Through a shadowing experience with a primary care provider in a community clinic, medical students will be exposed to a variety of aspects of community-based primary care over the course of their first two years of medical school. Such experiences include learning about the establishment of medical homes, chronic disease management, and public health.
As part of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine program, the Introduction to Community Medicine program is a community-based focus experience designed to introduce medical students to the challenges and rewards of community-based primary care by providing them with the opportunities to spend a day observing doctors and their medical staff, conducting patient histories and physical exams, among other learning experiences. Furthermore, the geriatrics community-based experience is designed to introduce medical students to community-based geriatric and ambulatory care through a day in an assisted-living facility. Students are given practical education and opportunities to evaluate geriatric patients in their homes, perform mental status exams and medication assessments, as well as safety and ADL/IADL assessments.
One of the first experiences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC is to conduct a “Community Diagnosis” as a curriculum assignment for the PPM course. There are three components to this assignment. First, each small group in the MDL has been assigned to visit a clinic in a distinct neighborhood in the greater Los Angeles region. Each group will meet with a community clinic director to learn about the role of the community clinic, and to gain a better understanding of the prevalent urban health issues in the area. Second, either before or after the pre-arranged visit with the Community Clinic Director, the student group will walk within a 2-3 mile radius of the local health care provider/clinicassessing the neighborhood. Using a map to pin point the provider/community clinic, the student group’s goal is to study and encircle the target community. Working in groups of two or three, the students will visit and observe different parts of “the circle”, the target community.