When the much-anticipated clerkship year arrives for third-year students at Harvard Medical School (HMS), approximately 50 are assigned to Mass General. Also called the Principal Clinical Experience, over the next 12 months, they gain a full spectrum of clinical experience in the major disciplines of medicine, including obstetrics and gynecology.
In groups of six or seven, the students progress through a six-week rotation in the Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a program directed by Carey York-Best, MD, who has been recognized by HMS for teaching excellence, including the inaugural Bullfinch Award for Undergraduate Education at Mass General conferred in 2012. Dr. Carey York-Best, MD (in photo, at center), and Uchechi Wosu, MD, MSc (right), use a high-tech mannequin mother and baby to provide obstetric training to an HMS student (left).
Together, the faculty divide the schedule into mini-clerkships, covering all facets of OB/GYN and its subspecialties. The medical students are exposed to day and night shifts in labor and delivery. They learn state-of-the-art interventions in maternal-fetal medicine, gynecologic cancer, benign gynecology, urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery, reproductive medicine and in vitro fertilization (IVF). “Mentoring takes extra time,” says Dr. York-Best. “But it makes us all practice a higher level of medicine.”