Family Medicine

Medical Student Education Electives

FAM300: Externship in Family Medicine

This four-week course is designed for upper-level students with interest in family medicine. Students will be involved in designing a four-week curriculum which meets their particular goals and interests in the field of primary care. Students will have the chance to work with members of the Department in various clinical settings, including the Family Medicine Center, Labor and Delivery floor, Procedure Clinic and opportunities in the West Philadelphia community.

Particular emphasis will be put on improving focus, time management, and assessment skills. Students will independently evaluate then present their patients to senior residents or attending physicians. During the course of the rotation, students will present a discussion on topic germane to family medicine.

FP325: Primary Care Sports Medicine Elective

This is a four-week elective designed for upper-level students with a particular interest in caring for athletes and improving their evaluation and management of common musculoskeletal problems. Students must have completed their required clerkships in family medicine and orthopedics to be eligible. The student will spend 6-7 clinic sessions per week with a primary care sports medicine specialist focusing on the non-surgical management of sports and exercise related injuries. Emphasis will be placed on the diagnosis and treatment of common musculoskeletal problems including, advanced physical exam skills, interpretation of imaging, and hands-on procedural skills. The student will also spend one clinic session per week at Penn Family Care seeing a broad spectrum of primary care problems. There will be opportunities available for athletic event coverage based on the timing of the elective. Students will help teach the clerkship musculoskeletal workshop and will be responsible for a 20-minute presentation on a topic in primary care sports medicine. Two half-days per week will be reserved for project time and selected readings.

FAM326: Community Medicine and Public Health Elective

This experience will provide medical students with a diverse exposure to community medicine and public health in Philadelphia. The elective can be shaped to the individual interests of the student. There are two primary frameworks for the elective:

  1. Two-four week exposure to public health venues
  2. Four-week, service-based project

During the two-four week exposure to public health venues offering, students will rotate with Family Medicine residents during their Community Medicine block rotations. Students will have opportunities to experience United Community Clinics, Unity Clinic, Occupational Medicine, Prevention Point Philadelphia, Mazzoni Center, community-based geriatric health promotion and transitions in care programs, Hospice and primary care home visitations, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and school-based health initiatives. For students interested in service-learning opportunities, we can offer faculty mentorship for a structured service-based rotation supporting existing departmental-community partnerships or student-community partnerships that have already been developed or those currently seeking to develop collaborative partnerships. Students will be expected to complete independent reading assignments or lecture attendance related to relevant content in community medicine and public health

Sample Schedule

FAM 350: Elective in Maternal and Child Health

The elective in Maternal Child Health is a 4 week elective that is designed to allow the learner to explore elements of obstetrics and pediatrics through a primary care model. The elective centers on the junction point in family health that includes prenatal care, labor and delivery and the postpartum care of both mother and infant. During the elective, students will work closely with the Family Medicine OB faculty to engage in prenatal care at Penn and 2 other community health clinics. There will be a particular focus on introducing the student to women who are at or near full term. A portion of time will also be spent on the Family Medicine OB service at HUP with the opportunity to learn how to evaluate women in triage, manage labor, participate in vaginal deliveries and provide postpartum care and counseling to women who have recently delivered. This includes contraception counseling, pediatric anticipatory guidance and breastfeeding education. Clinical skills including newborn examinations, circumcisions, Nexplanon placements and management of obstetrical emergencies will also be emphasized. A special component of the elective will be the chance to follow a patient from prenatal care through to delivery. The student will be notified and participate in the labor floor management and delivery of patients seen in the prenatal setting. Therefore, the student will be “on call” for the patients that they select to follow. Additional learning will take place in the family medicine clinic where students participate in resident conferences, spend time in the procedure clinic and participate in the pediatric visits for patients who they cared for on the labor and delivery or postpartum floor. An independent study reading list will augment the traditional instruction for the course.


FAM400: Sub-Internship in Family Medicine

This four-week course is designed for upper-level students with interest in Family Medicine or general inpatient medicine. Students rotate on the inpatient Family Medicine service at Presbyterian Medical Center and serve in the capacity of an Intern managing a full patient load. In this role, students will be engaged in all aspects of patient care including participation in rounds, clinical decision making, family meetings and patient handoffs. Students will be expected to be fully involved in working up patients from the time of admission and providing ongoing care until discharge and transition back to the ambulatory setting. In addition, the student will be allowed and expected to attend all teaching and QI activities related to the family medicine service. The team has a night-float structure, so there is no overnight or weekend call for interns on the primary team. This rotation meets the requirement for a Sub-Internship in Module 5.