Third Year Clerkship

Family Medicine 16-17 Block Dates

The Family Medicine Clerkship is a six-week core rotation for BUSM third year students. Central objectives of the clerkship are to teach:

  1. The Family Medicine approach to the diagnosis and management of undifferentiated patient problems,
  2. Core clinical skills required to assess and manage common acute and chronic problems, and
  3. Principles of comprehensive and continuous care for patients and their families. The clerkship also emphasizes the principles of health promotion, disease prevention, and patient education.

The Family Medicine Clerkship is primarily focused on ambulatory care. While some students will participate in taking care of the hospitalized patients of their preceptors as well as patients in nursing homes and other facilities, the majority of the clerkship will be in the office setting. These settings may be in Family Medicine residency programs, community health centers, or private group or solo practices; students will be able to rank order their site preferences. Experience at the clinical sites will be complemented by the core curriculum at Boston University School of Medicine and on-line discussions facilitated by department faculty. Performance will be evaluated by the student’s preceptors, a case report, online work, as well as OSCE and written examinations at the conclusion of the clerkship.  Students will also have to demonstrate competence in certain clinical skills.

The sites utilized by the Family Medicine Clerkship include a number of community health center and underserved sites, such as the Family Medicine Heath Center at Boston Medical Center, Codman Square Community Health Center, South Boston Community Health Center, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, Manet Community Health Center, Lowell Community Health Center and Upham’s Corner Community Health Center; private practices in the greater Boston area and private practices affiliated with Cape Cod Hospital and Maine Primary Care Association. Clerks are also placed at the following Family Medicine Residency Programs: BUMC Family Medicine Residency (South Boston, Codman Square Health Centers and East Boston Neighborhood Health Center) and, Central Maine Medical Center FMRP in Lewiston. Housing is provided at all away sites.

We have additional sites throughout Massachusetts which are available during certain blocks, but do not provide housing.  If you have family or housing near one of those locations, you can contact the Family Medicine Department to arrange a placement there.  These sites are not offered through the E*Value.  Please contact us as soon as possible after you receive your 3rd year schedule if you are interested in once of these sites. Here is a link to the non-lottery and military rotation sites.

All of our sites provide excellent learning experiences for students. We work actively with each site and preceptor to make sure that our students are engaged, seeing appropriate volume and variety of patients, actively coming up with assessments and plans on their own, being observed and receiving valuable feedback.

Once students receive their schedule they will also receive an email with the link to the Family Medicine Site Preference Form. This online form will allow students to give us more detailed information about their interests and preferences.  Please fill it out after you have received your 3rd year schedule. Students will then be matched to specific sites by the department based on schedules and interests, as expressed in the online form. We do our best to accommodate all requests, but given the number of spots needed, we are not able to guarantee that all requests will be met. 

***Please note that occasionally staffing or other circumstances at a site may change necessitating that a student be switched to a different site, potentially in a very different location than the original placement. This can occur up to the first day of clerkship. We try if at all possible to avoid this, but sometimes circumstances are unavoidable.***

Our sites are divided into the categories listed below. You will enter your site category preferences through E*Value.

  1. Community Health Centers/Undeserved
  2. Greater Boston Private Practice
  3. Central Maine Medical Center – Family Medicine Residency Program
  4. Cape Cod Family Medicine Centers
  5. Rehoboth/Seekonk Medical Center
  6. Valley Medical Group, Greenfield, MA
  7. Goodwin Community Health Center, Somersworth, NH
  8. Manchester VA Medical Center, Manchester, NH
  9. Kaiser Permanente, San Jose, CA (**this site is done outside the registrars lottery)
  10. Community Health Programs, Berkshire County, MA

Once you have read the descriptions of the sites, please fill out the Family Medicine Site Preference Form. Alternately, there are also non-lottery and military rotation site possibilities.

Contact Information

Dr. Molly Cohen-Osher, MD
Clerkship Director
(617) 414-6208

Lidya Wlasiuk, MD
Associate Clerkship Director
(617) 414-6243

Florence Laforest
Manager of Student Relations/Clerkship Coordinator
(617) 414-6237