Clinical Clerkship Curriculum
Welcome to the MSUCOM Clerkship Program!
Greetings COM students. Welcome to clerkship!! We are excited and proud that you have successfully completed your first two years of medical schooling. It is our hope that your next two years will provide you with the tools needed to become an excellent candidate for residency, and form the basis for what will be a long-standing role as a quality physician that both the College and the osteopathic profession will be proud of. As a clerkship student, you will have new responsibilities and duties and will be in a position to apply and integrate knowledge from your first two years into the clinical setting. This process is critical to your success – it represents your first comprehensive opportunity to see how the real world works in terms of medical care. In addition, you will have many new responsibilities – to your own knowledgebase, to your base hospital and most importantly, to the patients that you will now care for as part of the health care team. We will help you to fulfill these responsibilities and to learn the skills (both medical and non-medical) that will help you be successful in your career.
Clerkship is an interesting and important time in one’s medical career - it may be more challenging than anything you have done until this point. As a pre-clerkship student, your focus was acquiring knowledge and answering questions where you could be certain of what is correct and what is incorrect. The clinical world as you will learn, is not so simple. The best answers for patients are not often the ones found in textbooks and may vary from patient to patient. The ability to interpret data, apply knowledge and develop strategies that are tailored to the patients you see is your priority here – this is the Art of Medicine. Now is your time to learn to be the artist. Thus far, you may have had little clinical knowledge and may have felt that you didn’t have the ability to take care of a patient, despite all your medical training. With the start of clerkship, this situation changes dramatically. You are now called upon to take care of patients. Your personal lives may need to take a back seat to the demanding schedule that you will have. On the surface, this responsibility may seem daunting. With time however, you will find that there are numerous rewards that come with this responsibility: public and professional respect, future graduate medical educational opportunities and perhaps most importantly, the knowledge that you truly make a difference in people’s lives.
We are extremely pleased to have each of you within the clerkship part of your training. By succeeding until this point, you have demonstrated a commitment to the goals and tenets the college values in helping to develop the next generation of physicians. This also means that you have the potential to be the very best kind of doctor you can be. Success at this stage is neither a guarantee nor forgone conclusion. Succeeding in clerkship depends on a number of factors: your ability to meet the ongoing academic requirements of the college, your ability to integrate within the hospital system you are based and, most importantly, your ability to act in a professional manner. How you act will be observed by everyone – patients, peers from other colleges, physicians and hospital and clinic staff. Never forget that your words, actions and attitudes are a reflection of yourself, the College and the profession. Remember this and present yourself accordingly is the best advice we have.
The final point we wish to make is that when individuals have a tough time personally or professionally, we want you to know that you have resources available, both within the hospital and within the College. Never hesitate to ask for help if and when you need it. Good luck to each and every one of you and feel free to talk to us if you ever have any concerns. We look forward to each of you fulfilling your potential.
Susan Enright, DO
Director of Clinical Clerkship Curriculum
Academic Programs – College of Osteopathic Medicine
Michigan State University