D&I Planning

Preparing for D&I
During the Major Clinical Year, students begin a series of decisions, culminating in a particular residency program for postgraduate education. During October, November, and December of their Major Clinical Year (MCY), students plan their Differentiation and Integration (D&I) curriculum, which includes both electives and a Scholarly Project, and will participate in preliminary registration in January after MCY. To make the best choices, students must consider their interests and then decide what to study, at which institution, and at which point in the year. Program directors, chairs, residency advisors, advisory deans, senior students and the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs provide information regarding suitable electives for each career choice.

D&I Timeline & Requirements
Electives are offered year-round, unless otherwise noted in the OASIS catalog. All electives run from the beginning to the end of the month, and are a minimum of 4 weeks in length. First day reporting is coordinated by each elective director and/or coordinator.

General D&I Requirements Months
Electives 8

Med, Peds, or Surg Sub-Internship (≥ 1)


Ready4Residency (R4R)

Scholarly Project 4
Interviews/Vacation 2
Total 14

Students in the "Scholarly Projects Plus" program who wish to complete more than six months of full-time scholarly work must meet with the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs to develop an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) as part of their project review process.

Elective Types
P&S students have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of electives during their D&I phase. There are also options for global health electives, self-arranged preceptorships, as well as self-arranged research electives. Please review UserVoice for more information about how to register for these types of electives.

  • Subinternship (Clinical): Often referred to as a "sub-I", the student will function as part of a team on a teaching service with responsibilities closely mirroring those of an intern. Students will have primary responsibility for patient care and may be required to take night calls. The most common subinternships are in Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Urology, Neurology, and Emergency Medicine.
  • Consult (Clinical): The student will be under the direct supervision of house staff and attendings and will provide consultation to other in-hospital services. Students present cases and are responsible for follow-up of their patients.
  • Preceptorship (Clinical): The student will work directly with one faculty member during the course of the elective, performing or observing all the duties of that faculty member.
  • Research (Nonclinical): Research electives are self-arranged opportunities for dedicated study on a topic agreed upon with a research supervisor. They are not available to visiting students except where listed in the elective catalog.

Away Electives
The Classes of 2017 and 2018 may receive credit for up to 3 electives that are full time, four weeks in duration, and supervised by an MD at LCME schools or at a Columbia international exchange program. All other away electives must be approved by the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs prior to the start date of the rotation. Please see D&I Policies and D&I Registration for more information on away electives.

Evaluations and Grading
All electives are graded and evaluated through OASIS. P&S students are required to complete a Course Evaluation (CE) before a Student Performance Evaluation (SPE) will appear on their schedule. All electives will be graded as Honors/High Pass/Pass/Low Pass/Fail, except for R4R, away electives, and Global Health electives, which are all graded as Pass/Fail. 

Career Planning
To increase student awareness of upcoming decisions and the options available, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs provides information in the form of memoranda and class meetings beginning in the middle of the Major Clinical Year and throughout the D&I period. Advisory Deans and Residency Advisors also provide numerous opportunities for students to meet with them and learn about different specialties. Students are also supported by the class head as well as the Dean’s Office. A comprehensive website on career planning is available to all students by visiting the P&S Career Advising CourseWorks page.

The following events provide career and elective counseling for each student:

  • In November of MCY, the Senior Associate Dean commences meetings with each student individually to review academic achievements and discuss plans for the D&I period as well as residency applications.
  • In January after MCY, students register for the first Spring semester of the D&I curriculum.
  • In March (after MCY), fourth-year student panels advise the third-years on how to plan their D&I schedules and discuss the various specialties in a series of scheduled meetings.
  • In April, students gather in a series of small-group discussion sessions ("Pizza Dinners") with 4th year students, individual program directors, and department chairs in the various specialties of potential interest. Students also register for the Summer/Fall semester.
  • In May, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs meets with the class to review the residency application process in step by step detail.
  • In October of the fourth year, students register for the final Spring semester of the D&I curriculum.

To assist students with their decision-making, a comprehensive website on Career Counseling provides information for specialty and residency selection as well as elective choices.

By the start of their 4th year, all students apply for residency, including registering for the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP), requesting letters of recommendation from faculty members, and researching online programs that might fit their needs. In addition to working with their Advisory Dean and the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs, students are strongly encouraged to select a faculty advisor in the field of medicine students plan to pursue in their careers. With the help of the advisor, students identify residency programs they may be interested in and follow the necessary procedures for applying.

Most interviewing for residency programs occurs during December and January, with some in October, November and February. By the third week in February, the various programs and applicants across the country have ranked each other in order of preference and submitted their rank order lists to the National Residency Matching Program. Each applicant is then matched to the most preferred program on their rank order list that offers him/her a position, and each program matches the most preferred candidates who accept its offer of a position. The final match is announced on Match Day in March of the fourth year.

Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons Affiliated Hospitals/Sites**

Allen Pavilion**
5141 Broadway
New York, New York 10034
250 Pleasant Street
Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Basset Health Care/Cooperstown
One Atwell Road
Cooperstown, New York 13326
Northern Navajo Medical Center
PO Box 160
Shiprock, New Mexico 87420
Harlem Hospital
135th Street and Lenox Avenue
New York, New York 10037
Presbyterian Hospital
622 West 168th Street
New York, New York 10032
Helen Hayes Hospital
Route 9W
West Haverstraw, New York 10993
Milstein Hospital
177 Ft. Washington Avenue
New York, New York 10032
Indian Health Service
PHS Indian Hospital, PO Box 860
Whiteriver, Arizona 85941
St. Francis Hospital
100 Port Washington Blvd.
Roslyn, New York 11576
Indian Health Service
PHS Indian Hospital, PO Box 467
Zuni, New Mexico 87327
Stamford Hospital
Shelburne Road at West Broad Street
PO Box 9317
Stamford, Connecticut 06902

**The Allen Pavilion of Presbyterian Hospital is located at 5141 Broadway (near West 220th Street). It is not on the main Presbyterian Hospital site.

Location Codes
Code letter Location
P New York Presbyterian Hospital
C Mary I. Bassett Hospital
S Stamford Hospital
H Harlem Hospital