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My School of Medicine Columbia

M.D. Program

Forms, policies and information for students in the M.D. program can be found here.

The senior year at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia (USCSOM) consists of four required clinical rotations totaling 16 weeks (Acting Internship, Critical Care, Step 2 Prep and Capstone); four elective rotations (totaling 16 weeks); and the opportunity for two additional four-week electives, if desired by the student. The Capstone curriculum is designed to enhance academic, clinical, medicolegal, and management skills of graduating students in order to assist them in their transition to residency training and clinical practice.

It is imperative that the academic integrity of the M3 and M4 years at USCSOM be maintained for each student. For this reason, a student should not expect to be excused from required rotations or electives for residency interviews during the senior year. Students who find it necessary to miss any days of a rotation or elective must obtain permission from the respective clerkship director or department chair. Any student who is absent for residency interviews for more than three days per four weeks of a clerkship may be required to makeup the missed time. Excessive absences during a rotation or elective may result in an "Unsatisfactory" grade in personal and professional conduct or in a reduction in the academic letter grade.

Up to four rotations may be scheduled away and no more than three electives are permitted in the same specialty or subspecialty. One or two additional rotations beyond the eight required rotations can be scheduled, if desired, in any specialty or subspecialty and at any approved site.

Each student will be evaluated at the conclusion of each required rotation and elective by means of evaluation forms. Each department determines the method of overall evaluation. If a letter grade is to be assigned, a grading scale consistent with the USCSOM letter grade system outlined in the School of Medicine Bulletin is utilized.

During the academic year, all senior medical students are required to complete a minimum of four electives totaling 16 weeks. These electives provide students with opportunities to augment previous experiences in the clinical and basic science areas in preparation for their chosen careers. In order to meet this requirement, a sufficient variety of appropriate educational experiences is offered by USCSOM. Students may also fulfill elective requirements through the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (SCAHEC) and by means of independent study electives, extramural electives within the United States and Canada, and international extramural electives. In selecting elective experiences, students are encouraged to seek advice from faculty advisors, mentors, department chairs, personnel in the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services and from as many other sources as possible.

Columbia

Scheduling procedures and forms are explained in detail at a class meeting early in the spring semester of the M3 year. Students are given approximately one month to meet with a faculty advisor to discuss schedules and make their selections in OASIS, our registration software system.

It is recommended that students plan their required rotations first and then fill in the remaining blocks with their electives. Students may choose to do some rotations at the Florence Regional campus as space allows. As much flexibility as possible will be allowed throughout the third and fourth year for changes, but required months cannot always be changed due to limits in the number of students allowed on certain rotations.

Schedules are processed in OASIS using a lottery system and then are made available to students. After the schedules have been posted, students have two weeks to change rotations among themselves before the schedule is finalized and sent to elective and clerkship directors.

Florence 

When applicants are made an offer of acceptance to the School of Medicine Columbia, they will be informed that the assignment to a clinical campus will occur early in their first year. By accepting the offer, applicants will acknowledge that while they will be able to state a preference, there is no guarantee that they will be assigned to their preferred campus.  Students will be assigned to the Florence Regional campus for their third and fourth year clinical rotations. Similarly, scheduling procedures are explained at a class meeting on the USCSOM campus.

M3 and M4 students register and manage their course schedules via the OASIS registration system. Students are provided access to the system by the Office of Curricular Affairs. In general, the deadline to drop or add is four weeks prior to the beginning date of the elective. However, some electives may have additional requirements that involve special consideration/notification.  Independent Study, Extramural Electives, and Extramural Acting Internship experiences must be approved by the Director of Enrollment Services/Registrar and/or the Assistant Dean for Clinical Curriculum. Failure to do so in the specified time frame can result in the student not receiving credit for the experience.

EXTRAMURAL ELECTIVE, ACTING INTERNSHIP OR INDEPENDENT STUDY REQUEST

Be sure to already have the confirmation or letter of acceptance from the host school/director of the experience before completing the form.

Please note that a student is not registered for the elective until confirmation of approval is received.

For all information regarding dates, deadlines, documents and other necessary items for new students to matriculate into the SOMC, please visit the New Student Information Page.

The Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS®) is the centralized online application service you’ll use to deliver your application, along with supporting documents, to residency programs.

View the ERAS Timeline for M.D. Residency for more information on the residency application process.

If you are a prior graduate looking for information to apply to residency or a fellowship, please contact Dr. Eric Williams at Eric.Williams@uscmed.sc.edu.

The interview is a very important factor in the evaluation process because it gives program directors an opportunity to assess how well you might fit into their program. But it’s not just about program needs—this is your chance to determine whether the program meets your goals and expectations.

