Internal Medicine (12 weeks)


The Medicine clerkship is a three-month rotation that includes both inpatient and outpatient experiences. The goal of the rotation is to provide students with a foundation of knowledge in general internal medicine necessary to practice in any medical or surgical specialty. The rotation includes a two-week elective piece during which students may choose to concentrate on an experience in a related subspecialty.

During the twelve week clerkship, students rotate on services at the University of Chicago Medical Center and Evanston Hospital, part of the NorthShore University HealthSystem.  Students will spend 1-2 months on inpatient general medicine services and 2-4 weeks on hematology/oncology and/or cardiology services. All students will participate in a 12-week, longitudinal ambulatory experience with a University of Chicago Department of Medicine faculty member. The 2-week elective experience includes options to rotate in medicine subspecialties and related specialties such as radiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, dermatology, emergency medicine and radiation oncology.

During each of the core rotations, students function as active members of the ward team and assume a prominent role in the management of the patients. Students also meet weekly in small groups with a faculty preceptor. In addition to teaching responsibilities, the preceptor has primary responsibility for monitoring the progress of each student during the clerkship. The preceptor is a person to whom students can turn if problems arise during the clerkship. The course directors are also readily available in case of problems.

Available teaching conferences include Resident Morning report, the Medical Morbidity and Mortality Conference and Medical Grand Rounds. Teaching conferences provided specifically for students include 5 days set aside for case-based discussion sessions and didactic lectures as well as an EKG lecture series.

Clinical Evaluation

Students are evaluated in several areas, including the quality of written and oral presentations, clinical reasoning skill, general fund of knowledge, the ability to interact with patients and colleagues, reliability in caring for patients, and humanistic qualities. Feedback about each student’s clinical performance is solicited from physicians with whom the student works. Course directors encourage each attending and housestaff physician to meet personally with each student in order to provide feedback.


The primary objective of the medicine clerkship is to gain insight into clinical principles and practice of internal medicine. Expectations regarding oral and written case presentations, number of cases to be seen and preceptor group participation are all explicitly stated during the orientation at the start of the rotation.

Evaluation of Clinical Clerks

Students receive grades of Honors, High Pass, or Pass for performances at the Manager, Interpreter, or Reporter level respectively. The breakdown of the grades are as follows:

Medicine Grade
  • Inpatient evaluations -  35%
  • OSCEs - 20%
  • Ambulatory evaluation - 15%
  • NBME Shelf Exam - 15%
  • Observed patient encounter - 10%
  • Presentation - 5%
  • Electives - Pass/Fail
  • Preceptor Group - Pass/Fail

Recommended Textbooks

  • Symptom to Diagnosis: An Evidence Based Guide, Third Edition 2015. Stern, Cifu, Altkorn
  • Clerkship Preceptor Group and Ambulatory Syllabus
  • EKG Interpretation, Dale Dubin