Module 1: Introduction to the Clerkship

The Clerkship year is the first time that medical students will be working in the hospital setting on a regular basis. Many of the behaviors and attitudes that they see modeled during this year will influence how they practice medicine. The clerkship year is known to be a year that is very challenging. Clinical Educators have a significant role in patient care and the culture of medicine through their instruction, leadership and modeling to students during their third year. Many students will use the impressions they gather during this year to select the specialty and career path that is right for them. This module will provide Residents with an overview of the responsibilities students should be entrusted with throughout the year in order to meet curricular expectations and competencies.


Module 2: Designing a Learning Encounter

Clinical teaching can often be reactive and rushed leading to less than optimal educational encounters for medical students. Using best practices that have been identified by other Clinical Educators, faculty can confidently design and develop a learning encounter. This module is based on six articles from medical educators on clinical teaching. The module breaks down the learning encounter into three steps: before, during and after the learning encounter. Throughout the module residents will learn and practice different actions that should be taken by the educator during each step of the learning encounter. Residents are also provided with specific tips and examples from the literature.


Module 3: Creating a Positive Learning Environment

Medical student mistreatment in the third year of medical school is a well documented and recurrent issue. The issue has been brought to the publics attention through national publications like the New York Times piece on “The Bullying Culture of Medical Schools“. It is also recognized within the community of medical education through articles like the “Longtime culture of mistreating students persists at medical schools” in American Medical News and the graduate questionnaire distributed through the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Attempts are currently underway to remedy this issue, however it is still happening all too frequently as evidence in the AAMC graduate survey and massive amounts of student blogs written on this issue. As one medical blogger put it recently, “bullying is not a necessary evil of training doctors”. In order to shift the environment new tools of motivating students and promoting learning need to be provided. This module provides Clinical Educators with models and theories of student motivation, in addition to a checklist that can be used in interactions with learners to determine whether or not a positive learning environment is present and what steps can be taken to create such an environment.


Module 4: Giving Effective Feedback

Feedback helps medical students improve their skills, but it also prepares them to be reflective of their practice. Competent physicians need to be able to understand their own limitations, which requires skills of self-awareness and reflection that are only developed through feedback from experts. Many students report not receiving enough or regular feedback throughout the clerkship. One cause for this may be that the feedback is too vague and doesn’t follow the conventions of effective feedback. This module will help Clinical Educators formulate their feedback in the most effective way for students at all levels.


Module 5: Teaching Clinical Reasoning Skills

Clinical reasoning is the decision making process that physicians go through to reach a diagnosis and treatment plan. Clinical reasoning is a critical component to delivering quality patient care, which requires physicians to integrate their clinical and biomedical knowledge with that of their patient. Clinical reasoning skills are difficult to describe since the process is complex and unique to each patient. This module is based on various articles covering the topics of teaching clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills to learners. The module introduces clinical educators to the building blocks of clinical reasoning, as well as teaching tools (such as concept maps) that can facilitate passing on clinical reasoning skills to learners.


Module 6: Narrative Evaluation

Narrative evaluation is a significant aspect of the Clerkship year, as narrative evaluation provides meaningful feedback to the learner, in addition to laying the framework for the learner’s Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) letter, often referred to as the Dean’s letter. This module introduces clinical educators to the language used in the RIME model, to help preceptors construct rich and effective narrative evaluation. Preceptors will also be provided with strategies to make writing narrative evaluation efficient.


Module 7: Teaching Evidence Based Thinking

Evidence based medicine (EBM) is a critical component of professional practice and clinical reasoning that is often missed because of lack of time or lack of understanding for the process. This module introduces preceptors to the tools for EBM and then recommends teaching techniques to utilizes in instructing a learner.


Module 8: Diagnosing Your Leaner

The Diagnosing Your Learner module is titled diagnosing your learner because it best describes the process educators go through in order to determine what kind of educational activities will best suit their students. This module defines competence and describes tools and strategies clinical educators can use to advance their learners towards competence.


Module 9: Tools for Teaching on the Fly

Physician educators are constantly juggling the various demands, roles and tasks inherent in their work. With the patient as the top priority, faculty must find opportunities to carry out their other roles in the clinical environment.  By utilizing several evidence-based approaches introduced in this module, you will be able to efficiently teach and supervise learners while keeping a patient-centered focus.  Using descriptive narratives and video examples, the module introduces clinical educators to the one minute preceptor, 3 step approach to time efficient teaching and the Aunt Minnie model.


Module 10: Teaching and Assessing Professionalism 

Professionalism is one of the ACGME core competencies of medical education; as such, it is an important area to train learners. However, learners report that there is a gap between what is taught about professionalism and what they are exposed to. This module aims to close that gap by equipping clinical educators with a clear definition of professionalism and effective strategies for teaching and assessing professionalism. Participants are made aware of the various characteristics, attributes and settings where professionalism training occurs so that instruction and evaluation of professionalism can be transparent, explicit and effective.


Module 11: Transforming Dysfunctional Teams 

As clinical care has become more complex and specialized than ever before, medical professionals have adopted a multidisciplinary and team-based approach to performing health care. It is important for medical teams to maintain good working relationships, because dysfunctional teams can be toxic. With a few simple tips and techniques, dysfunctional teams can be transformed by team members or a team leaders.


Module 12: Direct Observation

As medical education moves towards competency-based models and increased levels of accountability, medical educators play a critical role in evaluating the clinical skills of their trainees to provide them with timely, relevant feedback on their progress.  Direct observation serves as a tool to provide this feedback and to make judgments as to a learner’s abilities and performance.  In this module, participants will learn about validated tools that can be used in direct observations and practice conducting direct observations using simulated videos.


Module 13: Dealing with a Difficult Learning Situation

Clinical educators play an important role in identifying problematic behaviors in learners that may impact future performance.  In this practical module, you will discover strategies to prevent or identify difficult learning encounters and utilize a framework for approaching problem interactions.