Responsibilities and Expectations

Responsibilities and Expectations

General Philosophy: Be caring and curious

The Medicine Clerkship is designed to be patient centered, which reflects internists’ devotion to patient care. You are expected to learn from each patient. Become the expert in the patient, know more about them than anyone else in the hospital, and the patient’s illness, read deeply about the disease process leading to your patient’s presentation. You should be involved in every aspect of your patients’ care from taking a history to writing orders to observing studies that they undergo (when possible). You are the member of the team who should know all the details about your patients’ support systems, medicines, lab data, etc. You should also be reading about their medical issues every night. There is something to be learned from every patient on the service. Therefore, you should participate in the rounds of all the patients and point out interesting findings on your patients to your fellow classmates.

The scope of Internal Medicine can be daunting, thus the clerkship also is designed to promote self-directed, reflective learning habits that should serve you well throughout your career. Therefore, you are expected to take the initiative in all aspects of your learning. This includes actively seeking feedback, participating in discussions, sharing your knowledge with others, and of course, spending time with your patients.

Course Logistics/Formal Teaching Sessions

The Medicine Clerkship is divided into three blocks. One 4-week general internal medicine inpatient experience, a 2-week general internal medicine inpatient experience, and a 2-week subspecialty consult service experience.

It is impossible to teach you all of internal medicine in eight weeks but we will do our best to teach you the core topics that we think every physician should know. We will also emphasize the clinical reasoning process and utilization of educational resources to encourage your own self-study. We will be using the on-line, interactive AQUIFER INTERNAL MEDICINE (simulated internal medicine patient learning experiences) cases. These are 36 cases that cover the core topics of internal medicine recommended by our national curriculum and emphasize the clinical reasoning process. For a list of the recommended cases and instructions about how to log on, please refer to the AQUIFER INTERNAL MEDICINE link under Resources on the website. Twelve core AQUIFER INTERNAL MEDICINE cases are required during this clerkship and 2 brief High Value Care cases (modules A and E) are required. AQUIFER INTERNAL MEDICINE is detailed enough to use in lieu of a textbook. Other formal teaching activities include Grand Rounds, Morbidity and Mortality conference, physical findings rounds and the ever popular Doc-in-the-Box’ sessions. Times and locations for all the conferences are posted on our website in the student activity schedule. A minimum of 90% attendance is required at these sessions.

Patient Census

You should admit at least two new patients per week. You may admit more than one patient per call day if you and your resident agree that you are able to handle 2 new patients. This may occur if you get one straightforward patient early in the day and do not have a high census. You are allowed to pick up a patient who was admitted overnight as a “holding note”. However, you are expected to perform your own H&P prior to reviewing the holding note. It is expected that you will work up a minimum of 16 new patients over an eight-week rotation. You should limit your patient census to 4 (4 near the end of the year when you are more efficient), 2-3 is the average number of patients most 3rd years carry at one time.  You are an integral member of the team and the housestaff will count on you. Talk to your resident, attending, or the clerkship directors if you are getting overwhelmed.

While on the subspecialty consult service rotation you are not expected to pick up a new patient every day, rather a minimum of two per week. If you are having trouble meeting the 2 new patients per week minimum, you must let one of the clerkship directors know ASAP as failure to meet this requirement will result in an incomplete (I) grade for the clerkship until the requirement is met.

Write-ups and Charting

Every patient you admit needs an H&P and daily progress note. H&P’s should be on the chart by the day after the admission and progress notes should be on the chart everyday (ideally by noon). Students are NOT permitted to use templates or smart phrases in the EMR. Copying and pasting portions of other providers’ notes constitutes fraud and is not permitted. You are encouraged to pend up orders for your patients. All patient orders must be co-signed by a physician.  Detailed instructions for patient write-ups can be found on the website. You will have the opportunity to get formative feedback on your H&Ps from your peers with faculty oversight using a structured evaluation tool. Your IM coach also will give you feedback on at least two H&Ps of your choice. Further, Dr. Nall or Dr. Sottile will review a write up at your mid-clerkship feedback session and provide feedback. Your 4 best will be submitted as part of your final grade.


