General Description

Goals | Knowledge Base | Student Lecture Series

This section contains the entire Syllabus for the Internal Medicine Junior Clerkship which can be downloaded as a PDF HERE

Clerkship Directors: Drs. Vijay Ramu and Kais Albalbissi
Course Coordinator: Yvette Font


Welcome to the Junior Medicine Clerkship. We hope you will enjoy the time you share with us. We are proud of our reputation as dedicated medical educators and hope you enjoy the knowledge and experience you will gain while rotating with the Department of Internal Medicine. While on the rotation you will learn much more regarding basic patient care than you might expect.

The Junior Clerkship experience in Internal Medicine consists of six weeks of ward medicine divided into two three week rotations. These rotations will be at two different locations which may include The VA Medical Center, Johnson City Medical Center and Holston Valley Medical Center. This will give the student a different hospital setting to experience. This is dependent on the period of their Medicine clerkship


1.  Develop a solid foundation of medical knowledge regarding the care of patients presenting with medical maladies. This will include practical and critical thinking, diagnosis, patient care, medical diagnostic procedures, adherence to evidence based established guideline and follow up care that includes both medical and psychological support.  

2.  For the student to effectively participate as a Team Member, in a professional manner including communication with fellow students, residents, attending physicians and patients' family members.

 Students are expected to:

 A.  Admit at least 2 patients per week to the ward service. Perform complete history and physical exam on these patients. Assist the PGY-1 with entering admission orders into the hospital order entry system. Leave history, physical exam and assessment on patients chart to be countersigned by PGY-2 or PGY-3 resident.  A copy of the H&P should be made and submitted to the attending for critique.      

 B.  Write daily progress notes on patient to be countersigned by PGY-1 or PGY-2.

 C. Present patient at morning report, attending rounds, tumor board or any other appropriate setting where patient to be discussed.                                                                                                                  

Attendings will be assigned to groups of 3-4 students at each site.

The attending will review students' histories and physical exams, assessments and plans. Students and attending should evaluate patients at the bedside. The attending should review the written record and assess that the student is able to present each case succinctly. Attendings will submit an evaluation via New Innovations of each student after the ward rotation.

The attending will observe each student perform a history and physical exam on a patient some time during their ward rotation. During the ward rotation a strong emphasis on the development of bedside clinical skills is a necessity. Students should see as many patients as possible with abnormal physical findings. Physical diagnosis textbooks such as DeGowin and DeGowin and Sapira will be available at each site. Students should perform the following:

A.  Review peripheral blood smear.  

B.  Perform and read an EKG.

C.  Describe urinary sediment.

D.  Gram stain all appropriate body fluids if an infectious process is considered


-Communicate effectively with patients, family members and the health care team in a respectful and professional manner while receiving and giving feedback during H&Ps, ward rounds, and case presentations, and in the counseling and in the waiting room.

-Derive a differential diagnosis and patient treatment plan that includes appropriate Internal Medicine subspecialty consultation and therapy.

 -Gather, interpret, and record an accurate history and physical examination for presentation at morning rounds.

-Assess, choose, and demonstrate learned patient care activity that confirms to the health care team, knowledge of procedures used during clinical situations.

-Associate and communicate the physiologic responses to metabolic challenges of varying degrees as identified or needed, to the health care team during patient encounters, morning rounds, case presentations, simulation lab scenarios and in the emergency room.

-Recognize and understand the indications for diagnostic procedures involved in the evaluation of medical conditions that might provide additional diagnostic or therapeutic benefit to the medical patient.



Students shall acquire the body of knowledge and thinking processes necessary to becoming a competent physician. Students shall.

a.  Apply the basic science principles of normal and abnormal structure, development, and function of the human body to clinical medicine.

b.  Acquire the scientific knowledge of the nature of agents and mechanisms that produce alterations in the structure and function of the human body.

c.  Demonstrate an understanding of normal human behavior and the impact of human behavior on health and illness.



