The required Year 3 Family and Community Medicine (FCM) Clerkship offers a 4-week block immersion experience with community-based preceptors or faculty members from the department’s four residency programs. Our goal is to provide an educational experience that emphasizes continuous comprehensive medical care within the context of the Patient-Centered Medical Home. Additionally, the curriculum promotes understanding of the core concepts of Family Medicine through elements of health policy, clinical epidemiology, preventive medicine, community oriented primary care, health literacy, continuous quality improvement, medical informatics, practice management, health disparities, and biopsychosocial issues. Current and previous components of the curriculum have been presented at international and national education meetings. Details regarding our curriculum may be found on the clerkship’s D2L page hosted by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
The FCM Clerkship has utilized community-based preceptors since 1981 and currently has over 160 board-certified family physicians located throughout the state of Illinois. Our preceptors have been instrumental in the FCM Clerkship’s achievement of excellent feedback and high ranking by medical students. Additionally, our students have rated the clerkship most positively with regards to respect, professionalism, and role modeling. Past student remarks have also consistently identified the following clerkship strengths: clerkship organization, faculty contact, patient number and variety, clinical autonomy, functioning as a team member, patient continuity, working in a community-based practice, and the opportunity to learn outside Springfield’s academic center. We believe these remarks to be reflective of the necessity to introduce the breadth and scope of the Patient-Centered Medical Home within a community-based block immersion experience.