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Medical Knowledge

Demonstrate understanding of the clinical presentation, basic physiology, key physical findings, evaluation and management of diseases frequently encountered in an inpatient medicine setting.


  • Be able to use clinical reasoning to synthesize data into a prioritized differential diagnosis, working diagnosis, and plan.
  • Review the pathophysiology and be able to recognize and initiate evaluation and management plans for the following disease states/clinical presentations:
    • Acute Coronary Syndromes*
    • Congestive Heart Failure
    • Pneumonia
    • Pulmonary Embolism*
    • Community Acquired Bacterial Meningitis
    • Acute kidney injury
    • Acid base disturbance*
    • Ascites
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding*
    • Anemia
    • Back Pain*
    • Syncope*
    • HIV and OIs
    • Acute mental status change/delirium*
    • Diabetes
    • Abdominal Pain*
  • By the end of the clerkship component, the student will be able to review the scope and prevalence of medical error in our current health care system. The student will be able to learn the causes for error (communication, latent and active errors, etc) and methods to report and improve patient safety.
  • By the end of the clerkship component, the student will be able to improve patient safety and clinical care through consistent and effective handoffs and signouts.
  • By the end of the clerkship component, the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge of, and utilize, effective methods of acquiring and exercising evidence based practice through articulating foreground questions and gain practice at answering these questions through the use of vetted systematic reviews.

Learning Activities

Sixteen core topics will be covered in small interactive cases conference or assigned as computer-based learning. Medicine clerkship sites cover the same eight topics in Med 1 and eight topics in Med 2 but may differ in which topics are covered in case conferences or assigned Aquifer cases. Many topics are also frequently covered in the interactive “Student Report” teaching sessions. Expert faculty will meet with students for interactive problem-solving sessions to reinforce many of the concepts taught in the Aquifer cases and of course students will actively care for patients with many of these medical problems. The above list also is intended to help guide students’ reading. Students are strongly encouraged to learn about all of their patients’ past medical problems in addition to the acute problems to further enhance their medical knowledge. Weekly Student Report sessions and Case Conferences will explicitly teach the clinical reasoning process using a highly interactive, case-based format.


Students must provide evidence patients’ diagnoses by using the patient logs. A total of 16 core topics will be required either through Aquifer case completion, case conference attendance or Simulation.

Assessment Methods

ExamSoft (multiple choice) in internal medicine component (at week seven of eight-week inpatient rotation), team evaluations (based on observation) at end of four weeks, and assessment of the four required patient write-ups.