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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Community medicine in action: an integrated, fourth-year urban continuity preceptorship.

OBJECTIVE: To provide an opportunity for fourth-year students at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison to immerse in urban community medicine during a 34-week program. This experience enhances the integrity of the fourth year as well as merges medicine and public health perspectives in medical education as called for by the Medicine and Public Health Initiative. DESCRIPTION: A limited number of fourth-year Wisconsin medical students have the opportunity to select a one-year, continuity-based preceptorship at the Milwaukee clinical campus with a focus in one of three domains: family medicine, internal medicine, or women's health. Students participate in the following clinical activities: a one-year, integrated preceptorship (one to three half days per week in a primary preceptor's office), medicine subinternship, senior surgery clerkship, selectives (16-20 weeks of clerkships relevant to preceptorship focus area), and one month of out-of-city electives. Complementing this community-based clinical experience is the opportunity to develop an increased appreciation for urban community health issues and resources by participating in a required urban community medicine clerkship and a mentored student scholarly project focusing on an aspect of urban community medicine and population health. All students begin the year in July with a four-week urban community medicine clerkship, which is based on the St. Luke's family practice residency's community medicine rotation and arranged by residency faculty. They conduct a "windshield survey" of a Milwaukee neighborhood, observing health hazards and identifying assets, and then present these observations to others in the clerkship. During this first month, students are introduced to the work of a variety of social service agencies, the Milwaukee City Health Department, and the Aurora Health Care/UW community clinics, which serve the state's most diverse zip codes. They meet with providers and researchers who share their expertise in infectious disease, preventive medicine, perinatal epidemiology, domestic violence, sexual assault, and disease management. Students develop increased understanding of barriers to health and personal resilience by listening to focus groups conducted with homeless men and undocumented Latino women. They participate in a resident and faculty development retreat on enhancing community medicine knowledge and skills. By August, students select an advisor and outline a project designed to expand understanding in the areas of urban population health research, community health education, professional education, or health intervention planning and evaluation. Faculty members at the Center for Urban Population Health work closely with the students throughout the year, which includes two weeks in the spring that are dedicated to intensive work on the projects. DISCUSSION: This fourth-year, urban community-based preceptorship is designed to provide students with an alternative fourth year that integrates skill development in clinical and community medicine, offers a continuity primary care experience, and showcases innovative urban health resources and role models. It is hoped that these students will pursue graduate medical education in Milwaukee, incorporate a population perspective in their practice, and choose to work in neighborhoods that are currently underserved.[1]


  1. Community medicine in action: an integrated, fourth-year urban continuity preceptorship. Brill, J.R., Jackson, T.C., Stearns, M.A. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. (2002) [Pubmed]
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