Involvement with Patients

Students are encouraged to make the most of the opportunity to learn about, learn from, and spend time with their patients. A student frequently becomes involved with a small group of patients, on average 2-4 per week. Through a detailed approach to a small number of patients students can begin to acquire an understanding of clinical problems. In addition to the initial evaluation and daily progress notes, all diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers are closely monitored. Although a smaller group of patients are the core of the student’s educational experience, exposure to a large number of other patients on a less detailed basis is also useful in broadening knowledge. The student derives considerable benefit from exposure to other students’ patients who are being discussed and by being present when attendings or consultants see their own patients. The MD program curriculum includes required clinical experiences (“must see list”) for the core clerkships and family medicine (General Practice in the UK) as detailed in the course syllabus.

The Office of the Senior Associate Dean, Clinical Studies also monitors each student’s electronic log to ensure that each student has seen patients required by the MD program curriculum. In order to ensure curricular requirements are being met, students must account for all required clinical experiences in the Patient Encounter Log (PEL), an electronic patient log application (see below). The clerkship director reviews the PEL at the mid-core formative assessment and when completing the final clerkship evaluation form. This review confirms completion of curricular requirements and assesses students’ commitment to documentation as well as patient involvement. Students should easily achieve all required clinical experiences; however, in the rare event that an experience is not achievable, the experience must be fulfilled using a virtual clinical experience, which is a web-based resource available on the clerkship Sakai site. Completion of the PEL requirement fulfills a sub-component the Professional Behavior component of the clerkship grade.