In the second semester of Introduction to Clinical Medicine 1 (ICM-1) each first year student spends ten sessions shadowing a clinician-mentor in the mentor’s practice setting  The experience is meant to introduce the student to the practice of medicine (broadly defined) and allow the student to practice targeted parts of the medical interview and physical exam.  The hands-on learning that these sessions provide is a wonderful complement to the basic science courses in which the student is immersed.

In addition to the clinical sessions, students convene at the medical school for scheduled didactic seminars. Students attend a one-hour lecture on topics ranging from the Format of a History and Physical Exam to Cross Cultural Issues in Practice to Domestic Violence, to name a few.  Each lecture is followed by a 90-minute small-group workshop where students will learn and practice a focused part of the physical exam.  In addition, students will be able to practice their presenting skills by presenting a history of present illness, for instance, from their experience out at their clinical sites.  Students will also be using on line module courses that we have created on the medical interview, affect, screening for depression, substance abuse and taking a sexual history.

For any students the clinical experience is the highlight of their first year. The relationship between a student and his/her mentor can be as rewarding for the mentor as it is for the student.