Answer to "What capabilities does a student need to thrive in a LIC?"

Ability to respond to an unpredictable learning environment is key to a medical student’s suitability for a longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC) programme. Students themselves have suggested that the following traits are desirable, especially for a rural LIC:  flexibility; adaptability; comfort with being uncomfortable; adventurousness; and willingness to embrace the programme and the setting.  

Potentially all students could benefit from a LIC learning environment, but the LIC style of learning is best suited to those who are able to: adapt to a new learning environment; build their own structure for learning; self-assess and self-direct, and learn through authentic practice-based experience.  Students who are more comfortable with a structured traditional rotational structure with clearly defined learning outcomes for each discipline, regular formal high stakes assessments to provide feedback on expectations on how and what they should be learning in each discipline and how they are tracking compared to peers, may find it hard to adjust to a LIC programme. 

The integrated curriculum in a LIC is more unpredictable than discipline-based rotations.  The curriculum has been said to: unfold according to the clinical work environment. Thus when selecting students for a LIC programme, it is beneficial to assess whether applicants are able to adapt their approach to learning in a less predictable healthcare education setting.


Konkin DJ, Suddards CA. 2015. Who should choose a rural LIC: A qualitative study of perceptions of students who have completed a rural longitudinal integrated clerkship. Med Teach. 37(11):1026-1031.

Strasser R, Hogenbirk JC, Minore B, Marsh DC, Berry S, McCready WG, Graves L. 2013. Transforming health professional education through social accountability: Canada’s Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Med Teach. 35:490–496.