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. Obtain a focused history and physical examination appropriate to the patient's presenting complaint while considering common outpatient clinical problems confronted by family physicians.
  2. Generate differential diagnoses for patient's problems, with special consideration of the common and complex disorders that present in a family medicine setting.
  3. Present diagnoses and treatment plans using best evidence and understanding of pathophysiology while taking psychosocial factors into consideration.
  4. Write an accurate and concise note conveying only the most relevant points of the patient's medical history, presenting complaint, physical exam, assessment and plan.
  5. Recognize and apply health promotion and prevention counseling services at every possible clinical opportunity.
  6. Communicate appropriately with and listen to patients with compassion and empathy while applying the concepts of motivational interviewing and shared decision making when appropriate and confirming patient understanding.
  7. Triage acute care visits in the family medicine ambulatory care setting to outpatient follow up vs. emergency/urgent care or 911 while taking into consideration health care system resources.
  8. Professionalism:  Conduct professional relationships with patients, staff and colleague with the highest moral and ethical standards and understand the role of each member of the healthcare team
  9. Professionalism:  Actively seek feedback about your clinical performance and practice while taking into account any professional limitations
  10. FM Role in Health Care System:  Describe and experience the roles of family physicians in the office and community. Describe the central role of primary care in the health of the public.
  11. FM Role in Health Care System:  Recognize the value of self-care, resilience and the joy in medicine.

Family Medicine Grade

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

  • Clinical Performance - 60%
  • Professionalism/Educational Attitude - 20%
  • NBME Shelf Exam - 20%

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.