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Family Medicine Core Clerkship (FMED 405)

 The eight-week family medicine core clerkship rotation is a component of the MDCM curriculum. This clerkship, which is completed in the third year of the curriculum, is complementary to a previous experience in family medicine during the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course. It provides the student with the opportunity to work as part of an interdisciplinary team in a variety of ambulatory settings in order to increase their understanding of the discipline of family medicine.

The goals of the clerkship are the same as those of the ICM course, namely:

  • To promote a patient-centered model of care.
  • To develop an ambulatory care approach.
  • To promote an understanding of the patient as part of a family and the community.
  • To promote continuous and comprehensive care.
  • To foster health promotion and disease prevention.
  • To teach the need for continued self-directed learning.
  • To provide an opportunity for an informed career choice

The goals are derived from the four principles of Family Medicine as stated by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. The four principles form a basis for all the educational activities of the College. They help define not only family medicine as a discipline, but also the role of the family physician.


1. The patient-physician relationship is central to Family Medicine.

2. The family physician is a skilled clinician.

3. Family Medicine is community-based.

4. The family physician is a resource to a defined practice population.

Structure of the Family Medicine Clerkship:

The Family Medicine clerkship is an eight-week experience organized into two four-week blocks.  A minimum of four weeks must be spent in a rural location.  Three options are available with respect to teaching sites: 

  1. McGill-affiliated urban sites (four week rotations).
  2. McGill‐affiliated Quebec rural health care centers (four or eight week rotations).
  3. Special rotations outside of the McGill-affiliated sites (four or eight week rotations, with prior approval from the Department of Family Medicine).  The completed proposal must be submitted to the McGill Department of Family Medicine THREE MONTHS PRIOR to beginning of the Family Medicine Core Clerkship Rotation, for review and approval by the Family Medicine Clerkship Director.  Students will then be permitted to proceed with the arrangements for this special rotation.

For additional information concerning the Family Medicine Core Clerkship requirements: https://mycourses2.mcgill.ca/

Procedures for selecting a Family Medicine Clerkship rotation:

  1. All students should attend the clerkship orientation session in January of 2nd year. This meeting will provide you with information on how to make your choices.
  2. Every student must complete the online registration form from the Faculty of Medicine by the requested due date to choose the urban and rural family medicine sites.
  3. Students wishing to do a rotation outside of the McGill system must indicate their intent on the on-line choice form, which will be returned to the Department of Family Medicine.
  4. McGill urban and rural sites will be assigned by mid-May. The schedule will be sent by email to the class by the Faculty of Medicine.
  5. Furthermore, all students applying for special rotations must also submit a proposal for a special Family Medicine Clerkship form (available online at the Family Medicine website) respecting the appropriate deadlines. Students will be informed whether or not their special rotation has been approved within 10 days of the deadline for their group.

NOTE: Students that have selected a McGill rural rotation cannot make any switches to a non-McGill special rotation.