Primary Care Pediatrics Experiences for Medical Students
All medical students complete the Pediatric Clerkship in their third year, but they may be taught in the ambulatory pediatrics clinics in all four years of their training. Their curriculum includes a Primary Care Clerkship in Year 1 that focuses on prevention, screening, and health promotion. For one afternoon per week over 10 weeks, students are exposed to the primary care pediatric setting. This course continues in Year 2, when students spend one afternoon for 10 weeks in a continuity experience in a primary care office (adult or pediatrics). Another afternoon is spent in rotations in ambulatory pediatrics or other ambulatory specialties.
In Year 3, all students take a five-week Pediatric Clerkship, two weeks of which are usually spent in the outpatient setting. Some of these students rotate through our pediatric illness clinic. In addition, on the inpatient portion of the clerkship, students round with a team and do their bedside presentations with the on-service attendings, some of whom are general pediatrics faculty.
In Year 4, they are required to take a four-week Sub-Internship in one of five disciplines, including pediatrics. The pediatric sub-internship includes rounding with faculty as they care for general pediatrics patients in the hospital. Students in Year 4 can also choose an "elective" in the illness clinic for 1 or more weeks.
Primary Care Clerkship experiences for beginning students offer longitudinal precepting and role modeling by general pediatrics faculty members in the Continuity Clinic setting. The clerkship provides excellent opportunities to teach students to interact comfortably with infants and children, and learn fundamental principles and skills in pediatrics. The third year Pediatric Clerkship, which occurs over 5 days in the Illness Clinic, exposes students to care for children with a variety of illnesses and conditions. Clinical encounters, supervised by pediatric residents, fellows, or faculty, are supplemented by online pediatric teaching cases, to ensure that students learn about all the common diseases of childhood. The Sub-internship in pediatrics is usually taken by students who plan to specialize in pediatrics and it is customized to their needs. Hence, students who intend to become general pediatricians can jump-start their residency training by working closely with primary care faculty and fellows, and by deepening their exposure to infants and children of all levels of care.
For details on the medical student curriculum, go to: The Double Helix Curriculum