Departmental Medical Student Programs

Medical Student Studying

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health is involved in teaching medical students during all four years of Medical School.

During the first year, students are placed in diverse sites around Massachusetts for their Community Health Clerkship which enhances their understanding of the importance of the community context in health and health care. Complimenting student interest in Community Health is our program in International Health. Students have an opportunity to pursue clinical and language programs abroad in the Longitudinal Pathway on Serving Multicultural and Underserved Populations.

The Longitudinal Preceptorship Program (LLP) places dozens of first and second year students in family physician offices to give them early clinical exposure. This helps them understand the relationship between the basic sciences they are studying and the patient. Initially conceived as an elective experience with a Family Physician, this program has now been incorporated into the required curriculum involving many other specialties as well.

Department faculty play a leadership role in developing and teaching medical school curriculum in basic and clinical epidemiology, in medical decision-making. These topics are taught as part of the second year Patient, Physician, and Society (PPS) course and also in the Family Medicine Clerkship.

The department has sponsored a required third year clerkship in Family Medicine since the early 80's. The clerkship places students with Board Certified Family Physicians for a six week period during which they learn the basic principles of family medicine and experience Family Practice in Massachusetts.

Fourth year electives include subinternships in family medicine and preceptorships in family practice, as well as opportunities in preventive medicine, healthcare for the homeless, college healthcare, international medicine and rural family medicine. Senior Scholars opportunities explore underserved populations, adolescent care, etc.

Finally, the department supports a Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) that helps students explore family medicine as a potential career choice. The FMIG sponsors talks and workshops covering a variety of topics related to family medicine.