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 the Memorial Center for Learning and innovation 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.


Attendance is mandatory at:

  • Grand Rounds (8:00 a.m., Tuesdays)
  • Weekly Resident Conference while on wards

Other Clerkship Activities

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.

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.

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 available to you for practice, an ECG and a CXR. This will give you the opportunity to have 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. Hlafka, Dr. Caga-anan, or Dr. Onguti. Problems, questions or misunderstandings are usually easily handled if they are brought to our attention.

Once at the midpoint of the clerkship, individual meetings will be held with Dr. Hlafka, Dr. Caga-anan, or Dr. Ongute.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.

A brown bag group evaluation will commence at the end of the clerkship

The clerkship office must be notified of all absences. Please make sure to speak with a person directly.

  • If you know in advance that you have an appointment or a school meeting, let the clerkship office know as soon as possible.
  • If you are ill or have an emergency, please notify your ward team or preceptor and the Clerkship office (217-545-7980 or 217-545-8933) so assigned residents and/or faculty can be notified.

If no one is acccessible in the office or it is on a weekend, page Dr. Hlafka, Dr. Caga-anan or Dr. Onguti. In accirdance with school policy, all absences will be reported to the Office of Student Affairs.

Individuals should be suitably groomed and appropriately dressed so as to portray a professional image for SIU. Standards of dress in the clinical medical community should parallel those in the business/professional employment setting. Good judgment should be exercised to ensure appropriate length and fit for a professional setting. High Standards of personal hygiene and cleanliness should accompany the standard of dress.

For more details on the dress code, click here.

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, hospital rounds and activities, out-patient clinic attendance, and attendance at examinations. Required activities do not include personal study time or optional educational experiences.