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University of Pittsburgh    
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Dec 08, 2023
2020-2021 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Adult Inpatient Medicine

Course Description

This 8-week interdisciplinary clerkship is divided into two blocks of 4 weeks each. During each block the student is assigned to an inpatient rotation at a local hospital. On the first day of each block students participate in case-based workshops led by faculty in Emergency Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. During this inpatient rotation, students are assigned their own patients and apply their clinical skills under resident and faculty supervision. Students learn how to take an accurate and pertinent history, conduct a physical examination, recognize patterns of illness, and acquire approaches to disease management. All students participate in four critical care medicine simulation sessions at the WISER Center, where they have hands-on experience evaluating and treating acute cardiopulmonary conditions.

The objectives of the course are that students should become able to:

  1. outline the diagnostic evaluation and initial management of common medical symptoms.
  2. demonstrate understanding of the historical features, physical examination findings and underlying pathophysiology of common medical conditions, and particularly of disease processes present in encountered patients.
  3. formulate an appropriate differential diagnosis, and create and implement the diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic plan for encountered patients.
  4. recognize the need for patient resuscitation and initiate appropriate initial treatment in unstable patients.
  5. Clerkship locations include UPMC Montefiore, UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Mercy, and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Educational Methods

  • Inpatient patient care
  • Case-based workshops
  • Simulation sessions  
  • Lectures
  • Student teaching attending conferences
  • Standardized patient sessions  


Each 4-week Clinical Block contributes 40% of the clerkship grade. The Clinical Block grades are from the evaluations of the ward attending (50% of the block grade), the student teaching attending (25% of the block grade), and the resident (25% of the block grade). The final written examination is a National Board of Medical Examiners subject exam that constitutes 20% of the clerkship grade.

Grading: The clerkship is graded Honors, High Satisfactory, Satisfactory, Low Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Clerkship Director Thomas Painter, MD, is a recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award. Clerkship Co-Director Melissa McNeil, MD, is a recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award, the Donald S. Fraley Award for Medical Student Mentoring, and multiple Excellence in Education Awards for Small Group Facilitator. Clerkship Co-Director Brian Heist, MD, is a recipient of the Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award. Clerkship Co-Director Erika Hoffman, MD, is a recipient of the Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award. Clerkship Co-Director Susan Dunmire, MD, is a recipient of the Provost’s Innovation in Education Award; and multiple Clinical Educator of the Year Awards, Clinical Golden Apple Awards. Clerkship Co-Director Adam Yares, MD, is a recipient of the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education. In addition, Drs. Painter, McNeil, Dunmire, and numerous clerkship faculty are members of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators.

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