Medicine 504-5020

General Description

The Internal Medicine Clerkship serves as a focal point of the second-year core clerkship education. It serves as a foundation in your training in medicine and one of the most intensive experiences offered in the Department.  During this foundational clinical experience, students will evaluate patients with a broad range of medical diseases across both general and sub-specialty services at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare Services (TVHS) – Nashville Campus.  Students will learn both the science and the art of medicine and how the two complement each other.  

During the first six weeks of the Clerkship, students will have three 2-week rotations of general and subspecialty services. Students will be active participants in the initial evaluation, management, and follow-up of patients on each of the general medical and subspecialty services. Students will attend regularly scheduled rounds, conferences, and seminars of the Department of Internal Medicine. At the conclusion of this portion of the clerkship, students should be able to: obtain and present a complete history and physical examination related to the general medical and sub-specialty medical inpatient; identify and demonstrate key physical exam findings; order and interpret key laboratory, imaging, and diagnostic studies pertinent to Internal Medicine care; develop the ability to prioritize patient problems and generate a differential diagnosis, communicate effectively with patients/team members, and implement patient management strategies and observe their effects. These inpatient rotations also provide an opportunity to view the patient as a whole, to understand how the disease impacts not only on the patient's health but also on his or her emotional and social well-being. 

Students will also have a two-week experience in the care of patients in the outpatient setting for both general and subspecialty medical patients. This portion of the elective will involve spending time in the outpatient clinic alongside experienced Internal Medicine clinicians. While in the outpatient setting, students will spend time with many members of the medical care team, including pharmacists, dieticians, clinical pharmacy nurses, case managers, and others to better appreciate the multidisciplinary care needed to address medical comorbidities, medication adherence, psychosocial issues, and other issues pertinent to continuous care of patients. At the conclusion of this part of the elective, students should be able to: obtain and present a focused yet relevant medical history for a patient with the ongoing care of a chronic disease or acute complaints that present in the outpatient setting; highlight important physical exam findings, social information, and laboratory values pertinent to these patients; describe underlying pathogenesis and epidemiology of common outpatient conditions; discuss fundamentals about the treatment of common outpatient conditions, and demonstrate a familiarity with the multidisciplinary approach to outpatient medical care.