Goals of Year 3

The overarching goals of the SIU School of Medicine Year 3 Curriculum are to foster each student's education by providing the following:

Clinical Immersion

  • Clinical Skills Development
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills Development
  • Professionalism Development


  • Direct Observation
  • Targeted Feedback

Individualized Professional Development

  • Personalized Education Plan (PEP)

For a full description of the Year 3 Curriculum, please see the Year 3 Curriculum page.

Goals of the Clerkship

During the Internal Medicine Clerkship, students will acquire the clinical skills, knowledge, and professional behaviors necessary to evaluate and care for adult patients, guided by careful and consistent supervision from residents and attending physicians.

  • To give everyone a broad base of internal medicine that they will be able to use regardless of their ultimate specialty choice
  • To introduce students to the practice of medicine, including all six of the ACGME competencies
    • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
    • Medical Knowledge
    • Patient Care
    • Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
    • Professionalism
    • Systems-Based Practice
  • To help to foster professional development in all students


Clinical Skills

During the clerkship, the students will acquire and be able to demonstrate the clinical skills necessary to independently evaluate (with appropriate supervision) and care for adult patients with common medical problems:

  • Obtain from a patient an accurate focused or complete medical history based on the presenting complaint, appropriate to the clinical setting.
  • Perform an accurate focused or complete physical examination, appropriate to the clinical setting.
  • Prioritize patients’ problems, formulate appropriate differential diagnoses, and develop plans for diagnosis and management.
  • Prepare and maintain in an accepted format the medical record of the evaluation and care of inpatients and outpatients, including written or electronic entry of a complete history and physical examination, progress notes, procedure notes, clinic visit notes, physician’s orders, and prescriptions for medications.
  • Communicate orally with other members of the health care team regarding the evaluation and care of a patient.  This includes giving case presentations to ward teams, attending physicians, and consultants, and verbal instructions to ancillary health care personnel.
  • Communicate to patients, families and caregivers the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan for their condition, and educate them about beneficial lifestyle behaviors and preventive health measures.
  • Become familiar with routine procedures commonly required for the evaluation and care of patients.

Application of Medical Knowledge and Patient Care

During the clerkship students will acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the basic and clinical science of medical problems of adult patients. Appropriate knowledge includes:

  • Background knowledge such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, pathology, microbiology.
  • Clinical knowledge such as pathophysiology, epidemiology, clinical decision making, use and interpretation of diagnostic tests, pharmacology, medical ethics, and medico-legal issues.
  • Develop an appreciation of how one builds and advances his/her medical knowledge base.
  • Begin to develop the knowledge to intellectually extend a patient care interaction in order to explore the questions that will improve patient care for similar cases.
  • Begin to develop the ability to assess and critique research related to clinical questions.
  • Psychosocial problems and non-biomedical factors in ambulatory care are also reviewed.

Students are expected to continue the process of lifelong learning and demonstrate knowledge that they know how to use the medical literature to research questions and further their understanding of the above problems.

In all patient encounters, students should:

  • Recognize the importance of patient preferences when selecting among diagnostic and therapeutic options
  • Appreciate the impact of the patient’s illness on his/her quality of life, well being, ability to work, and the family
  • Recognize the importance of and demonstrate a commitment to the utilization of other healthcare professions in providing care

Professional Behavior

Students must understand and be able to demonstrate the attitudes and behaviors necessary to provide patient evaluation and care.  Specifically, students must understand the importance of and display the following attitudes and behaviors:

  • Independent, self-directed learning
  • Initiative
  • Reliability
  • Integrity, honesty, altruism
  • Compassion, tolerance
  • Respect for patient privacy and confidentiality
  • Respect for the patient’s rights
  • A professional image in manner, dress and grooming
  • Recognition of personal limitations in knowledge and skills and willingness to improve them
  • Provision of patient care without interference by personal biases
  • Advocacy for improving care of under-served populations
  • Respect for the roles of other health care professionals
  • Obligation of physicians to improve the health of all members of society and the public at large
  • Understand the importance of being inquisitive, life-long learners
  • Understand the importance of teamwork in patient care and how to function well on a clinical care team.