The Department of Internal Medicine wants each ETSU student to have strong medical knowledge in internal medicine. We are pleased that our students have been at or above the mean for the NBME shelf exams and Part II of the USLME - medicine section. To develop the internal medicine knowledge base the course includes the following:

A.  Student Lecture Series – have been recorded and entail the following subspecialties: Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Hematology/Oncology, Infectious Disease and Pulmonary. Links are as follows:

Title: 2011_03_18 Roy_Tom_Pulmonary
URL for Viewing:

Title: 2011_03 _23 Ramu_Vijay_ Cardiology
URL for Viewing:

Title: 2011_03_24_Enck_Robert_Hematology
URL for Viewing:

Title: 2011-03-31 Hamdy_Ron_Osteoporosis
URL for Viewing:

Title: 2011_04_13_Patel_Paras_Infectious Disease
URL for Viewing:

Title: 2011_05_05_Leicht_Stuart_Dermatology
URL for Viewing:

 Title: 2011_06_07_Stuart_Charles_ Endocrinology
URL for Viewing:

 Title: 2011_06_20_Young_Mark_Gastroenterology
URL for Viewing:  


B.  Dr. Berk's Pre-Test Medicine: Self-Assessment and Review book will be available to all clerkship students from the office of the Clerkship Secretary.

C.  Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine available to all clerkship students on loan from the office of the Clerkship Secretary.

D.  Step Up To Medicine available to all clerkship students on loan from the office of the Clerkship Secretary.


COM: Assessment of student

The clerkship director and coordinator manage the assessment process for all the clerkship students. QCOM uses an on-line assessment system, New Innovations (NI), to assess each student's performance. Individual faculty assessment of each student will be combined into the Clerkship Director's final composite assessment form for each student. The final composite will contain faculty comments and the final course grade. Students will be notified when their final assessment is available in NI to view. This should be approximately 3 weeks following the conclusion of the clerkship. Final grades will be posted into the ETSU Banner system and become the official grade for the student's transcript.

Mid-clerkship review: An integral part of the Assessment process is the Mid-clerkship Review with the clerkship director which all students will have. It is the student's responsibility to complete their portion of the Mid-Clerkship Review form and to arrange for a faculty member they have worked closely with during the clerkship to review and complete the faculty portion of the form prior to the Mid-Clerkship Review. During the Mid-clerkship Review the clerkship director will review and discuss the completed form with the student. The completed form will remain with the Clerkship throughout the rotation. The Mid-Clerkship Review form can be found in the Administrative Forms folder in New Innovations under my Favorites/Department Manuals or it may be provided to the student by the clerkship coordinator. The Mid-Clerkship Review form can be found in the Administrative Forms folder in New Innovations under Intranet or it may be provided to the student by the clerkship coordinator.


The on-line system is also used for the students to evaluate the faculty and the course. This evaluation tool is used to provide information to the clerkship administration about the teaching/learning process with the intent of improving learning. Student feedback is essential for curriculum planning. Students will be notified electronically when these required evaluations are available to complete. Timely completion of evaluations is required. Individual clerkships may also request students to evaluate its' Resident Physicians using the on-line system, also with the intent of improving learning.                                 


COM: Documentation of Required experiences: revised 8/13/12

LCMEAccreditation statement ED-2 requires each student to document the core clinical requirements as identified by the clerkship. Documentation includes indicating if they observed, assisted or performed a skill and where the experience occurred. The clerkship may provide the student a paper copy of the required experiences specific to the clerkship and require that each experience by signed off on by the observing faculty. This documentation assures the requirements of the clerkship are met by each student and builds the students portfolio. Students are required to then log all experiences into the Case Logger in New Innovations by the end of the clerkship. Only the electronic log will be accepted as evidence of meeting the requirements. Please Note:  Access in NI to log diagnosis or procedures closes at midnight the last Friday of the rotation. ** It is the student's responsibility to be proactive in seeking out the identified educational experiences.

Clerkships must provide students with adequate exposure to a variety of learning opportunities. If the student is unable to meet the clinical requirement while on the clerkship, they should request an alternate learning experience be provided.  If the Case Logger in NI is not completed by the mid-night of the last Friday of the rotation a grade of "D" or "I", whichever the clerkship director determines is appropriate, will be issued for the course. Please see the Clerkship Grade Scale section for description of these grades. 


