After finishing your PhD you return to medical school and begin to see patients on the wards. It's a little bit scary since you've been away from medicine for 3-5 years, but you will adjust quickly and it's really a lot of fun. In your third year of medical school you will do your 'core rotations' which are Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, OB/Gyn, Psychiatry and Neurology. In your fourth year you will take electives which usually more extensive training in your area of interest, as well as training in other useful areas such as Radiology, Dermatology or Anesthesia. Third year takes an entire year to complete (including the summer and there are 6 months of required elective time (although you can do more electives is you want). Overall the third and fourth years together can take as little as a year and a half, but you want to make sure you go back with some time for vacations, additional electives and trips to assess post graduate opportunities as well. Often the hardest thing about going back on the wards is getting there, because there is often more work to do on your PhD. There are several options of when to go back. It's best to go back at the beginning of summer, when the other third years are also new, but it is possible to go back until about the middle of the fall quarter. Just remember that the later you go back in the school year, the harder it will be to catch up, and the less time you will have for electives and vacation. It is now required that you have actually defended your PhD before you go back, so plan ahead! Once you've started back on the wards it's all downhill — less than 2 years to go and you're outta here!