Family Medicine


<!-- InstanceBeginEditable name="Title" -->Family Medicine Clerkship<!-- InstanceEndEditable -->

The Family Medicine clerkship is a required primary care ambulatory rotation. The clerkship teaches the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to provide continuing, comprehensive, and preventive care to individuals and families who represent a broad spectrum of ages and cultures in the outpatient setting.

CLER 656
Family Medicine Clerkship
Clerkship Director: Kristine Carpenter, MD

Reporting Time:

8:00 a.m.-Carle Forum, 611 West Park Street, Urbana, IL 61801
Length: Six weeks
Dates: Year round
Prerequisites: It is recommended that the student take the core clerkships in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and surgery prior to family medicine
Methods of Evaluation: Day-by-day clinical performance of student; end-of-rotation examination; primary care behavior science performance
Students Per Rotation: One per site; multiple sites available; maximum students per six-week block: Four (exceptions are considered)
Night Call Required: Yes, as assigned by faculty preceptor
Weekends Required: Yes, as assigned by faculty preceptor

This is a six week required core clerkship in family medicine. The students will see and treat patients under the supervision of a family physician in both the in and out-patient settings, gaining knowledge and experience in meeting the primary care needs of patients of all ages.

It is the goal of our clerkship to produce students who:

  1. Are clinically excellent
  2. Continue their personal growth to physicianhood by meeting the COM competencies
  3. Meet and exceed national parameters in family medicine
  4. Are prepared for the required NBME exam
  5. Have developed an interest in family medicine
  6. Have received an experience that meets college-wide standards

The Family Medicine clerkship is a required primary care ambulatory rotation. The clerkship teaches the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to provide continuing, comprehensive, and preventive care to individuals and families who represent a broad spectrum of ages and cultures in the outpatient setting.

During the six-week clerkship, students will increase their ability in:

  1. Basic and Clinical Science Knowledge Base
    The curriculum is based on National Family Medicine Clerkship cirriculum, as outlined by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. The following core conditions will be covered using a combination of faculty lectures and online instruction through FM Cases:
    Acute - URI, joint pain/injury, pregnancy presentation, abdominal pain, common skin lesions/rashes, abnormal vaginal bleeding, low back pain, cough, chest pain, headache, vaginal discharge, dysuria, dizziness, shortness of breath, fever, depression, male urinary symptoms, leg swelling, dementia
    Chronic - hypertension, diabetes, asthma, COPD, hyperlipidemia, anxiety, arthritis, chronic back pain, coronary artery disease, obesity, heart failure, osteoporosis, substance abuse
    Health Maintainance - cancer of breast/cervix/colon/prostate, coronary artery disease, depression, fall risk, intimate partner/family violence, diet/exercise, family support, lead screening, vision, childhood growth, hearing, sexual activity, tuberculosis

  2. Communications/Biopsychosocial – The student will record their patient encounters in written form, with review by the preceptor. Each student will be directly observed interviewing and examining the patient by their preceptor. These encounters will be evaluated using the mini-CEX form. Four encounters must be turned in by each student. Oral presentations of the patient encounters will also be given and evaluated by preceptors.
  3. Ethical Reasoning and Judgement – The student is to demonstrate advocacy for their patients, respect patient rights and privacy, and help empower patients in decision making as they confront ethical dilemmas in critical care.
  4. Lifelong Learning – The student is to demonstrate and continue to refine his/her skills in knowledge acquisition in the clinical setting on a case by case basis, with review and feedback from his/her preceptor.
  5. Data Gathering/Problem Definition – The student is to demonstrate the ability to gather appropriate data, both from the patient as well as other sources.
  6. Management and Clinical Decision Making – The student is to continue to develop the ability to generate appropriate treatment plans, and discuss the correct course for continuing patient evaluation.
  7. Health Maintenance/Disease Prevention – The student will continue to develop his/her database in appropriate health screening examinations and testing. He/she will also demonstrate his/her skills in discussions of the risks and benefits encountered.
  8. Social and Community Context of Health Care – The student will learn and discuss the impact of the family and community on common primary care problems and be able to discuss an integrated approach to the clinical issues.
  9. Professional Behavior (Personal, Family, and Community) – The student is expected demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of the clerkship – from attire to punctuality, from sensitivity to privacy – all issues are to be handled in a respectful and professional manner.

Each student will be assigned a committed, enthusiastic faculty preceptor who provides the student a safe platform for individual patient encounters in a clinical practice setting. The preceptor will observe and provide feedback for all facets of the encounter (history, physical, treatment and documentation). Students will participate in a series of clinical lectures on a weekly basis. They will also be exposed to a variety of clinical settings in addition to their preceptor. These include urgent care clinics, sports medicine clinics, nursing home rounds, and under served clinic.


  1. Each student must turn in four mini-CEX encounter forms, completed by their preceptor based on the observation of the student-patient encounter.
  2. The mid-clerkship evaluation form will be turned in on each student, giving them a chance to address areas of learning where improvement is needed.
  3. Patient encounter logs will be kept by each student. The required numbers in each area of patient encounters must be met in order to achieve a passing grade.
  4. Students' clinical performance is evaluated by faculty using the clerkship evaluation form. A clinical grade of proficient must be obtained.
  5. Students must pass a national clerkship subject exam in family medicine.
  6. Mid-clerkship OSCE and feedback
  7. 2 narrative responsive writing assignments
  8. 20 Family Medicine cases (online)



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