Population Health Clerkship: Caring for Populations Within Their Communities

Medical School  FOM 210 / Graduate School of Nursing N603B


(You can download a pdf version of the syllabus here.)

The Population Health Clerkship (PHC) is a team-based, inter-professional, community engaged experience required of all second year medical and graduate nursing students.Social Determinants of Health graphic

Goal: The overarching goal of the Population Health Clerkship (PHC) is to provide relevant real-world context as students expand their understanding of public and population health concepts.

Objectives:  In this clerkship, learners will:

  1. Collect, synthesize, and manipulate relevant population-level data
  2. Identify the inter-professional networks of care available to a population
  3. Explore ways organizations advocate for and with a population to improve social and structural determinants of health
  4. Apply knowledge toward meaningful service in a community  

This clerkship comprises a two-week immersion in community settings with focus on interprofessional teams. Students are placed in small groups directed by academic and community preceptors from a range of professions and disciplines.  Each team’s experience is unique, with some teams requiring evening or weekend hours. Team details and logistics are summarized in the catalog of descriptions distributed in August so they may be considered when students rank their top five preferences.  

The immersive learning of PHC mirrors expectations of clinicians with regards to attendance and team engagement. All PHC activities are required. Students should not schedule other personal or elective activities during this time, and should contact their team leader or a member of the PHC planning group immediately if they identify a potential conflict. 

Timing:  (see 2018 PHC Calendar for this year's dates)

    • August - Review team descriptions in PHC catalog and rank preferences online
    • September - Clerkship introduction and one-hour small group meeting with team leaders
    • October - Two week, 80 hour field experience
    • November - Peer and community learning session with oral presentations

Between September team meeting and PHC start date:

  • Review materials and submit forms as requested by your small group team leaders.

During the two-week clerkship:

  • Participate fully and with professionalism 
  • Complete and submit reflective writing assignment 
  • Work with team to complete framework and service project 
  • Work with team to develop oral presentation with slides or poster 

Post-clerkship presentation session:

 In a ten minute oral and visual presentation for peers and community partners, the team will

  • use data to describe and characterize the population that was the focus of the team’s work
  • share key points gleaned from framework and experience in community
  • discuss lessons learned through interprofessional exposure and service activity
  • explain actual and potential advocacy strategies relevant to improving a population's health, highlighting roles and responsibilities for various sectors/ actors doing this work

Evaluation & Assessment:

Students are evaluated on a credit/no credit basis. Team leaders assign individual scores for professionalism (34%) and reflection (33%).  A team-based presentation score (33%) is determined by faculty raters at the presentation event. A combined score of 75 is required in order to receive credit.