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Visiting Medical Student Clerkships

Internal Medicine, Rheumatology Outpatient Service (Florida)


The one-month outpatient rotation provides each medical student with the opportunity to acquire the basic medical knowledge, history-taking skills and clinical skills to diagnose and treat patients with rheumatic diseases.

The rotation provides exposure to patients with common and also unusual Rheumatologic problems encountered in the outpatient setting. By evaluating and proposing management strategies under the close supervision of a staff rheumatologist, medical students will be exposed to the specialized knowledge in diagnostic and therapeutic methods of this subspecialty.

The experience should allow the student to become familiar with aspects of Rheumatology encountered by general internists and with those that are often managed jointly with Rheumatologists. Patient-oriented discussions will be emphasized. There are appropriate reading materials provided beginning with the Primer of Rheumatic Diseases from the Arthritis Foundation and supplemented by various assigned readings.

The students will also have available the Core Curriculum in Rheumatology with the tutorial guide and case review from the American College of Rheumatology. This includes as extensive slide set and requires some interactive skill. Lectures on common rheumatic diseases are also given throughout the month.

Specific goals

  1. Perform a Rheumatologic evaluation, including history, a physical exam and a complete musculoskeletal examination.
  2. Formulate a differential diagnosis and request appropriate laboratory studies.
  3. Interpret the laboratory studies.
  4. Advise a course of treatment, including medications and/or physical therapy depending on the nature of the problem.
  5. Become familiar with Rheumatologic modalities, including the appropriate use, indications, and potential side effects of joint aspirations and injections, anti-inflammatory agents, corticosteroids and disease modifying agents.
  6. Perform an arthrocentesis during the rotation.

Activity outline

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Students will be at the clinic on weekdays.

Note Call Responsibilities - There is no inpatient hospital responsibility.

Method of evaluation

The supervising consultants will complete a Mayo Medical Student Program Evaluation form. The Division of Rheumatology Education Coordinator will assign an overall grade and complete a more thorough evaluation for the entire rotation based on the individual evaluations. These will be discussed with the student.