College Of Medicine Malawi Undergraduate MBBS Program
The clerkship in Family Medicine aims to introduce students to a thinking process that puts the family and the context of a patient’s illness at the centre of person-centered care. By giving the student responsibility to take history from the patient or guardian, perform a physical examination, writing the findings and participating in the process of further investigations and treatment under the guidance of a qualified clinical teacher, family medicine allows students to learn principles of holistic care and translate theoretical medical knowledge into practical skills. The module also gives students an opportunity to experience and to practice integrated primary care medicine that is responsive to patients, their families and communities.
The Family Medicine clerkship, a six week rotation, starting with lectures at the main campus followed by four weeks spent at a clinical preceptor site and a final week at campus. The aim of the clerkship is to expose you to the practice of family medicine and primary care in the setting of a district or rural site.
In this rotation, students will learn different models of consultation, communication, principles of chronic care and continuity of care, Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), adolescent health, family health, geriatric care, palliative care, and ethics in the context of primary care.
This clerkship is distinct from others in the MBBS curriculum. The patients students evaluate may not have seen a health care worker before ―i.e., they are undifferentiated. They may have no diagnosis or may be presenting with new symptoms, giving the student an opportunity to make first impressions. Each of the patients students evaluate are considered as an integrated whole, and all of his/her problems will be attended to within the context of his/her family and community.
During the district hospital attachment the students are expected to be self-directed with a large portion of their learning. The student logbook (link?), acts as a learning diary for students’ to record undifferentiated cases, antenatal visits, chronic care consultations and much more. Guided by the logbook, the student is encouraged to think of every patient encounter as a learning opportunity.
STRUCTURE OF THE FAMILY MEDICINE ROTATION
WEEK 1: CLASSROOM BASED LEARNING
Students will complete 36 contact hours in relevant family medicine concepts to acquire the necessary theoretical preparation. During week 1 of the Family Medicine Clerkship students complete sessions on topics including the following:
- Introduction to Family Medicine
- Communication Skills
- Approach to Common Symptoms in Primary Care
- Adolescent Health
- Models of Consultation
- Family Health
- Quality Improvement Cycles
- Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI)
- Palliative Care
- Chronic Care
WEEKS 2 – 5: PRECEPTORSHIP – ATTACHMENT TO DISTRICT HOSPITAL
During the four week preceptorship, students will be placed in groups at different hospitals. A logbook will guide the desired tasks and activities to be carried out.
WEEK 6: ASSESSMENT
The last week of the block will include multiple forms of assessment. Logbooks will be submitted to faculty for review. Students will present before faculty and fellow students their quality improvement projects completed during the 4 week district hospital attachment. In addition, student will take a written (multiple choice and short answer) exam and an OSCE.