Ethnographic Studies in the Principles of Clinical Medicine

Ethnographic Studies in the Principles of Clinical Medicine
William L Toffler, MD

Fall 2006 - Volume 10 Number 3

Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) introduced the Principles of Clinical Medicine (PCM) course in 1992 with the intent of providing medical students early in their training with a patient-centered care context. Students are enrolled in this two-year, longitudinal course at the same time they are learning basic sciences. PCM consists of two components: a weekly preceptorship in which students spend four hours a week with a community physician and four hours in classes focusing on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes involved in providing patient-centered care. Classes are taught with large-group presentations followed by small-group discussions, and include an introduction to patient examination and diagnostic reasoning as well as to key patient-care issues drawn from epidemiology, medical ethics, organization of health care systems, and the behavioral and social sciences. We believe this curriculum better prepares our students for their third-year required rotations, as well as for their relationship with patients throughout their medical career.

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