FCM Department Participation in Medical Student Education

1. MS3 students participate in a 3-4 week primary care rotation to experience the provision and principles of Primary Care. Many students perform this rotation at one of our two Downstate Family Medicine practice centers and/or in the offices of affiliated family physicians in the community. The experience includes didactic sessions and clinical work alongside our family physicians.

Specific goals and objectives of the MS3 Primary Care Clerkship include:


  1. Students should learn how to participate as an active member of the patient care team at the site to which the student is assigned.

  2. Students should participate in the care of patients through taking histories, performing physical examinations, and diagnostic and therapeutic measures with supervision.

  3. Students are expected to study and learn about their patients through analysis of their patients’ presenting complaint(s).

  4. Students are expected to develop cognitive, manipulative and attitudinal skills as a part of their continuing education in general medicine.


  1. Students must demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate sciences and the application of this knowledge in patient care.

  2. Students must be able to provide care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for treating health problems and promoting health.

  3. Students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that facilitate effective interactions with patients and their families and other health professionals.

  4. Students must demonstrate a commitment to professional service, adherence to ethical principles, sensitivity to patients, and maintain personal health and well-being.

  5. Students must be able to investigate and evaluate their patient care practices, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and improve their practice of medicine.

  6. Students must be aware of and be able to work within the health care system. They must be aware of the resources and limitations of the system while developing the ability to call on available health care resources to provide optimal care.


2. MS4 students can elect to spend 1 month doing a Sub-I in Family Medicine. The main goal of this elective is to introduce students to the all-inclusive family medicine approach to caring for an individual in the context of their family and community in varied clinical settings. This experience can be individualized based on the requests of the student, but for most it includes an intensive two weeks seeing patients of all ages in person in the office, via telehealth, or during home visits. Students are able to participate in all facets of a patient's care including behavioral health, prenatal care, transitions between different clinical settings, and family meetings. During this 1 month elective experience, students will also present an educational session to the Department on a topic of their choice related to Family Medicine. At the present time, this elective is only available to SUNY-Downstate Health College of Medicine students. Additional MS4 electives are available by special request that can be tailored even more directly to a student’s interests.

The specific goals and methods of the MS4 Sub-I elective include:


  1. Experience and learn how to approach the wide range of clinical, psychological and social issues managed by family physicians.

  2. Develop an understanding of the social determinants of health in our Brooklyn community.

  3. Improve history taking, clinical exam skills, and cost-effective diagnostic test utilization and interpretation.

  4. Enhance communication skills in a manner to optimize rapport with both patients and the clinical team.


  1. Lead in the diagnosis and management of 2-3 patients in each of the out-patient and in-patient settings under senior resident/attending supervision.

  2. Provide patient presentations during rounds and write progress and/or ambulatory visit notes depending on the setting.

  3. Provide a short (5 minute) review of a clinical topic related to one of their patients weekly.

  4. Cover at least one weekend shift on the in-patient service per month.

  5. Attend community outreach events.

  6. Attend home visits.

  7. Participate in on-going departmental educational activities and both academic and service projects.


3. FCM and community faculty also participate individually or in groups for other MS1 and MS2 courses including Physical Diagnosis, Life cycles, Introduction to Medicine, and a longitudinal care experience offered to a portion of the MS3 class. In each of these educational settings, our faculty identify themselves as Family Physicians and model the caring and comprehensive nature of our specialty