Interclerkships

Many topics essential to medical practice are overlooked by traditional undergraduate medical education. These topics often intersect multiple disciplines, represent significant public health concerns and demand that physicians collaborate with non-medical organizations or with providers from other disciplines. Moreover, these topics emphasize physicians' social responsibilities in addressing concerns that may fall outside the traditional biomedical domain. How should such topics be taught, while ensuring that traditional clinical educational objectives continue to be met?

Location

S1-160 in the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education          

Faculty & Staff                                                                

Julie Jonassen, PhD
Maxine Schmeidler, Project Coordinator
Cassie Caez, Administrative Assistant

Contact Us

Maxine Schmeidler (508) 856-5827
Cassie Caez (508) 856-5694

Project Highlights

In 1994, the undergraduate curriculum committees at University of Massachusetts Medical School identified areas of curriculum deficiency and collaborated to develop an innovative format to address these needs. It was a priority to teach this material when it could be immediately reinforced during clerkship training in the third year of medical school. Hence the "Interclerkship" program was launched in 1995. The program has grown throughout the years, currently encompassing 8 Interclerkships in AY 2011/2012. The current Interclerkship roster includes 1-day courses on domestic violence, pain management, health policy, medical error, geriatrics, disabilities, end of life care, oral health, and multiculturalism. The Interclerkships undergo ongoing revision and new courses have been added to respond to changing curricular needs.

The multidisciplinary Interclerkships combine classroom teaching, workshops, panels, films, and interactions with standardized and real patients. Each Interclerkship, organized and taught by up to 40 school and community faculty, embodies educational objectives from basic science, clinical, psychosocial, legal, ethical and societal perspectives. Educational impact is monitored by asking students to complete short written tests addressing course-related knowledge, attitudes and skills, before and after each Interclerkship. Students also provide feedback on course format, content and faculty, which helps us to improve Interclerkships each year. Because these courses are so labor-intensive, we are always looking for faculty who would be interested in developing new interclerkship programs or teaching in our existing courses.