The Columbia-Bronx VA amalgamative clerkship: an effective, 12-week, integrated, longitudinal clinical experience
Samuel C. Quiah
Boyd F. Richards
Special aspects of education
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AbstractBackground: Many medical schools have adopted the longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC) model in response to calls for increased continuity in clinical learning environments. However, because of implementation challenges, such programs are not feasible at some institutions or are limited to a small number of students. Objective: In January 2014, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) recognized the need to explore different LIC formats and began offering four, 12-week amalgamative clerkships (AC). Students within this curricular track experienced primary care, internal medicine ‘away’, orthopedic surgery, urology, and an elective in an integrated format. Design: P&S developed the AC in partnership with the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, NY (BVA). All patient care and educational conferences took place at the BVA during the 12-week experience. The learning objectives of the AC were aligned to the learning objectives of a 52-week LIC also offered at Columbia. An evaluation process was developed to determine student learning experiences and preliminary outcomes, including how well the LIC-related objectives could be achieved in a shorter period of time. Results: In 2015, P&S collected AC evaluation data through three student feedback sessions. Students reported that the AC provided opportunity for patient continuity, patient-centered care approaches, meaningful roles for students, career development opportunities, and health systems awareness. Conclusions: Early outcomes indicate that the BVA AC provides a degree of longitudinality that can influence student perceptions of patient care, career development, and health systems, consistent with the larger LIC. The team continues to gather additional data on students’ experiences and investigate additional sites that have potential to serve as future AC learning environments.