Student

The final course grade for PCMED 741 (743, 744, 745, 746) Primary Care will determined by the following:

Preceptor’s evaluation: 70%
Course assignment: 30%

The on-site preceptor must provide an objective (final evaluation) of the student’s performance at the end of the rotation. PLEASE ASK YOUR PRECEPTOR TO COMPLETE YOUR FIINAL EVALUATION. YOUR GRADE WILL BE WITHHELD UNTIL THIS HAS BEEN RECEIVED.

The course assignment, which comprises 30% of the final grade, will be read and graded by your course Co-Director. The project or paper must be completed to obtain a passing grade for the course.


The following documents must be submitted by the student within two weeks of finishing the rotation:

  • Student Evaluation
  • Written Project
  • Preceptor Final Evaluation

Failure to do so will result in a deferred grade.