Medicine Clerkship Implementation in a Hospitalist Group: Curricular Innovation and Review

Ochsner J. 2016 Spring;16(1):56-61.


Background: In 2008, the Department of Hospital Medicine at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, LA, began training its own students for the first time as a result of the partnership between our institution and the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia, that established a global medical school. The Department of Hospital Medicine is responsible for the Medicine clerkship for third-year medical students. We have 5 resident teams at the main hospital in the system, but the majority of our hospitalists work alone. Because of staffing issues, we have had to change our mentality from having teaching hospitalists and nonteaching hospitalists to viewing all hospitalists as potential educators.

Methods: The department has slowly increased the number of students in the Medicine clerkship each year with the goal of training 120 third-year students in the New Orleans area in 2016. The students in the Medicine clerkship will be divided into five 8-week rotations, allowing for 25 students to be trained at one time.

Results: The UQ curriculum is similar to that of most 4-year American schools, but some differences in methods, such as a heavy emphasis on bedside instruction and oral summative assessments, are novel to us. These differences have provided our department with new goals for professional and instructor development. For the actual instruction, we pair students one on one with hospitalists and also assign them to resident teams. Student placement has been a challenge, but we are making improvements as we gain experience and explore opportunities for placement at our community hospitals.

Conclusion: Our arrangement may be adapted to other institutions in the future as the number of students increases and the availability of resident teachers becomes more difficult nationwide.

Keywords: Clinical clerkship; curriculum; education–medical–undergraduate; faculty–medical; hospitalists; schools–medical; students–medical.