Medical Student Away Rotations

Away rotations available at Cambridge Health Alliance

Offered through Harvard Medical School (via VSLO).

Primary Care (Internal Medicine) elective clerkship

The Primary Care Elective is a 4 week rotation of Primary Care Internal Medicine. The student spends time in multiple community-based primary care clinics affiliated with CHA, working with a variety of faculty members based on student interest and faculty availability. Each morning begins with the internal medicine residency ambulatory case conference at Cambridge Hospital, and Thursday mornings are dedicated to ambulatory didactics. The course objective is for the student to gain competence in diagnosis and management of chronic diseases and acute problems seen in Primary Care Internal Medicine, including screening and prevention. Additional options are available for spending time in clinics focused on addiction medicine and geriatric medicine. The patient population is diverse and includes a large immigrant population speaking Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole as well as many other languages.

Community Primary Care (Internal Medicine/Pediatrics) @ Revere Health Center

Students in this one month elective will learn a team-based approach to the diagnosis and management of a variety of acute and chronic diseases in adult and pediatric patients in a primary care community health center. A focus of this elective is how the patient care team identifies and addresses social determinants of health (SDOH) with their patients. 

Students will spend time interacting with various members of the patient care team – learning about each person’s role on the team. They will be paired with a clinical pharmacist and/or pharmacy resident/student in the collaborative care of a patient(s) with chronic disease whom they will follow together over the course of the elective. During the elective students will be asked to explore how factors such as economics, housing, education, food insecurity, employment, and transportation impact the health of their patients and how the members of the patient care team each play their role in screening for, addressing, and managing these issues.

Students will also spend time in the community itself – with immersion experiences such as visiting a food pantry/mobile market, patient home visit(s), school health center, senior center, housing, etc. Students will further explore SDOH through literature, narrative reflection, case presentation/discussion, and be asked to construct a timeline of a patient’s life in collaboration with their pharmacy partner to see how a patient’s life path leads to their present situation. Students will observe and participate in our panel management - observing how we act as a team to manage patients with certain health conditions/risks and in the management of our more complex patients. Weekly interprofessional educational conferences will provide an opportunity to further discuss and process these experiences and further cement learning.

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