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Clerkship - Vermont Campus


Welcome to the third-year clerkship in Family Medicine!

Family physicians play an important role in the health care delivery system of the United States and other countries, serving as the initial point of entry into the medical system and then providing continuing care to patients and their families. Family physicians do not limit their practices according to the age or gender of their patients, and many have several multi-generational family members under their care.

Family physicians are typically involved in their communities, practicing with a high level of awareness of the social, environmental, psychological, and genetic factors that contribute to health and illness. They take pride in their comprehensive knowledge of patients' medical problems, as well as their knowledge and ability to utilize unique health beliefs. A substantial portion of work in Family Medicine is aimed at prevention of illness through anticipatory guidance and reduction of risk factors.

The emphasis in this clerkship will be on the acquisition of skills and knowledge as it applies to the outpatient setting; some preceptors will also involve their students in their hospital work. Preceptors are full-spectrum primary care physicians and may also deliver babies or have other special foci in their work, including such areas as geriatrics, sports medicine, psychotherapy, lifestyle medicine, outpatient procedures, hospital medicine, or obstetrics.

By the end of the clerkship, each student will have learned a primary care approach to the diagnosis and management of a defined set of common medical problems using evidence-based medicine.


Structure of the Clerkship

Our Family Medicine clerkship is 6 weeks long and begins with a week-long orientation called TOPMEd (Team Oriented Patient-centered Medical Education) Week. During this week you will be involved in hands-on workshops aimed to hone your clinical skills in preparation for your time working in a family medicine clinic. 

The remaining 5 weeks will be spent in an outpatient family medicine clinic.  While several clinical sites are located within Chittenden County, a number of students will have the opportunity to work in rural clinics around Vermont and as far as Maine. On average, students spend approximately 40 hours per week in the clinic setting; this is scheduled as a combination of 8 half-days.

When not in clinic, students work on developing their Community Health Improvement Project, as well as participating in case-based learning modules hosted by Aquifer.


Community Health Improvement Project

The Community Health Improvement Project is an opportunity for students to explore the challenges facing their host clinic's community and design an intervention to address those challenges. When deciding upon a topic, students are encouraged to consider the social determinants of health specific to their patient population, quality improvement initiatives that might be ongoing at their host clinic, and any emerging health issues facing their patients. Students will also meet with AHEC representatives specific to their clinic’s region to unearth community needs, data sources, and discuss their topic and planned intervention.  PowerPoint summaries of the projects are then published online to ScholarWorks where their publications are discoverable via Google Scholar.


A Future in Family Medicine

Do you have questions about Family Medicine as a career?  Would you like to connect with a Family Medicine doctor to mentor you as you move through your time at UVM?  Please reach out to us anytime – we are excited to connect with you!  You can email our Clerkship Director, Amanda Kolb, MD, at Amanda.Kolb@uvmhealth.org or our Director of Medical Student Education in the Family Medicine department, Professor  Martha Seagrave, PA-C, RN, at Martha.Seagrave@med.uvm.edu.


2021 Family Medicine Teaching Awards: Congratulations to Katie Marvin, MD, and the Community Health Centers of Burlington for providing excellence in office-based teaching of Family Practice!!