Once you send your application and supporting materials to your chosen programs, the interview process begins. Residency interviews usually occur from October through January of your fourth year, with December and January being the busiest interview months. Programs may begin contacting you for interviews as early as September or as late as December—the timing varies by program. Some specialties offer interviews earlier than others. Some programs wait until they receive all application materials and letters of recommendation, including the MSPE.

Programs may contact you by email, phone, or through the MyERAS Message Center. We recommend that you have your voicemail set up with a professional, outgoing message and check your email and MyERAS Message Center on a regular basis. Some programs use self-scheduling tools to schedule their interviews, and you’ll have more choices of dates and times if you respond right away to interview invitations.

Residency Interview Prep Panel

University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia hosts a Residency Interview Prep Panel each year to prepare fourth year medical students for interview season. A panel of program directors and coordinators share their experiences and advice to applicants. Event details will be provided via email during the fall semester.

Host Program

If you would like to stay with an alumni for an away rotation or interview, we’d love to hear from you. Our alumni are happy to provide insights about the city in which they live and, occasionally, a specific residency. Some are also able to provide overnight accommodations in their home for you.

Many hosts go above and beyond by offering transportation to and from interviews and airports, home cooked meals, guided tours of the area and invaluable professional insight on the regional medical community and your prospective medical center. Every HOST experience will be different and you will benefit every time you use the program.

If you would like to use the HOST program please fill out our the student registration form.

The MSPE details your academic history and performance through your first three full years of medical school and, in some cases, as much of your fourth year as possible. Largely written by the Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs in collaboration with other faculty members, the MSPE also includes an assessment of your professional attributes. Students have an opportunity to meet with a staff member to review their MSPE for accuracy. The MSPE release date (the date the document becomes available to programs through ERAS) is October 1 each year.

Transcripts are required for all students applying to residency programs. Unofficial transcripts will be produced by the admissions office and provided to the DWS. The DWS will upload all transcripts prior to September 15th. If you would like an updated transcript to be uploaded to your application after September 15th, please contact Dr. Eric Williams at eric.williams@uscmed.sc.edu.

Most programs require a minimum of three letters of recommendation. ERAS allows you to store an unlimited number of letters and to designate different letters for each program. However, you can’t send more than four letters to an individual program. You should plan to ask for letters of recommendation at the end of your third year of medical school, between April and July, and no later than August of your fourth year.

Be sure to give letter writers at least three to four weeks to write the letter. Potential letter writers may be attending physicians from third- or fourth-year rotations, department chairs, program directors, research collaborators, deans, and faculty with whom you worked in extracurricular activities. It’s best to avoid asking residents to write letters. Letter authors upload their letters to the ERAS system.

Check individual program websites and ERAS program information for details on what types of letters of recommendation are expected and when they are due. Please note that the medical school staff (including the DWS and other members of Student Services) are not allowed to have access to any LoR. The DWS may assist authors or their designees with the steps required to upload a LoR but cannot upload the letter themselves.

The USMLE transcript is required by many M.D. residency programs as part of an application to be considered for their positions. Applicants should research programs individually for requirements related to the USMLE transcript (i.e. minimum scores). Applicants must authorize the release of their USMLE transcript and assign it to the programs they designate.

The NBME or ECFMG (for IMG Residency) charges a fee of $80 for transmitting USMLE transcripts to the programs designated by applicants. You can view the USMLE Requests Status Report to track the status of your USMLE requests by program. If you have a new score become available you must take action in MyERAS to resend USMLE scores to programs previously designated to receive them.

University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia hires a photographer for all M.D. students to have a professional head shot taken at the end of the third year. It is recommended that this photo be uploaded to MyERAS. The photo is most often used by programs to help identify applicants when reporting for an interview.

You should research programs individually to verify their requirements and use of the photo. Applicants must upload their own photo in MyERAS and then make assignments of the photo to the programs they designate. Please note that the photo file must meet the following requirements:

  • File Type: JPG/JPEG or PNG
  • Maximum File Size: 100 KB
  • Maximum Dimensions: 2.5 in. x 3.5 in.
  • Maximum Resolution: 150 DPI

 

All who matched must complete the temporary license requirement of the institution/state of the residency. States have different license requirements, so it’s important that you review and complete all necessary paperwork in a timely fashion. Some forms cannot be completed until after your graduation day. In most cases, Dr. Rhinehart will need to sign and certify your date of graduation and/or degree completion. Forms that request the signature/verification of the “Dean” will be completed by him as well. If an official transcript is required by your residency program, the certified/official transcript will be available approximately three weeks after your graduation date. The cost of an official transcript is $12.00 and can be requested at the link below.  Please do not request the transcript now but wait until after your graduation date. If you were to request it now, it may be sent without having your degree conferred.

The link to request a transcript is: https://www.sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/registrar/transcripts_and_records/transcripts/index.php.

