Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 341–346 | Cite as

Educational and career outcomes of an internal medicine preceptorship for first-year medical students

  • D. Michael Elnicki
  • Kevin A. Halbritter
  • Mary Ann Antonelli
  • Barry Linger
Original Articles


OBJECTIVE: Medical educators have attempted in recent years to provide quality clinical experiences for medical students early in their medical training. We questioned whether participating in a preceptorship in internal medicine (PIM) resulted in better performances on subsequent clinical rotations and increased interest in internal medicine.

PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-four students have participated in the PIM to date, with control groups consisting of students who applied for it but were not selected (n=36), students participating in a preceptorship in family medicine (n=168), and the remaining students (n=330).

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: University medical center and community practices.

INTERVENTION: A 2-month, clinical preceptorship following the first year of medical school.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The following outcomes were assessed: scores in the introduction to clinical medicine course; grades in the medical ethics course; scores from the internal medicine clerkship; and choosing a career in internal medicine. In their second year, PIM students scored higher in both semesters of the introduction to clinical medicine course (87% and 86% vs 84% and 84%, p’s<.01) and were more likely to receive honors in ethics (50% vs 29%, p<.01) than non-PIM students. During the internal medicine clerkship, PIM students’ scores were significantly higher on an objective structured clinical examination (79% vs 76%, p=.05), ambulatory clinical evaluations (80% vs 76%, p<.01), and overall clerkship scores (78% vs 75%, p=.03) but not on inpatient clinical evaluations or on the National Board of Medical Examiners Subject Examination. Preceptorship students were more likely to receive honors grades in the medicine clerkship (33% vs 10%, p<.01), and they were more likely to match into internal medicine residencies than control students (54% vs 27%, p<.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The PIM course is an intervention, early in students’ careers, which appears to benefit them academically and increase their interest in internal medicine as a career.

Key words

medical students clinical competence curriculum 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Michael Elnicki
    • 1
  • Kevin A. Halbritter
    • 1
  • Mary Ann Antonelli
    • 1
  • Barry Linger
    • 1
  1. 1.the Department of MedicineWest Virginia UniversityMorgantown
  2. 2.Department of MedicineRobert C. Byrd Health Sciences CenterMorgantown

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