Dimensions of Clinical Medicine an Interclerkship Program

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Background: During the 3rd year of medical school, clerkships provide essential clinical experiences. However, other aspects of patient care may be overlooked during this critical phase of medical education. Faced with the challenge of integrating "orphan" topics central to effective and compassionate medical practice, medical schools have begun to develop interclerkships or intersessions. Description: The Dimensions of Clinical Medicine (DCM) interclerkship series at Creighton University included evidence-based medicine, sexuality in clinical medicine, palliative care, professionalism, cultural sensitivity/awareness, complementary and alternative medicine, bioterrorism, and clinical ethics. Each interclerkship comprises 2 half-day sessions conducted at the end of each clerkship rotation. Evaluation: Students approved of the interclerkship format and valued the active learning strategies employed in the course. Many students felt the time allotted for each program was excessive. We describe educational issues and practical concerns that are central to an effective intersession program. Conclusion: The interclerkship format is a viable approach for incorporating orphan topics into the clinical curriculum.



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