Family Medicine

Family Medicine (4 weeks)


This month long clerkship is conducted at various clinical sites within and around the Chicagoland area. The clinical sites include community health centers, private practices and all Northshore Medical Group Locations including the Northshore Family Medicine Residency Program.  Most students are assigned to two (2) different preceptors sites, working at each two days a week. When rotating at the Northshore Family Medicine Residency Program, students work with both faculty and residents.

Students are engaged in clinical activities Tuesdays through Fridays throughout the rotation. On Mondays, students return to the University for clerkship didactics and small group discussion. Traditionally, the last Thursday of the rotation is an assigned reading day to prepare for the final exam. Students will work with their preceptors up to and including the Wednesday before the exam.

Clinical Evaluation

At the end of the first two weeks, students ask preceptor(s) to complete the Mid-Rotation Student Evaluation form and then meet with them to discuss their progress to date.  If there are two preceptors, either preceptor can complete this form, but having both of them complete a midterm evaluation is ideal.  

By the end of the third week, students should ask one of their preceptors to observe them interacting with a patient to complete the Observed History and Physical Examination form and to discuss their performance. 

Prior to a student’s last day at the assigned site(s), students should remind their preceptor(s) to complete the student evaluation form to rate their clinical performance for the clerkship on E*Value. If you have any questions about the forms, please contact the Education Coordinator or the Clerkship Directors. 


  1. Learn how to diagnose and treat common clinical problems confronted by family physicians.
  2. Obtain a focused or comprehensive history and physical examination appropriate to the constraints of the encounter and the patient’s presenting complaint
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of basic sciences and their application to the practice of medicine and to medical research.
  4. Generate differential diagnoses for patients' problems, with special consideration of the common disorders that present in a primary care setting.
  5. Develop a reasonable evaluation and treatment plan for the patient, taking into account patient preferences, psychological state, cultural background, financial resources and other life circumstances.
  6. Present and document patient visits accurately and effectively.
  7. Communicate effectively with patients and their families.
  8. Learn the role and essential characteristics of family physicians and the role of health care providers in their team.
  9. Describe and research resources important in ensuring patient and community health.
  10. Support the importance of being mentors to members of your community.
  11. Demonstrate an understanding of mental health issues in primary care.
  12. Conduct professional relationships with patients, staff and colleagues.
  13. Exhibit the highest moral and ethical standards in the care of patients and in their interactions with others.
  14. Solve clinical problems by generating clinical questions and answering them with the best evidence through effective searches of electronic databases.
  15. Practice efficiently searching electronic databases to find the best available answers to clinical questions.
  16. Practice assessing the internal and external validity of resources for answering clinical questions.
  17. Demonstrate the ability to apply best evidence to to apply best evidence (regardless of the level or strength of evidence) to individual patients, taking into account potential biological variability, personal financial issues, patient preferences, cultural issues and access to care considerations. Understand roles of members of health care team and appropriate use of resources.
  18. Support the importance of quality and safety as determinants of health care delivery.
  19. Understand health care systems and their effect on health care delivery.

Family Medicine Grade

Grading is determined by a student’s performance in three areas:

  1. Clinical Performance
  2. Clinical Questions, and
  3. Final Examination. The percentage of the grade contributed by each of these areas is as follows:
  • Clinical Performance - 50%
  • Professionalism - 20%
  • Written Exam - 15%
  • OSCE - 10%
  • Reflection/Participation - 5%

Recommended Reading

  • No specific assigned textbook. On the chalk site, there are multiple current review articles and resources for students. In addition, the students have access to fmCases (Family Medicine Computer-Assisted Simulations for Educating Students,, an outstanding online teaching tool that has 40 virtual Family Medicine cases.