Continuing Clinical Education (MSTP 795)

The MSTP 795: Continuing Clinical Education course is designed to provide clinical continuity training for MSTP students throughout the PhD phase of the program. MSTP 795 features a flexible curriculum that can be tailored to each student’s needs through 10-12 hours of required activities per semester. The course is comprised of three components: clinical encounters, shadowing experiences, and clinical knowledge sessions.

Course Director: Greg Payne MD, PhD and William Geisler, MD, MPH


  • Clinical encounters – Students can perform a history and physical exam on patients at UAB Hospital or at the student-run Equal Access Birmingham free clinic for course credit. Students also have access to one-on-one mentorship from clinical preceptors, who are recruited from the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency programs. Resident preceptors observe clinical encounters performed in the hospital and provide feedback on history and physical exam skills, patient notes, and oral presentations.
  • Shadowing experiences – Students can shadow medical students, residents, fellows, or attending physicians during clinics or wards. Shadowing experiences are intended to help students narrow the field of medical specialties they may be interested in pursuing, which aids in scheduling MS3 and MS4 clerkships. Students can also use shadowing experiences to prepare for MS3 year by observing the responsibilities of an MS3 student.
  • Clinical knowledge sessions – Students have a variety of opportunities to expand their clinical knowledge each semester. MSTP 795 includes monthly clinical case presentations, in which UAB faculty lead students through interactive clinical cases published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, as well as bimonthly simulation lab experiences. In addition, students may attend morning report for the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics for course credit.
  • “Re-immersion” events - Conducted for those students graduating from the PhD phase and returning to MS3 clerkships. These include intensive shadowing experiences, clinical skills workshops, physical exam review sessions, and objective structured clinical exams. Returning students may request additional clerkship preparation activities if desired. 


Physical Diagnosis Mentors are UAB internal medicine residents that supervise and structure the H&P sessions.

Clinical Specialty Mentors are faculty members with practices spanning a wide variety of fields in medicine; they exemplify the principles of good clinical practice and interest in medical research and are extremely helpful for guiding students in the particulars of their field.