Student behavior is expected to be professional in all areas at all times.

Professionalism: Students shall demonstrate the behaviors befitting an ethical professional at all times.

Students shall:

-exhibit respect, compassion, humility, altruism, duty, and honesty with patients, patient's families, staff, faculty, members of the healthcare team, fellow students, and themselves.
-be punctual, reliable, and conscientious in completing academic and patient care responsibilities.
-recognize limitations in knowledge and pursue appropriate activities to effectively address learning needs.
-demonstrate personal accountability and admit professional mistakes.
-adhere to legal and ethical principles related to patient consent and confidentiality.
-demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, spiritual beliefs, socioeconomic background, family support, sexual orientation, and healthcare beliefs in interactions with others.
-demonstrate professionalism in dress, hygiene, and demeanor.
-utilize appropriate boundaries within the patient/physician relationship.

For the vast majority of students these expectations are natural and intuitively known. However, a limited number of specific unprofessional behaviors are identified below. Of course, it is impossible to delineate each and every aspect of professionalism. Consequently, the final decision of what constitutes unprofessional behavior lies with faculty preceptors and the clerkship director. Faculty preceptors may report any unprofessional actions of concern on their assessment of student form or to the clerkship director prior to the end of the rotation. The student may be assigned a grade of R, which requires a review by the Student Promotions Committee. Students many fail a clerkship based solely on unprofessional behavior.


Examples of Unprofessional Behavior Include:

-Absence from duty without excuse.
-Substance abuse either on duty or off duty which affects performance while on duty (in addition, legal or criminal action, will be dealt with as an infraction of professional behavior).
-False witness in any statement in a chart or document related to the practice of medicine.
-Failure to safeguard patient's rights.
-Willful neglect of patients.
-Expressions of prejudice in any form (this includes verbal comments or behaviors expressing prejudice based on age, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality, origin, or disability).
-Inappropriate personal behavior in professional settings including abusive language, unprofessional appearance or sexual misconduct.
-Use of patient's chart or record for any purpose other than rendering health care (i.e., criticism of colleagues, demeaning remarks toward the patients).
-Non-compliance with HIPAA guidelines (Refer to QCOM's HIPAA and Social Medical Policies for additional information.)
-Acute or chronic neglect of professional/educational schedule.Failure to comply with the hospital or clinic bylaws
-Willful failure to comply with the reasonable professional directions of an attending physician or faculty preceptor.
-Texting or sleeping during clinical or laboratory activities.       

 COM: Issued and Loaned Items: (added 8/13/12) During this clerkship all students will be issued the items listed below which must be returned to the individual indicated before the last day of the rotation.  Failure to do so will result in a grade of "Incomplete" for the clerkship which will not be converted to a letter grade until all items are returned.  The corresponding fee will be assessed for any lost items.  A grade of "Incomplete" will also be submitted for any student who fails to return equipment or supplies issued by the department for student use (eg., library books, videos, etc.) Once all items are returned or fees paid letter grades will be posted and composite assessment forms released.

COM: Medical Student Duty Hours:
Medical student assignments, including the nature and content of activities and the number of duty hours required, must be determined by the educational value of the assignment. All assignments must provide meaningful educational value. Excessive work hours and fatigue can impact medical student learning just as it impacts patient care.

 1.  Duty hours consist of hours required;

          -In hospital or clinic/office
          -In didactic education (lectures, conferences, etc.)
          -In any mandatory educational activity.

2.  At home call is not included in duty hours determinations.

3.  Student study at home is not counted as duty hours.

4.  Medical student duty hours should not exceed 80 hrs / week.5.

5.  IN-HOUSE NIGHT CALL is permitted under the following conditions:

          -Is a valuable educational experience. Facilitates being a member of healthcare team.
          -Adequate rest facilities available in hospital.
          -Occurs no more frequently than once every week.
          -Call will not precede day of an exam or quiz.
          -If student feels fatigued after the call, he/she is to be excused for an appropriate length of time from rounds, classes, etc.
           Any didactic materials should be made available to the student. It is the responsibility of the student to effectively communicate
           with team members regarding their need for a period of post-call rest.
          -The student should not leave normal student responsibilities without such communication.
          -Hours of in-house call count toward 80 hours total.



