Course Description

The Family Medicine Clerkship is a 4-week clinical rotation during the third year of the MD Program in International Health and Medicine. After several Hospital rotations, students will find in Family Medicine their first ambulatory, community focused, primary care experience.

On the first day of this rotation, students will meet with the clerkship's coordinator for an orientation session and for an introductory seminar to Family Medicine. During this session, each student will receive a time schedule for clinic work, mid-day meetings, seminars, and examination, and will be assigned an instructor working in a family medicine, community-based clinic. On arrival at the clinic, each instructor will give the specific clinic's schedule to the student. In addition to the “hands-on", clinical experience, small groups and seminar formats will be used during this clerkship to familiarize students with common clinical problems in primary care.

The most important part of this clerkship is that students will have the possibility to join a family physician and assist in caring for his/ her patients. Teaching is one-to-one and emphasizes the understanding of the doctor-patient relationship, and the importance of “patient centeredness". Problem solving will be discussed under the circumstances confronted by primary care physicians in their daily work (poorly defined clinical conditions, early stage of diseases, and the need to make decisions under uncertainty). The bio-psycho-social model (biological, psychological and social components of the patient's problem) will be emphasized, and patient problems will be explored in the context of the family and the community.