SIU School of Medicine

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Department of Internal Medicine

Clerkship Activities

During the ten-week Internal Medicine Clerkship you will participate in many activities, briefly described below.

General Medicine Ward Services

You will spend four weeks on a general internal medicine ward. During this time you will be assigned to a first-year resident, who in turn will provide you with patients during your rotation for you to work-up and follow. A complete write-up of your history and physical examination should be in the chart within 24 hours. Please provide a copy of your write-up for review by the senior medical resident. You should follow your patient cases carefully and participate actively in their evaluation and treatment. You should write daily orders and progress notes in the chart which reflect your understanding of the patient’s progress, and details of further evaluation and management. You should be prepared at any time to present each of your patients to residents, attendings, or your colleagues. You should read extensively about each of your patients in major general internal medicine textbooks, subspecialty textbooks, or other medical literature.

Click here to view power point presentation on order writing. Click here for Order Writing Outline, Click here for Order Writing Example.

Subspecialty Preceptorships
Each student will work on one subspecialty service for two weeks. Your activities and the patients you see will be determined by your preceptor, as will your work schedule. You should play an active role in the evaluation and management of patients both in clinic and in the hospital.

Please consult the written guidelines on the Clerkship website for each specific subspecialty for details regarding curriculum, call expectations, and time-off policy. Call your subspecialty preceptor the Thursday or Friday before you start your new rotation.

General Internal Medicine Ambulatory Block
Each student will spend a two week period of time rotating through various Generalist clinics, Anti-coagulation Clinic, Lipid Clinic, STD Clinic, Stress/PFT testing and work with dietitian and visiting nurses.
Click here to view the GIM Ambulatory Block Information.

Conferences and Rounds

Grand Rounds are the premier weekly educational conference of the Department of Medicine. They are held in the South Auditorium at the School of Medicine and televised to St. John's Hospital every Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. Plan to arrive a little early – these sessions start promptly at 8:00 a.m. Coffee is provided. Attendance is required and a sign-in sheet will be provided.

With few exceptions, student seminars are during Week 1 and Week 10. You will need to check your weekly calendar for locations. These sessions are designed for clerkship students and address core topics deemed important by Department of Medicine faculty. You should prepare for seminars in advance by reviewing the specific objectives, reading the suggested resources and answering the study questions which are posted on D2L for select topics. Core Curriculum Problems with objectives and references are posted on the Clerkship Website.

A seminar evaluation form will be placed in your mailbox. Please complete as soon as possible.

Dr. Constance, Dr. Varney or another Internal Medicine faculty member will meet with all clerkship students on Fridays at Noon, to discuss clinical cases and common practical problems in internal medicine. Attendance is required.

Dr. Hingle, or another Internal Medicine faculty attending will meet with all students on the wards weekly on Thursdays at 3:00 p.m. unless otherwise scheduled, to discuss clinical cases evaluated on the wards. One or two cases will be presented by ward students and discussed at each session, and every student is responsible for one presentation during his/her ward rotation. The case presentation should be concise yet complete, and about 7 to 10 minutes in length. The presenting student should expect detailed questions from the attending and the audience regarding the patient’s condition, work-up and management. A Ward Report Presentation sheet should be completed by the student responsible for the case presentation and copied for all attendees. Students are required to personally discuss any pertinent imaging studies related to their case with a radiologist. Students are encouraged to bring an article from the medical literature pertinent to their case and any imaging studies, EKGs or other data relevant to the patient’s problem. Attendance is required for students assigned to wards. Click here to view the Guidelines for Chairman’s Ward Report and
the Ward Report Template.


Faculty from the Division of General Internal Medicine will meet with all clerkship students on select Tuesdays at noon.   This report is intended to be a highly interactive discussion, with the presenter, the other students, and the faculty member thinking through the important aspects of a clinical case and the clinical question(s) the case generated.  The case should be a springboard to a specific clinical question that the presenter will help to answer. The presenter’s preparation should include asking and researching a well built clinical question.  Two students will present during each report session. Attendance is required. Click here to view the Guidelines for Clinical Question Case Conference and the Presentation Template.

Please review the ambulatory content objectives at the end of the syllabus.

Attendance is mandatory at:

  • Grand Rounds (8:00 a.m., Tuesdays)
  • Seminars (Week 1 and Week 10)
  • Clinical Management Conferences (Fridays at Noon)
  • Chairman’s Report (Thursday at 3:00 p.m.) – WARD STUDENTS ONLY
  • Clinical Question Case Conference - designated weekdays at noon - see schedule

Other Clerkship Activities

Each student will be assigned to a faculty member who will serve as your mentor for the entire clerkship. You will meet with your mentor at least six (6) times during the clerkship. Activities may include case presentations, problem solving exercises, topic discussions, order writing assignments, participation in rounds or clinics or an observed history and physical. For greater detail read Expectations of the Mentor Experience.