It is the consensus of the faculty and administration of the Quillen College of Medicine that students should maintain a neat, clean personal appearance and dress in a professional manner at all times. Since students are intimately involved with patients and members of the health care team, wearing reasonable clothing and avoiding extremes of dress is imperative. Individual clerkships may have more specific criteria.



-All students shall wear their white lab coats, unless the department indicates otherwise.
-Current identification badge is to be displayed in a location that is easily visible to patients and staff
-General attire must be clean and neat at all times.
-Appropriate attire is considered to be dress shirts, dresses, pantsuits, blouses, skirts, sport coats, dress slacks, and shirts with collars.
-Jeans, tennis shoes, shorts, skirts three inches of more above the knee, tube tops, low cut tank tops, t-shirts, midriff tops, sundresses without a jacket or blazer, see-through and low cut blouses, sweatpants, sweatshirts, and leather attire are considered inappropriate attire.
-When patient care responsibilities necessitate physical contact do not wear large bulky jewelry or jewelry that may inadvertently cause injury to patients.
-Hair should be neatly arranged in such a manner that it does not fall on patients or be grabbed by a patient.  Facial hair should be neatly groomed to present a professional image.
-Perfume, cologne, or other fragrance products should be moderately used to avoid being offensive or causing discomfort to others.
-Undergarments should not be visible through outer clothing.
-Shoes must be closed-toed in the patient care areas (no flip-flops or sandals). Shoes should be of reasonable height and comfortable enough for the student to be able to respond to any type of emergency in a healthcare setting.
-Visible body piercing must be conservative and jewelry must be small in size.
-CDC requires that fingernails be kept clean and short for patient care and for the proper fit of gloves or other protective equipment. Artificial Nails are not permitted.
-Scrubs need to be covered when leaving patient care areas.



All students are expected to comply with these guidelines. If a faculty preceptor deems the student's attire is inappropriate, the student will be counseled appropriately and may be sent home to correct attire before returning to their duties.


College of Medicine Identification badges are to be worn at all times while on rotation in the clerkship.

COM: student Contact Phone Numbers The student is responsible for providing a local area code contact phone number or pager number for use by the clerkship. If contact information has changed, the change should be made in Banner, which will update information in New Innovations.


COM: Student Procedures for Special Services (ADA):

It is the policy of ETSU to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal law, state law and the University's commitment to equal educational access. Any student with a disability who needs accommodations, for example arrangement for examinations or seating placement, should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course.  

All students seeking accommodation for disabilities are to contact Ms. Linda Gibson, M.Ed., Director, ADA Coordinator for Disability Services at East Tennessee State University (439-8346). Faculty accommodation forms are provided to students through Disability Services in the D. P. Culp center, Suite A.


In the event of illness, the student must contact on the day of absence the preceptor/resident they are assigned to work with that day. The student is to update the Clerkship Coordinator upon their return to work.

During clerkships there is no annual leave / time off. Students will work the schedule of the location they are assigned to during the clerkship. ETSU COM Administrative office closures do not necessitate student time off. Additional call may be required for time away for other approved educational activities. All requests for absence from the clerkship rotation must be requested in advance on the Request for Leave form prior to the date(s) needed for justifiable circumstances. The Request for Leave form is located in the Administrative Forms folder in NI, under My Favorites/Department Manuals.            


The Office of Student Affairs will make tutors available to any QCOM student. Contact Student Affairs at 439-2037.


Confidential academic and personal counseling are available through the Professional and Academic Resource Center – PARC (Mr. Phil Steffey, 232-0275 or pager 854-0342.)      


