Core Internal Medicine Clerkship

Internal Medicine encompasses a broad spectrum of knowledge that is foundational for any subsequent specialty that a student chooses to pursue.  Exceptional patient care requires not only medical knowledge, but the ability to work in multidisciplinary teams, an understanding of the social determinants of health, the importance of safe transitions of care, and operating within the healthcare system.  Most importantly, it requires the delivery of compassionate patient care.  The Internal Medicine Clerkship allows students to explore and learn about all of these aspects of medicine.

Types of patients seen in Internal Medicine

  • New, acute condition of an undifferentiated problem, with emphasis on management.
  • Chronic condition, with emphasis on management.
  • Exacerbation of chronic condition, with emphasis on management.
  • Asymptomatic patient, with emphasis on preventative care and screening.
  • Patient with limited access to care.

The Internal Medicine Clerkship consists of a total of 6 weeks of clinical immersion in Internal Medicine.  Students rotate on the inpatient wards for 4 weeks and in the General Internal Medicine clinic for 2 weeks.  At the completion of each segment, students are assessed via a clinical skills exam.

Inpatient rotation (4 weeks)

Students are assigned to an inpatient team and operate as integrated members of that team.  Teams consist of an attending physician, senior resident, two interns, and 2-3 medical students.  Teams may occasionally include a 4th year sub-intern, pharmacy students, faculty pharmacist, and hosptalist nurses. Students are expected to take complete ownership of their patients. They work closely with their preceptors (faculty and residents) to improve their clinical skills with direct observation and targeted feedback.  Students participate in the admission of new patients with acute medical illnesses requiring hospitalization.  They perform histories and physicals and learn to develop plans for the evaluation and management of the patient's chief complaint.  Students learn to care for the complete patient, focusing not only on the chief complaint, but also management of the patient's chronic medical conditions while hospitalized.  Students learn to communicate medical information appropriately, both in written form and verbally.  They continue to follow their patients throughout the hospital stay, learning about the day-to-day aspects of inpatient medicine, as well as participating in discharge planning with emphasis on safe transitions of care.

Outpatient rotation (2 weeks)

Students are assigned to the SIU Internal Medicine Clinic or to a Community Physician Preceptor.  In the SIU Internal Medicine Clinic, students may work with a Preceptor plus a Resident or with a Preceptor alone, depending on the daily schedule.  Students who work with a Community Physician Preceptor will work directly with that Preceptor for the entirety of his/her Outpatient Rotation.  Students learn the aspects of outpatient care: management of acute complaints that do not require hospitalization, recognition of unstable conditions that may require hospitalization, management of stable chronic conditions, and preventive care and screening.  They perform histories and physicals, and develop plans for the evaluation and management of the patient's chief complaint, as well as management of the patient's chronic medical conditions.  Students learn to communicate medical information appropriately, both in written form and verbally. They learn the importance of continuity of care, with emphasis on follow up plans for patient care.  Students also learn how to operate within the healthcare system in the clinic environment.

Internal Medicine Personalized Education Plan (PEP)

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

Internal Medicine offers PEP Selectives in all of our subspecialty divisions, as well as selectives in General Internal Medicine:

  • Cardiology
  • Critical Care (ICU)
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • General Internal Medicine Clinic
  • General Internal Medicine - Hospital Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonology
  • Rheumatology


Longitudinal selectives

Students can elect to take one longitudinal selective during their PEP.  Longitudinal selectives are offered for one half-day per week through the entirety of the PEP period.

  • GIM Clinic
  • Internal Medicine Academic Half-Day: series of didactics and workshops about Internal Medicine topics.