Implementation of an Acute Care Preceptorship for Second‐Year Medical Students

1Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2007, May 23-25, Dallas, Texas

Abstract number: 84


Medical students traditionally learn the clinical skills of taking a patient history and performing a physical examination in Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) courses. Increasingly, these courses use real or simulated patients to give students a more “real world” experience. However, no distinction is made between patients seen in the outpatient setting versus those who are hospitalized. Also, there is a general consensus among third‐year clerkship directors and other experienced faculty that students often have trouble adjusting to the pace and acuity of the hospital environment.

Greater scrutiny than ever before is directed to the hospital care of patients. Many patient forces push for reduced length of hospital stay, improved quality of delivered care, and improved patient safety. Appropriate recognition of patient needs on discharge from an acute care environment can lead to improved outcomes and a reduction in hospital readmissions. Therefore, it seems prudent to introduce the concept of the acutely ill hospitalized patient to second‐year medical students.


The goals of the acute care preceptorship are to help second‐year medical students understand the difference between acute and chronic medical care; recognize the reasons why a patient needs acute hospitalization; develop skills related to hospital admission, daily rounding, and discharge; and become familiar with the hospital setting.


The curriculum is structured around 3 afternoon sessions during which students evaluate patients representing the 3 phases of hospitalization: admission, daily follow‐up, and discharge. Students meet one on one with a preceptor with expertise in inpatient care, see and evaluate patients under their observation, and receive feedback from the preceptor on both their clinical skills and their understanding of the goals of hospitalization and transitions of care. Preceptors lead students through the process of evaluating a patient on admission, daily rounds, and issues of discharge planning and execution.


Both students and preceptors reacted favorably to the sessions. Students created several work products that were available for their academic portfolio. Also, students were closely mentored as they saw acutely ill patients for the first time. Faculty noted that over the 3 sessions the students were capable of understanding the reasons patients were admitted to the hospital and the goals of hospitalized care of those patients.

Further plans include evaluating the students' performance on internal medicine rotations during third‐year clerkships and surveying the students at the end of their third year about the value of the acute care preceptorship in preparing them for the modern hospital environment.

Author Disclosure:

C. Kroen, None; C. M. Whinney, None.

To cite this abstract:

Kroen C, Whinney C. Implementation of an Acute Care Preceptorship for Second‐Year Medical Students. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2007, May 23-25, Dallas, Texas Abstract 84. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2007; 2 (suppl 2). Accessed March 28, 2020.

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