University of Pittsburgh

 

MS-3

Clinical Clerkships

Eight required clerkships form the core of the combined clinical years. The overall aim of the clerkship experience is to provide students with the essential experiences where they will apply their knowledge and skills as they develop competence in the care of patients. Together, the clerkships, and all other clinical experiences, share a fundamental set of objectives.

Overall, the objectives of the required clerkships are for students to become able to:

  • Integrate basic science concepts with clinical reasoning.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate therapeutic relationships with patients.
  • Obtain a sensitive, thorough medical history.
  • Perform a sensitive and accurate physical exam.
  • Perform general clinical procedures.
  • Develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for culturally competent care.
  • Participate in discussions and decision-making with patients and families.
  • Work effectively with other providers in the health care arena.
  • Clearly communicate medical information in spoken and written
    form.
  • Develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes to practice the basic
    principles of prevention.
  • Demonstrate sound clinical reasoning.
  • Appropriately assess patients with common signs and symptoms.
  • Appropriately use testing to help guide diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.
  • Diagnose and demonstrate basic understanding of common diseases and conditions.
  • Describe therapeutic options for and participate in the care of patients with common problems.
  • Recognize acute life-threatening medical problems and initiate care.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to assist in the management of chronic diseases.
  • Participate in care in a variety of settings.
  • Use information and educational technology to facilitate research, education and patient care.
  • Incorporate ethical principles in clinical practice and research.
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors.

Clinical Focus Courses

The third year is punctuated by three one-week learning experiences, spread over the 48 weeks of the third year.

  1. The Preclerkship Course is an introduction that is presented immediately prior to the start of the third year. It includes aspects of clinical, humanistic, and administrative preparation for clinical experiences.
  2. The Geriatrics Course uses a combination of learning formats, including classroom sessions and experiences at clinical sites, to provide a highly focused exposure to key topics in this important discipline.A major emphasis is on developing skills to succeed in and lead inter-professional teams. This curriculum builds upon the new perspectives gained by students during the first six rotations of the third year.

  3. Assessment Week is conducted at the time of transition from third to fourth year. Students complete a series of structured assessments and participate in focused review sessions. Together these activities provide students with timely and specific formative feedback about their progress toward the objectives of the curriculum.