Internal Medicine Undergraduate Education

Floor teams (3rd and 4th year students)

The internal medicine clerkship is the core experience for the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors required to care for adult patients in the hospital and outpatient settings. The behaviors acquired during this rotation form the foundation for growth in both the medical and surgical specialties. These are important aspects of the skills of physicians in all disciplines of medicine.

The purpose of the core clerkship in internal medicine is to provide students with the clinical and didactic experiences that will enable them to diagnose and manage patients with the disease processes commonly seen in general internal medicine. It is during this rotation that the information obtained during the basic science years becomes integrated into day-to-day clinical practice. It is the desire of the Department of Medicine to expose the student to the variety of venues in which internal medicine and its subspecialties are practiced, and the range of opportunities available to those who choose careers in internal medicine.

Student role

  • Evaluate and follow patients assigned by the supervising resident or attending physician.
  • Function as a member of the team.
  • Seek information and develop in-depth knowledge of the pathophysiology of the clinical disorders seen.
  • Develop complete history and physical examination skills.
  • Integrate history and physical examination data to arrive at a thoughtful and complete differential diagnosis and plan.
  • Present patients in a cohesive and thorough manner.
  • Model the behaviors and values necessary to conduct the evaluation and care of the patient with respect, compassion and integrity.
  • Acquire an understanding of the cost of various studies.
  • Attend and participate in the formal educational programs provided.

Student responsibilities: clinician, learner, teacher

All physicians, regardless of their level of experience, are both learners and teachers. As one progresses through the educational system to independent practice, the relative levels of responsibilities for each of the components of physician activities grow.

Clinician Role:

  • Document all history and physical examinations and progress notes in the medical record.
  • Synthesize the clinical information in a weighted differential diagnosis.
  • Present the patient to the team in a coordinated and cohesive manner.
  • Begin to appreciate opportunities for prevention and early detection of disease.

Learner Role:

  • Learn from patients by listening and close observation.
  • Self directed learning: read about patients and disease states to reinforce and add to the student’s knowledge base.
  • Learn from others: discussion of cases, literature, lectures and other information sources. In addition to residents and attendings, nurses, social workers, respiratory therapists and many others can add significantly to one’s knowledge base and professional development.


  • Share information with other students, faculty, and other personnel.
  • Participate actively in teaching rounds, conferences, work rounds and other venues.
  • Discuss patient care issues with them and when appropriate, their families, on an ongoing basis in a sensitive and caring manner.
  • Teach oneself by self assessment, reading, and constant questioning.

Rotation responsibilities:

  • Attend medical morning report daily (mandatory for 4th year students and strongly recommended for 3rd year students).
  • Make daily rounds on assigned patients and write a daily progress note. A new patient should have the history and physical examination placed in the appropriate chart section.
  • Take call as assigned by your team overnight or until the night float team arrives for their evening shift.
  • Participate actively in RRTs (rapid response teams) and codes as requested by your team/resident.
  • Attend Grand Rounds weekly 8–9 a.m. in the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center.
Director Matthew Burday, D.O. (director, Medical Student Programs, Dept. of Medicine and 3rd year clerkship); Cheryl Jackson, M.D., FACP (4th year program)
Student Coordinator Paula Barnes: 302-733-6059,
Location Christiana Hospital (floor services)
Duration Subspecialties for 4th year students; 4 weeks for students in the clinical campus.

Internal medicine subspecialty

Two students MICU-Christiana Hospital; One student in the CCU – 4th year only.

One student for each of the other subspecialties (3rd year Jefferson Clinical Campus and 4th year students.)

  • Med/Peds.
  • Hematology and Oncology.
  • Pulmonary.
  • Rheumatology.
  • GI.
  • Infectious Disease.
  • Endocrinology.
  • Nephrology.
  • Cardiology.
  • Neurology.
Director Matthew Burday, D.O. (director, Medical Student Programs, Dept. of Medicine and 3rd year clerkship); Cheryl Jackson, M.D., FACP (4th year program)
Student Coordinator Paula Barnes: 302-733-6059,
Location Christiana Hospital, Wilmington Hospital and outpatient offices, depending on the rotation.
Duration Four weeks for subspecialties for 4th year students and 3rd year clinical campus students.

Combined emergency medicine / internal medicine elective (4th year)

Christiana Care Health System, Departments of Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine offer a Combined Emergency Medicine / Internal Medicine elective rotation.

This elective provides students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a true combined EM/IM clinical experience. Designed for motivated students interested in learning about emergency medicine, outpatient care, and inpatient care, this rotation is ideal for a student who enjoys variety. Each week of the 4 week rotation is divided among both Christiana and Wilmington Hospitals, with equal time spent between the outpatient Adult Medicine Office (EM/IM clinic) as well as the inpatient medical services. Two days a week are also spent rotating with combined EM/IM residents in the emergency department. Christiana and Wilmington hospitals see patients with diverse medical and traumatic pathology at an extremely high volume. There are frequently opportunities to see a patient in the emergency department and follow their disease pathology the next day on the inpatient service. The EM/IM clinic at Wilmington provides a unique perspective on caring for medically complex patients in an underserved urban setting. In addition to daily teaching from EM/IM trained residents and faculty, each week the medical student will have the opportunity to meet with the EM/IM assistant program director for input and feedback.

The Christiana Care EM/IM residency is one of the most long-standing and well established in the country. Graduating residents for twenty years, we have a comprehensive and cohesive curriculum combining pathology, teaching, mentorship and exceptional clinical skill. This rotation is ideal for medical students interested in pursuing a combined residency in Internal and Emergency Medicine.

A car is recommended for this rotation. Housing during the rotation may be available if the student meets criteria established by Christiana Care.

Director Jason Nace, M.D., Assistant Program Director, EM/IM Residency Program
Student Coordinator Sherrill Mullenix: 302-733-1919,
Location Each week of the 4 week rotation is divided among both Christiana and Wilmington Hospitals, with equal time spent between the outpatient Adult Medicine Office (EM/IM clinic), inpatient medical services, and the Emergency Department.
Duration Four week elective for 4th year medical students.