Students in the class of 2017 were broken into four groups, and for four weeks, each group participated in a different workshop focusing on various aspects of clinical knowledge, from taking a patient’s history, to learning how to scrub in for a surgery, to inserting an IV.
This June, DO students in the class of 2017 received a head start on practicing their clinical skills before beginning their clerkships, as part of a new curricular program based in the Saltzburg Clinical Learning and Assessment Center (CLAC). Called the Intro to Clerkships, or I2C, the initiative was spearheaded on the Philadelphia campus by Arthur Sesso, DO, professor and chair, surgery. GA-PCOM has held a similar program for its students for the past several years.
“Medical school is two years of basic science followed by two years of clinical experience, but there’s little effort to integrate the two,” said Dr. Sesso. “By facilitating that integration, we give the students a better understanding of what they’re doing, that it’s more than just memorizing facts in a text book.” I2C rounds out a three-part series that explores curricular innovations in medical education. The first two programs, CRIBS (Clinical Reasoning in Basic Science) and PET (Parallel Education Track) aim to better integrate clinical skills from the very first day of medical school.
Funded by a $225,000 gift from Michael C. Saltzburg, DO '77 (who, along with his wife Wendy provided the funding for the recently renovated CLAC), I2C was launched as an effort to help better equip students with the clinical skills they will need as they begin their clerkships. Students in the class of 2017 were broken into four groups, and for four weeks, each group participated in a different workshop focusing on various aspects of clinical knowledge, from taking a patient’s history, to learning how to scrub in for a surgery, to inserting an IV.
“Having our first clerkship experience on campus, with people we know, for a few hours each day, was very helpful,” said Robert Gadomski (DO ’17), who most recently was on an internal medicine clerkship at Lankenau Hospital. “Easing into the process made me feel more confident.”
Elizabeth Budnik (DO ’17), who recently completed a clerkship in ob-gyn at Reading Hospital, felt the experience made her better prepared than some of the other students in her cohort. “During my ob-gyn clerkship, we did estimations of cervical dilations, which was something we practiced on models during I2C,” she said. “When I did them during my clerkship, I got two out of three checks correct. I would not have known what I was feeling without that practice.”
Ms. Budnik’s clinical skills were so strong in fact, that she received honors from the director of her clerkship. “Ob-gyn is an area I’m very interested in, so it was a little intimidating to start my clinical experience with it,” she said. “But I2C helped me be more prepared from the very first day.”
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers doctorate degrees in educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and psychology, and graduate degrees in aging and long-term care administration, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies and school psychology. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, education and service to the community and, through PCOM’s Healthcare Centers, provide care to medically underserved populations in inner-city and rural locations. For more information, visit pcom.edu.
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