How Long Should That Clerkship Be?

Clerkship: It looks like we have no idea.  Researchers looked at a “natural experiment” in clerkship length during a curriculum change at the University of Michigan Medical School.  During this transition, all clerkship lengths were decreased by 25%.  For example the surgery clerkship was shortened from 8 weeks to 6 weeks.  Multiple outcomes were measured pre- and post- change for all 7 clerkships; while a few were of statistical significance, none appeared to be important.  These outcomes included scores on standardized and/or faculty-developed examinations in each clerkship , performance on a multi-station objective clinical skills exam after completion of all clerkships, and survey measures of student satisfaction and well-being.  — Laura Willett, MD

Monrad SU, Bibler Zaidi NL, Gruppen LD, Gelb DJ, Grum C, Morgan HK, Daniel M, Mangrulkar RS, Santen SA. Does Reducing Clerkship Lengths by 25% Affect Medical Student Performance and Perceptions? Acad Med. 2018 Jul

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