The official radio station for reporting the status of classes and other activities of the College of Medicine during inclement weather is WETS-FM 89.5. All students - including all medical students - are to govern themselves according to the status as reported by this station for the University. In the event of missed classes due to inclement weather, makeup classes may be

required on Saturdays. At Holston Valley Hospital they follow the MEAC policy – which is when clinics are closed the students don't have to report. Faculty and residents report according to the MEAC policy.


COM: NBME EXAMINATION POLICY: For those clerkships utilizing NBME end of clerkship exams:

-NBME End of clerkship exams will be administered the last day of the clerkship. Specific time and location information will be provided by each clerkship.If a student is not present at the announced location and time the exam is to begin, that student will have to make special arrangements to take the exam at another time/location and will receive a grade of "I" for the rotation. No Requests for Leave will be granted for scheduled exam times.

-Students must bring a laptop computer with Ethernet capability and related cables for the exam. The exam cannot be taken wirelessly.

-No food or drinks of any type are permitted in the exam area

-Books, all electronic devices, including cell phones, and other personal items, including baseball caps, are not permitted in the exam area. These items should be left at home, in lockers or cars.

-Examinations will be proctored by staff and/or faculty from the department responsible for administering the examination.

-Students will be required to sign in. ETSU ID cards are required.

-Students may leave the room to attend to personal needs. They may not remove any items from the exam room and may not talk with classmates while out of the room.                                                                                                     



Grading for the clerkship will be determined as follows:


                        15%     Evaluation by Attending x 2 sites

                        10%     Evaluation by Senior Resident x 2 sites

                        20%     Two NBME Quizzes @ 10% each.    

                        30%     NBME shelf exam (to receive an honors or A grade, students must attaiN Ascore of 75 or higher)

                                   (to maintain a B in course at least 65 on Shelf). Anything under the grade of 65 is a C.

                                   A failing grade on the NBME is < 50 on NBME.                      


A=100-90 (Excellent)   B=89-80(good) C=79-70(Adequate) D= Below 70 (Remediate part of the course)   F=Below 70 (Repeat the course). 

Specialties Clerkship only: P(Pass)=70 and above.

Any grade less than a C require a deficiency grade sheet to be submitted to the COM Registrar's office outlining the issues and remediation plan. All will be discussed at the next regularly scheduled Student Promotions Committee meeting.

D=Requires review and approval of the remediation plan by the Student Promotions Committee. A D grade indicates that in the judgment of the course faculty, an additional period of prescribed remediation (assuming no deficiencies in other courses), if successfully completed, will qualify a student for a grade of C*. If a grade of D is not successfully remediated in the time period allotted by the faculty and/or the Student Promotions Committee, a grade of F will be assigned

I =Incomplete, requires completion of work within 12 months or grade will automatically be changed to an F. A grade of "I" may be given in cases wherein students, for an acceptable reason, have been unable to complete all of the required workin a course. An incomplete grade must be removed within twelve months after it has occurred or itwill automatically be changed to F. If the student removes the incomplete within the time period, the instructor may assign any appropriate grade according to the quality of the work completed for the entire course.

R=Review by Student Promotions Committee; If for some appropriate reason a course faculty wishes to insure that the performance of a student is discussed at a Student Promotions Committee meeting, a grade of R (review) may be assigned. Following the consideration by the Student Promotions Committee, the R will be changed to the appropriate grade

IF the student has a grade below 70 it is the course directors choice to assign a D-which would allow the student to remediate part of the course at which time they could earn a C* or F which means they failed the course and must retake the entire course.*

*per Ms. Cathy Peeples – Curriculum coordinator – 6/19/12.



 In the event of needle stick, spattered blood, etc., the student should immediately contact the following people so the necessary paperwork and testing may be started.


JCMCH                      Ms. Tawana Holland       –       431-6431

VAMC                        Ms. Anetha Wright           –      926-1171 ext. 7358

HVHMC                     Ms. Rita Forrester            –       224-5075

BRMCH                     Ms. Jane Lipscomb         –       844-6650

Academic Affairs        Ms. Cathy Peeples           –      439-6311

Clerkship Office         Ms. Yvette Font                 –     439-6381