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Clinical Skills Elective Refresher Course

The CAA offers a Clinical Skills Elective in Blocks 1A, 2A, and 3A. This elective is designed to meet the specific needs of students who are beginning the CCE year after a hiatus. This includes returning MD/PhD students as well as students who have delayed the start of the CCE year for any reason. If you choose to take this Class C Elective, it runs for 2-4 weeks and gives 4 Class C Credits toward graduation.

The goal of this course is to help prepare you to enter the CCE year with well-tuned skills. Objectives are as follows but may be modified depending on the needs of the group. Each student will:

  • Develop a study plan for their first clerkship that includes:
    • A study calendar allowing for adequate time to:
      • Prepare for the final exam
      • Prepare for the OSCE
      • Reading on your patients
      • Any assignments specific for the clerkship
      • Choose study resources
      • Practice studying using the following strategies:
        • Developing and using scaffolding techniques (method for organizing clinical information)
        • Developing compare and contrast tables
        • Developing flash cards
        • Note-taking that stresses writing down the “question” followed by the “answers” in order to practice recall rather than “re-reading”
        • Asking “self-questions”
        • Using the UWorld QBank effectively
        • Practice using test-taking strategies while answering UWorld QBank questions
  • Practice solving clinical problems using the following tools:
    • Clinical problem analysis (Generic Problem Solving)
    • Develop problem representations
    • Develop and use illness scripts
    • Develop an approach to solving specific clinical problems (TBD)
    • Differential diagnosis strategies
    • Practice taking OSCE’s
    • How to approach history
    • How to approach PE
    • How to approach DDx
    • Practice giving oral presentations
    • Practice writing admission notes
    • Practice writing SOAP note

You will be working with a small group of students and a mix of CAA faculty in a “classroom” setting. You will be expected to do pre-reading and there will be exercises before class. You will also have ample time for independent study and there may be additional clinical experiences. Class time will be approximately 10 hours per week (roughly 2 hours per day). You are expected to work at least 40 hours per week. Generally, there are few night call or weekend responsibilities, however, there may be opportunities to work in clinical settings in “off hours”.

It is recommended that you speak with your mentor to understand the implications of taking an elective the first month you return to CCE vs beginning with clerkship courses. There are some scheduling issues. On the other hand, starting the CCE year on the best footing offers significant advantages as well.

If you are interested, please contact Dr. Deanna Richmond.

Updated OCT 2023 | las