Early clinical experiences that are integrated with basic/clinical science content are considered beneficial to medical students, but little has been published concerning how to accomplish this. In this article, the authors describe the yearlong Advanced Doctoring course, a multidisciplinary clinical skills course for second-year students that was implemented at Mayo Medical School in 2006-2007. Of 197 course hours, 163 (83%) are integrated with the basic/clinical science curriculum, which is organized into six blocks (e.g., circulation, oxygen). During most blocks, all second-year students (approximately 50) participate in integrated clinical, surgical, diagnostic, and simulation experiences related to the basic/clinical science block's content. In the circulation block, for example, students complete workups on inpatients with chest pain, examine inpatients and outpatients with heart murmurs, review pediatric presentations of shock, observe valve replacement in the operating room, observe an echocardiogram, and participate in a simulation (i.e., Harvey heart sounds). Student feedback on course evaluation forms is highly positive. Further, on the 2009 Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire, graduating Mayo medical students were twice as likely as U.S. medical students nationally to strongly agree that the basic science content was sufficiently integrated and had sufficient illustrations of clinical relevance. The authors propose that the Advanced Doctoring course may be a useful model for other institutions contemplating curricular reform that targets better integration of formal knowledge and clinical experiences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas