Medical Student Education
Faculty members of the department participate in the preclinical curriculum of medical students, the core clerkship in internal medicine, and various lecture courses and clinical electives during the latter part of the student's experience in medical school. In the preclinical curriculum, faculty members of the department are primarily responsible for the pathophysiology course in which students learn about basic mechanisms of disease in such fields as cardiology, pulmonary disease, gastroenterology, endocrinology, hematology, oncology, nephrology, rheumatology, and geriatrics. The course provides the educational experiences utilizing both lectures and numerous interactive small group discussions. This course is the basis provided to the students for understanding various disease processes, as they proceed thereafter to the core clinical clerkships.
During the preclinical curriculum, medical students have the opportunity to participate in clinical activities in an office setting under the supervision of practicing physicians. Many of the supervising physicians are faculty members of the Department of Medicine. Faculty members serve as mentors in the integrated problem solving exercises attended by preclinical students.
The Department of Medicine is responsible for instruction in obtaining medical histories, performing physical examinations, and setting down in writing this information in the form of an initial patient workup. These skills are very important when the student emerges into the clinical arena.
The core clinical clerkship in internal medicine lasts for a period of 12 weeks. Students spend four weeks in a general medicine unit at the Ben Taub General Hospital, four weeks assigned to a general medicine unit at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and four weeks assigned to an internal medicine subspecialty unit at either The Methodist Hospital or St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. Thus, the clinical experiences of the students in the core clerkship are very diverse. There are numerous teaching conferences and a special core clerkship lecture series for the students.
During the third year, medical students at Baylor College of Medicine have a longitudinal ambulatory care experience in which they see patients in the office of a practitioner every other week for six months. Many of the supervising preceptors for this experience are faculty members of the Department of Medicine.
The department offers a wide variety of electives in internal medicine and its subspecialties to medical students. Commonly, students take a general medicine externship (subinternship). Clinical electives are offered in each of the medical subspecialties, critical care units, and the emergency center. Students may take an elective in general internal medicine with a practicing general internist in a small community of Texas, supported by funding of the Ledbetter Foundation. There are abundant opportunities for a research elective throughout the department.
During the senior year, medical students take a course entitled "Mechanisms and Management of Disease." Many of the topics covered in this course are within the field of internal medicine, with the presentations by members of the faculty of the Department of Medicine.
The Baylor College of Medicine Student Internal Medicine Society (SIMS) is a student-run organization sponsored by the American College of Physicians. The Society brings students together who are interested in pursuing careers in internal medicine and provides a forum for a wide variety of educational activities.