Course Description

The Personalized Active Learning (PAL) Block is a required one-credit course designed to provide students with curricular time to pursue flexible individualized independent learning activities to further their medical education. Students will select one or more activities according to one’s need and/or desire and be engaged in, at minimum, 60 hours (15 or more half-days) of activities over the course of a five-week block. The activities must collectively add up to no less than 60 hours and all activities must be completed during the PAL block.

Sample Activities

  • Continued Scholarly Project work.
  • Continued Certificate of Distinction work (e.g. Global Health, RHPP, or Service Learning).
  • Continued CCE work.
  • Clinical experiences*.
  • Community outreach* (e.g. CHIP, Dominican Republic trip).
  • Clinical or basic science research not related to Scholarly Project work
  • Leadership training (e.g., College/Program Committee, Military Officer Training)
  • Independent study to enhance proficiency in relevant subject areas.
  • Enrichment Elective (e.g. Step 1, MPH, Medical Spanish).    
  • Block/Course remediation.
  • Competency remediation.
  • Other* (PAL Director approval required).

Learning Objectives:

Educational Program Objectives are a subset of more broadly defined physician competencies, which represent general domains of performance for which the profession and the public hold physicians accountable.

  • Self-identify subjects and areas of need or interest to pursue individual active learning.
  • Develop personalized learning objectives and plans.
  • Develop and refine communication skills with PAL preceptors and course directors.
  • Engage in PAL activities that enrich and further one’s medical education.
  • Self-evaluate completion of the planned learning.
  • Acquire and refine time management skills.

*These activities may require an Affiliation Agreement with the clinician's representing institute.