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 with growing independence guided by careful and consistent supervision from residents and attending physicians.

The overarching goals of the Clerkship are:

  • 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.
  • 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. Specifically, the student will be able to do the following:

  • Obtain an accurate focused or complete medical history based on the presenting complaint.
  • 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 a complete history and physical examination, progress notes, clinic visit notes, and physician’s orders.
  • 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.
  • Begin to develop the ability to assess and critique the medical literature to research clinical questions and further their understanding of patient problems.

Professional Behavior

During the clerkship, students will acquire and be able to demonstrate the attitudes and behaviors necessary to provide patient evaluation and care and to further their own professional development. Specifically, the student will be able to do the following:

  • Coachability:
    • Recognize personal limitations in knowledge and skills, and demonstrate willingness to improve them.
    • Develop personal SMART goals for improvement of clinical skills and professional behaviors. (SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely)
    • Actively seek out direct observation of individual skills in order to obtain constructive feedback and utilize that feedback to improve performance.
    • Utilize encounters with patients and other team members to improve their skills identified in their SMART goals (Deliberate Practice).
  • Teamwork
    • Understand the importance of teamwork in patient care and how to function well on a clinical care team.
    • Recognize the importance of other healthcare professions in providing care and demonstrating respect for their roles.
    • Demonstrate initiative and reliability in completion of team tasks.
  • Patient Care
    • Recognize the importance of patient preferences when selecting among diagnostic and therapeutic options.
    • Demonstrate respect for patient privacy and confidentiality.
    • Recognize potential sources of systemic and personal bias in patient care and actively work to minimize it.
    • Approach patient encounters with cultural competence, integrity, honesty, and compassion.
    • Appreciate the impact of the patient’s illness on his/her quality of life, well-being, ability to work, and the family.
    • Identify opportunities to improve “Value in Healthcare.”