Internal Medicine-for 22 week WRITE session
Click Here for the WRITE Preceptor Submissions Summary & Checklist which is an overview of all WRITE requirements.
The internal medicine clerkship is a twelve week clinical experience: eight weeks are focused on care of hospitalized adults and four on primary care internal medicine. Students who are doing internal medicine as part of WRITE all spend six weeks learning inpatient medicine at a large hospital in the Seattle area; most will have been at one of the three major teaching hospitals: University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC), Harborview Medical Center (the county hospital for the Seattle area), or the Seattle VA Medical Center. While at their WRITE sites, students will work with ambulatory internists for another six weeks to complete the primary care portion of their internal medicine training.
What students do in Seattle
What they see
For students at the three academic hospitals, they will have been part of a resident team, usually made up of a faculty attending, a senior resident, one or two interns, and one or two medical students. On average, students admit 1-2 patients every 3-4 days and carry 3-5 patients at a time, although specifics vary widely based on the logistics of the hospital and the abilities of the students. Each hospital serves a different population: UWMC has more patients with organ transplants and other esoteric problems, while patients at Harborview are more likely to have illnesses associated with poverty or homelessness, and the patients at the VA are a mix of older and younger veterans with differing medical problems.
What they don’t see
Because of changes in residency work hours, most residents no longer take overnight call; many students will not have been in the hospital overnight despite having spent six weeks on an inpatient medicine rotation. They also will have seen very few patients with chest pain or heart disease, because cardiology is a separate service at the academic hospitals. A few students may have had exposure to the ICU but most won’t. Ambulatory experience will also be very limited.
Clerkship requirements completed in Seattle
In addition to six weeks of inpatient care, students should have completed the cardio-pulmonary mini-CEX, 6 of the 12 required lectures (the remainder are online) and 9 of the 12 required PxDX logged patient encounters. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the 12 required [online SIMPLE cases] (http://www.med-u.org/simple) before leaving Seattle; they must complete them before taking the exam at the end of winter quarter (end of March).
What students should do during WRITE
Primary care internal medicine
The core of the IM training experience during WRITE is working with a primary care internist. A WRITE student who spends one day per week working with a primary internist during their entire WRITE block will have a good opportunity to meet the educational goals for the primary care portion of the clerkship. Alternatively, 4 - 5 weeks full-time in an internist’s office would also satisfy this clerkship requirement.
We also hope students will have an opportunity to work with adult and geriatric patients in other settings, particularly by taking advantage of the opportunity WRITE offers to follow patients they meet in clinic. Seeing those patients in the hospital, making nursing home and home visits, and visiting subspecialists with patients can all be very high-yield. Students may also benefit from working directly with subspecialists, hospitalists, or in emergency department settings but this does not meet the core requirement for primary care internal medicine.
Clerkship requirements completed during WRITE
Students should complete both the required SIMPLE Cases and the online lectures before taking the final exam in March. They should also complete any remaining patient logging in E*Value before finishing the WRITE experience.
WRITE students must take their final exam at the end of the WINTER quarter. Because the exam is created and monitored by the National Board of Medical Examiners, students must take it at a site where appropriate proctoring is available. Students who have not already been in contact with Carmelita to determine their site selection for the exam should contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than February 15 to ensure sufficient time to make arrangements.
Web site and preceptor’s guide
The Department of Internal Medicine Clerkship web site is at http://tiny.cc/uw-ms3med. On the site you will find the core clinical concepts, expectations, grading using P/RIME, and educational resources. For all preceptors, but especially for new preceptors, we strongly recommend reading the preceptor’s guide: http://tiny.cc/uw-imteach. It’s fairly short and has lots of valuable teaching tips.
Print textbook and online resources
Each WRITE student is responsible for bringing a copy of the course syllabus/orientation materials and Internal Medicine Clerkship Guide, by Paauw DS, Burkholder L, Migeon M, eds. 2007. They also have access to the full online content of the UW library system through the HealthLinks care provider toolkit, http://healthlinks.washington.edu/care_provider. We strongly recommend that preceptors encourage students to use their library access to look up relevant clinical topics when they see patients; we find that this real-time use of the literature both helps the student retain knowledge and encourages them to develop efficient search strategies that will serve them well later in practice.
Our grading system (both in Seattle and at WRITE sites) relies on direct evaluations by the internists working with the students. We request that the names and email addresses of the Internal Medicine preceptors who work with the students at each WRITE site be emailed to Carmelita Mason-Richardson at email@example.com. Please send her the exact schedule for when the student works with internal medicine preceptors. The preceptors will receive prompts to do evaluations on their students at week 6, week 12 and week 18 - or at the end of the four full weeks spent with the preceptor - dependent on each site/student’s IM schedule. These progressive evaluations are then combined with the grades from Seattle to determine the final grade for the course.
Chris Knight, MD
Associate Clerkship Director for WWAMI & WRITE
Jenny Wright, MD
Associate Clerkship Director for Greater Puget Sound & WRITE