During the last week of the clerkship a clinical skills exercise will be conducted at the Professional Development Laboratory at 801 North Rutledge, on the third floor. You will be observed by faculty or residents as you interview and/or examine four patients. Other clinical skills will also be assessed. Immediate feedback will be provided and your performance will be evaluated to assess your clinical skills.

Also, during the first week there will be critical incident teaching experiences which include two interactive scenarios. Attendance is required.

Your logbook is a record of the patients you have seen during the clerkship. Every complete history and physical examination or initial consultation that you perform should be recorded in the appropriate place in your logbook. In addition, ambulatory patient encounters should be recorded and procedures, such as venipuncture, bladder catheterization, and others should be recorded in the appropriate place in your log. The Medicine Clerkship Logbook is available on the web. Please keep your logs up to date – once the patients are gone it will be very difficult for you to describe them accurately.

During the fifth and sixth week of the clerkship, you will take the NBME Web-based Self-Assessment Exam for Internal Medicine. This test will not count for your grade – rather, it is a self-evaluation which will give you an idea of how you are progressing with your reading.  You will be given a Voucher ID number that you will be able to redeem to take exam.  The exam can be taken at any computer at any time during the time specified by the clerkship (It cannot be taken on any mobile device).  After completion, you will receive answers and explanations for the items marked incorrectly. You will receive your overall score, as well as your scores in specific context areas, to help guide future studies. You will have the option of receiving standard or expanded feedback on-screen through the application.

SIMPLE CASES (Simulated Internal Medicine Patient Learning Experience)
SIMPLE’s 36 interactive virtual patient cases are designed to encompass the learning objectives of the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM)-Society for General Internal Medicine Core Medicine Clerkship Curriculum. There are a set of Assigned Simple Cases to be completed over the clerkship between Week 2 and Week 9 that can be completed from any computer. You will be required to complete these within the week they are assigned.  You have the option of doing more than the assigned cases for your learning needs.

CORE (Case-based Online Radiology Education)
CORE cases teach a patient-centered approach to imaging, foster self-directed and independent study, and build clinical problem-solving skills. They utilize the American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness criteria to teach an evidence-based approach to imaging and also link students to additional excellent interactive radiology resources on the Web. There are a three assigned cases to be completed over the clerkship.

There will be an ECG and a CXR of the week that will be sent out each week. You will be required to send back your interpretation These cases are required to be completed, but are not graded. This will give you the opportunity to have more practice in interpretation and help you to prepare for the clinical skills exam. Feel free to discuss them with your mentor or your fellow students.


A schedule of the following week’s activities will be available in the Clerkship office and on the Clerkship website by Wednesday afternoon of the current week. Because of the many conferences, rounds, guest speakers, and other activities sponsored by the department, and because you are scheduled irregularly to some activities, you will need to consult this weekly schedule to be informed of activities and the locations of these activities.

The Medicine Clerkship operates seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Your work schedule will depend on your assignment, but in general you should assume that you will have one weekend day off (usually Sunday) each week except during the Ward Rotation. One three-day weekend off duty is provided during the clerkship; the specific weekend provided will be announced during clerkship orientation. In most cases, each student is also assigned one Saturday and one Sunday off during the ward rotation.

You may review your file at any time. However, you must ask for permission to see your file and you must look at it in the presence of someone from the Department of Medicine. Your file may not leave the clerkship office. Please do not search for your file, test papers, evaluations, or other materials on your own. There are important considerations for confidentiality and respect for your fellow student’s privacy involved.

If you have questions about your activities or assignments or are having problems with any part of the clerkship, please ask for help from the clerkship office, Dr. Hingle, Dr. Kovach or Dr. Hlafka. Problems, questions or misunderstandings are usually easily handled if they are brought to our attention.

Once at the midpoint of the clerkship, and again at the end of the clerkship, Dr. Hingle or Dr. Hlafka will meet with you to discuss your evaluations, advise you about your progress, review your logbook entries, and answer other questions and concerns that you might have. These meetings will be scheduled by the clerkship office, and will be on your weekly calendar. Please be on time for these meetings.

If you are ill or have an emergency, notify your ward team or your preceptor, and the Clerkship office (545-3900 or 545-8933).

The Clerkship Director and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs will be notified of all absences in accordance with the official school absence policy.

Appropriate attire must be worn during school activities. This includes all clerkship responsibilities such as conferences, Clerkship seminars, and rounds. White coats must be worn during all patient encounters including standardized patient visits. Open toe shoes are not acceptable. Shoes must be worn with socks or hose/stockings. Scrubs are acceptable only after business hours when on overnight ward call.

During the clerkship students will not spend on average more than eighty (80) hours per week in required clinical and educational activities.

Required activities include, but are not limited to, formal didactic teaching, hospital rounds and activities, out-patient clinic attendance, in-house and at home call, and attendance at examinations. Required activities do not include personal study time or optional educational experiences.