New Program Prepares Third Years for Successful ClerkshipsAugust 21, 2015
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.”
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) 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 operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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