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Welcome From The Chairman

Dear Student:

Welcome to your Clinical Clerkship in Medicine. The members of the Department of Medicine and I want this to be an outstanding educational experience for you. Internal Medicine is a most fascinating medical discipline as it encompasses both the diagnostic work of a medical detective, and the interventional work of an engineer, as we try to rebuild patients’ health.

Our Department is founded on the twin principles of caring and investigation. We strive to care for not only our patients, but each other as well. We also seek to not just be medical technicians, but medical investigators, with every patient and every situation, continually striving to find a better way of doing things. It is these two principles we want to convey first and foremost. But we also want to systematically impart medical knowledge, and we have set up the rotations to maximize this, both with inductive and didactic learning.

During the clerkship, you will be an important member of the Medical Ward Team which is comprised of the attending physician, resident, interns and medical students on the service. The website details our objectives for your Clinical Clerkship, plus the schedules and materials which we feel will help you in your orientation to the Medical Service.

During your clerkship in Medicine you will learn to perform a careful and complete history and physical examination, identify the patients’ problems, develop a differential diagnosis and impression, define that diagnosis in an investigative manner, and then plan for treatment, also in an investigative manner. You will become sensitive and responsive to the needs of your patients, which must come first with you. This is foundational to our culture of caring. By virtue of becoming physicians, we have made a promise to our patients that we will always care for them, with our hearts as well as our minds, and part of that caring is never accepting the status quo, but always investigating how we can do even little things better.

Your attendance is required at work rounds and teaching rounds. You are strongly encouraged to attend the many conferences and interactive taching sessions that occur throughout the rotation. Sometimes these conferences will convey information that seems complex, but feel free to ask questions to clarify any of the concepts, as your education is important to us.  First Exposure INTERNAL MEDICINE: Hospital Medicine,  Internal Medicine Essentials for Clerkship Students., or Symptom to Diagnosis are recommended for day to day reading on your patient’s problems and to prepare for your final exam.  On the last Friday of the Clerkship, you will be given a standardized national board type examination covering the general field of Internal Medicine. You are expected to pass this test in order to receive a passing grade in the Clerkship. Again, gaining medical knowledge should be driven not by the motivation to pass this test, although that clearly will become paramount in the days before the exam, but rather by the goal of taking great care of sick folks, and that someday you are going to need this information to do that.

Finally, it is very important to us that we create an environment that fosters the development of life-long learning skills, reflection, and exemplary professional behavior. These are examples of what our culture of caring and investigation looks like. To promote this, we require you to create an educational portfolio that demonstrates your growth and competence in Internal Medicine. The specifics of this portfolio are on our website and will be reviewed during your orientation.

We are determined to make this an outstanding educational experience for you. If there are problems or questions, you should contact the Clerkship Director, Dr. Heather Harrell or Dr. Ryan Nall at 265-0230. Also please feel free to contact me or Dr. Richard Schofield, Interim Chief of Medical Services at the Veterans Administration, or the chief medical resident at the Veterans Administration or Shands Hospital for assistance.

Should you wish to convey concerns to someone outside the Department of Medicine, you should contact a member of the Student Advocacy Committee. The Office of Student Affairs can provide you with the names of the members of this committee.

Welcome again, you have my best wishes for a great learning experience.


Robert A. Hromas, MD, FACP
Chairman, Department of Medicine