The Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum at Columbia-Bassett is one of the outstanding attributes of the program. Students follow their own panel of patients across many experiences. Patients see their students as integral to their care and students benefit from an invaluable service, while still in training. This curriculum has been studied and the results published;* students equaled or outperformed classmates on exams. We have had the same results in our pilot program in Cooperstown.
This is an exceptional opportunity for the curious, the self-motivated, and the student seeking clinical mastery.
During Orientation week in Cooperstown in the summer before the first year of medical school, students are exposed to the area and the patient population by meeting and spending the day with some of the people who live and work around Cooperstown – learning what their life is like and how they perceive and interact with the health care system of Bassett. Some Orientation 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.
There are two components of the 40-week Longitudinal Integrated Block. The first component is that students are scheduled in outpatient clinics daily. They see patients with a preceptor who is longitudinally consistent within specialties, whereby students develop familiar relationships over time. In clinics, students select patients and add them to their Longitudinal Panel, which is the second major component. Students use the Portfolio system to optionally "follow" patients and are notified electronically of upcoming patient events – scheduled clinics, procedures, and operations; students are also notified by text page if a longitudinal patient is admitted through the ER. 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 Family Medicine preceptor at one of the Bassett Regional Clinics, and they visit this site once every 1-2 months during the Major Clinical Year longitudinal portion. After breaking from MCY to study for and take USMLE Step 1, students spend four weeks at their Regional Clinic learning and practicing Family Medicine.
* 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.