Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum

The Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum (LIC) at Columbia-Bassett is the core experience of the Major Clinical Year and one of the outstanding attributes of the program. In addition to scheduled clinical experiences, students follow their own panel of patients across many clinical events for the full year. Patients see their students as integral to their care and students benefit from providing an invaluable service to patients, while still in training. This curriculum has been studied at Harvard and the results published;* students in this curriculum equaled or outperformed classmates on exams, and were happier with their experience. We have had the same results in our eight years of longitudinal curriculum in Cooperstown. This is an exceptional opportunity for the curious, the self-motivated, and the student seeking clinical mastery.

The LIC really begins during the Native to Place week in Cooperstown in the summer before the first year of medical school, when students are exposed to the area and the patient population by meeting and spending a day with some of the people who live and work around Cooperstown – learning what their future patients' lives are like and how they perceive and interact with the health care system of Bassett. Some Native to Place week experiences, highlighted in the photos below, include spending time with electricians rewiring a house, with farmers as they care for their livestock, or with workers in the food service industry.

Here is a little more detail:  There are two components of the 36-week Longitudinal Integrated Block. The first component is that students are scheduled in outpatient clinics daily. They see patients with a preceptor who is repeatedly their mentor within a specialty.  In this way, students develop familiar relationships over time - and get a feel for what life within a specialty is like as a career. In these scheduled clinics, students select patients of interest to them (or with whom they bond) and add them to their Longitudinal Panel, which is the second major component. Students use a customized component of the hospitals' electronic medical record's scheduling system, called EPIC, to optionally "follow" patients and are notified electronically of upcoming patient events – scheduled clinics, procedures, and operations; students are also notified by text page for any urgent event or an appointment that had been scheduled within a 36 hour window of appointment date and time. Students have the flexibility and responsibility to guide their learning to be most effective on a day-to-day basis – whether that means staying to see patients in a regularly scheduled clinic, or choosing to go and follow up with a longitudinal patient.

Below is a typical week of scheduled activities:

 

 

Students are paired with a Primary Care preceptor at one of the Bassett Regional Clinics, and they visit this site once every 1-2 months during the MCY longitudinal portion. In the January after the Major Clinical Year, students spend four weeks at their Regional Clinic learning and practicing Primary Care.


* Ogur B. Hirsh D. Krupat E. Bor D. The Harvard Medical School-Cambridge integrated clerkship: an innovative model of clinical education. [Review] [28 refs] Academic Medicine. 82(4):397-404, 2007 Apr.

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