Programs may request references or letters of recommendation (LoR). Some residency programs will use your LoRs from your residency applications, and some generate letters from the program director and/or chair for the department. Some states have forms that need to be completed prior to graduation. You will need to research how your program handles this process. Please contact Dr. Rhinehart at Robert.Rhinehart@uscmed.sc.edu if you need a copy of the MSPE/Dean’s Letter.

If your program asks for liability insurance information, students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine are provided medical professional liability coverage ($300,000/$600,000) under policy number P1200805 with the SC Insurance Reserve Fund. The Insurance Reserve Fund is located at 1201 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201. The current coverage is from October 15, 2020 – October 15, 2021. A new certificate will be issued in October 2021 that will provide coverage from October 15, 2021 – October 15, 2022.

The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (SCDLLR) Board of Medical Examiners form must be completed and submitted to the registrar, who will place a School of Medicine seal on the form and deliver it to LLR. Since an official/certified transcript must accompany the form, each student who matched in SC must complete the transcript request form and provide a $12.00 check or money order (made payable to the University of South Carolina) by April 21. Please bring the form and payment to Dr. Rhinehart (slide it under his door if he is not there). After the transcripts are available, Dr. Rhinehart will pick up the transcripts and hand deliver the forms/transcripts for all students who matched in South Carolina to the SCDLLR.

Your diplomas will be given out at the Hooding and Commencement Ceremony each May.

If you need a photo for your license application or other residency-related form, please contact Nikita Stanley in Student Affairs at Nikita.Stanley@uscmed.sc.edu or 803-216-3632 to obtain your MIV composite photo.

Dr. Rhinehart (Robert.Rhinehart@uscmed.sc.edu), Shelley Streeter (Shelley.Streeter@uscmed.sc.edu) and Sarah Ricker (Sarah.Ricker@uscmed.sc.edu) are available to notarize documents. Please email one of them to set-up an appointment.

Your School of Medicine mailboxes will be disabled in mid-July following graduation, but we can provide forwarding to another email address until mid-August, if you need it.

Please email OIT PST Request if you need forwarding after July 15th and provide us your new email address. If you are not graduating this year or are continuing with us as an employee, please make us aware of that, so your account is not removed. Residents do not need to keep their School of Medicine accounts but their emails can be forwarded to their Prisma Health email accounts. If you email OIT PST Request and let us know that, we can keep your account active until your Prisma Health email is assigned. You can then email us your Prisma Health email address and we will forward it for you then.

You may go to the police department for courtesy fingerprints or check with the VA fingerprinting office for courtesy fingerprints at 803-776-4000 Ext. 4886 to set up an appointment. If you are going to a VA hospital for residency, then you will need to provide the receiving facility’s SOI SON #.

If you need a PPD or copy of your immunization records, please email Jennifer Evans at Jennifer.Evans@uscmed.sc.edu or call her at 803-216-3374.

The National Provider Identification (NPI) number is provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help with the efficiency of electronic transmission of health information. You all will have one eventually, but in order to apply for it, you have to have your MD degree and a license number. Your residency program should help you with the application process. If your program requires you to obtain your number now, you can do so by following this CMS guide.

 

Travel Grants

Travel grants for the School of Medicine Columbia M.D. Program are available through the School of Medicine Columbia and Prisma for the 2024-25 Academic Year.

2024-25 Award Cycles

Cycle Application Period Travel Dates
1 May 1-10, 2024 July 1 - Sept. 30, 2024
2 Aug. 1-10, 2024 Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 2024
3 Nov. 1-10, 2024 Jan. 1 - March 31, 2025
4 Feb. 1-10, 2024 April 1 - June 30, 2025

Travel Award Amount

Awards up to $500 (e.g., registration, travel and/or lodging).

Requirements for Travel Funds

  • To request funds, you must complete this Google Form and include the following:
    • a copy of the invitation/acceptance to present your research or clinical practice (you must be listed on the invitation/acceptance as the presenting author to be considered for funding),
      • One (1) student presenter application for travel funding per abstract.
    • a copy of the abstract including the listing of all co-authors and their affiliations,
    • a letter of support from your mentor or PI, and
    • a budget of anticipated travel/hotel/registration expenses.
  • Applications must be submitted in the award cycle that corresponds with the presentation travel dates.
    • Travel fund awards will not be considered after the presentation.
    • Applications will be reviewed each award application cycle by the Student Services Travel subcommittee.
  • Funds granted will be reimbursed, not given in advance.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their research mentor to request additional funding for travel support.

How Often can I Recieve a Travel Grant?

Students may receive no more than one travel grant in any fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) and no more than two while a student at the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine Columbia.

Please note, the funds available to support student travel change each academic year. Students who apply early in the award cycle will have a significant advantage because applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. There is no guarantee that students who apply and meet application requirements will be awarded travel funds through this resource.

Exceptions may be considered for extenuating circumstances (e.g., abstract was waitlisted and then accepted outside of application cycle).

 


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