Scut work is defined as activities that are not educational on patients that are not assigned to you. This means you are responsible for even the ‘menial’ tasks on your own patients. But, you are not obligated to perform tasks like looking up data on other people’s patients or running errands for the housestaff. However, if you have the time, this can be a wonderful way to offer to help someone who may be busier at that time.

Professional Behavior

Professional expectations are discussed explicitly under Goal 1 in our goals and objectives. You should dress professionally at all times. You should preround on all your patients and be on time and prepared for work rounds. In general, allow 10-15 minutes to preround per patient. You are expected to attend a minimum of 90% of the educational conferences unless an acute patient care need arises. Attendance will be taken. Your patient care responsibilities take precedence so contact Ms. Pipkins if patient care emergencies arise or important family meetings are scheduled during this time.


You should be polite and respectful to your patients and colleagues at all times. Never falsify information. If you do not know, simply say “I don’t know.” (We do not expect you to know everything, despite how it may seem sometimes.) Cutting and pasting anything other than online medication lists and lab data is fraud. You are expected to do your own work, regardless of what you may observe others do.

Unprofessional behavior will result in a lowering of your grade and potentially an unsatisfactory evaluation for the entire clerkship with appearance before the Academic Status Committee.

We also expect faculty and housestaff to interact with you in a professional manner and create a safe supportive learning environment. If you have any concerns about how you or a classmate is being treated please contact the clerkship directors, discuss with your IM coach, or submit a professionalism concern to UF COM at

Patient Privacy and Confidentiality

All patient information is confidential and should be discussed only with those involved in the patient’s care. Do not talk about patients in public places, no matter how softly you think you speak. (For more details about HIPAA refer to If you need to work on a write-up at home, de-identify it and you may email it using ONLY your email account. Do NOT take patient lists or papers with patient information home with you.

Clerkship Evaluation

There is an anonymous, online clerkship evaluation that must be completed in order for your grade to be released. (We are strict about this only because we value your feedback.) This evaluation form can be accessed through New Innovations under medicine clerkship evaluations. Lecture evaluations will be available through new innovations. You will receive an automated request.

Patient Logs

The patient logs are a College of Medicine graduation requirement. To help you stay on track with this requirement, we identified 12 core presentations that you should be able to see during this rotation. You have also been assigned AQUIFER Cases for these presentations. You are required to log these 12 presentations and if you do not have a patient with the presentation, you may use the AQUIFER INTERNAL MEDICINE cases you completed as a substitute. Failure to log may result in a reduction in your grade or an incomplete for the clerkship.  If a patient you already logged develops a new problem, you may log that in as a separate entry.
Tutorial: Patient Logs in New Innovations 2016

Time Off/Work Hours

You are held to the same standards as the residents in terms of work hours—no more than 80 hours per week. You are allowed an average of one day off per week including holidays (3 days off per 4 weeks as you get the weekend off after each 4 week block) while on the general internal medicine inpatient teams. You will have weekends off when rotating on the subspecialty consult service.  You will also have the weekends off that fall between the change in your rotation assignment. You are strongly encouraged to take your days off on the weekend so you do not miss the educational activities during the week. You are discouraged strongly from pooling your days off as this breaks up continuity of patient care. You cannot “make-up” missed patient care, someone simply covers for you.

It is your responsibility to keep track of your hours and alert the Clerkship Director if you are being expected to work more than the allotted hours and days. Given the structure of our clerkship and absence of night call responsibility, this should not be an issue. But, we take it very seriously if the problem arises.

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565, by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students will receive an accommodation letter which must be presented to the instructor when requesting accommodation. Students with disabilities should follow this procedure as early as possible in the semester.


Clinical experiences by their nature involve students in a variety of settings, locations and communities, as well as with a variety of patients/clients. Students are expected to exercise good judgment and reasonable caution in ensuring their own safety during clinical experiences (e.g. lock car doors, travel with classmates when possible, be aware of security services). Patient care areas may have the potential for exposure to hazardous substances such as radioactive materials. Students who require protection beyond those of all staff are to notify faculty prior to any clinical assignments. If any time students believe the clinical setting is unsafe, students should take appropriate steps to protect themselves and their patients including leaving the setting if necessary. Contact the course instructor or any college administrator immediately so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

For needle sticks or any exposure to potentially infectious body fluids, call the hotline IMMEDIATELY 1-866-477-6824.

College of Medicine Policies and Procedures