Primary Care Clerkship
Learning Objectives

Note: K, S, and A, with corresponding numbers in parentheses (e.g., K1, S2, A4), refer to Weill Cornell Medical College’s Educational Objectives of the program leading to the MD degree found at

By the end of the course, the student should be able to:


  1. K3, K4, K8, K10 Explain the evidence, or lack thereof, for well-care guidelines for specific patient populations (e.g., immunization guidelines for pediatric and adult patients; cancer screening protocols for breast, colon, cervical, and prostate cancers, HIV well-care.)

  2. Skills:

  3. S4, S5 Complete a thorough history and physical exam on a patient.

  4. S11 Present the salient features of a patient history and physical in an organized manner.

  5. S12, A2, A3, A4 Counsel patients non-judgmentally regarding obesity, exercise, smoking cessation, drug and alcohol abuse, and safe sex.

  6. S4 Elicit a psychosocial history from a patient.

  7. S5 Conduct a functional assessment of a patient.

  8. S1, S7, S8, S9 Generate differentials and initiate cost-effective management strategies for a broad array of acute medical conditions and chief complaints that commonly present in the ambulatory setting (e.g., cough, dizziness, palpitations, chest pain, dyspnea, upper respiratory symptoms, fever, chronic fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhea, GI bleeding/anemia, dysuria, vaginitis, sexual dysfunction, lower back pain, headache, leg edema, red eye, rashes).

  9. S1, S7, S8, S9 Manage the most common chronic medical diseases and risk factors in an ambulatory setting (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, lipid disorders, coronary disease, asthma/COPD, thyroid disease, osteoporosis).

  10. Attitudes:

  11. A1, A2, A3 Demonstrate sensitivity to patients’ and families’ medical and psychosocial needs, including ethical patient care and confidentiality.

  12. A4 Demonstrate honesty and integrity in all interactions and activities with patients, families, medical colleagues and others.

  13. A6 Maintain a professional demeanor, including demonstrating an attitude that values timely attendance, punctuality, reliability, and accountability in the performance of his/her duties.

  14. A5 Display respect for and collaboration with members of the health-care team.

How Learning Objectives are Assessed
Methods for assessing student achievement of course learning objectives include the following: 1) Direct observation by attendings who have supervised the student in various clinics; 2) a take- home examination distributed midway through the clerkship in which students are asked to discuss, debate, and investigate topics; and 3) a final written examination drawn from lectures, readings, and clinical experiences. Please refer to the course syllabus for more specific details on grading.

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