Family Medicine Electives

Family Medicine Elective 

Prerequisite: Fourth-year medical students who have successfully completed their Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatric clerkships.


  • Improve the student's ability to perform and document a history and physical exam, obtain laboratory evaluations, formulate an appropriate differential diagnosis, develop a provisional diagnosis, and formulate effective management, which includes further diagnostic evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation programs.
  • Improve the student's ability to monitor the course of illness and appropriately revise the treatment and rehab plan.
  • Enhance the student's understanding of psychological, social, and economic principles involved in illness and in the delivery of health care, and his/her ability to respond appropriately to patients' needs related to these principals.
  • Enhance the student's understanding of the role of both non-physician health-care workers and physicians in the delivery of health care.
  • Reduce the student's personally perceived education deficits, both clinical and non-clinical.
  • Focus on and clarify for the student the realities and advantages of community-based family medicine.
  • Provide an opportunity for students to work in an educationally sound community-based primary care setting.

This elective will acquaint the student with family medicine in a northern lower Michigan community. Students are encouraged to explore health services in both the hospital and community.

Family Medicine Inpatient Elective 

Prerequisite: Fourth Year Medical Student who has completed basic Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatric clerkships


  • Provide an opportunity to assume increased patient management responsibilities for hospitalized patients
  • Enhance patient evaluation, case presentation, team management and discharge planning skills
  • Gain familiarity with the use of consultants

This elective provides an advanced Family Medicine experience. Students are assigned to the family medicine inpatient service and will have primary responsibility in managing patients. 

Rural Family Medicine Elective 

Prerequisite: Fourth-year medical students who have successfully completed their Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, and Pediatric clerkships.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of continuity of care in rural settings.
  • Exhibit a familiarity with the evaluation and management of common primary care problems in rural settings.
  • Understand the bio-psycho-social model in health care.
  • Be able to apply basic principles of prevention.

This clerkship is designed to enhance the student's ability to integrate clinical medicine with experience in rural communities in northern Michigan. The clerkship emphasizes patient care management by family physicians.

Community Involvement Aspect of Rural Clerkship:

An important aspect of the rural experience is gaining an overall understanding of the community. Students will be exposed to the community and culture in which they will be studying.

Administration will consult with an appropriate community link to identify activities that will enhance the student's rural clerkship. These activities will be classified into assignments. For example, the student may attend a powwow or other local cultural event, volunteer at a local organization or fundraising event, or speak at a local school. The student will pick at least three experiences in the community and submit a report (three pages or less) of their experiences. This report would describe:

  • Activities that they participated in.
  • The experience and feeling for the activity.
  • Recommendations to other students who will be practicing at that site in regard to what outside activities they should become familiar with.
  • Identification of any unmet needs, particularly challenges for employment in the health care field. 

Sports Medicine Elective 

Prerequisite: Fourth-year medical students who have successfully completed their Family Medicine Clerkship. Availability is limited.


  • Be familiar with the examination of major joints in sports-related injuries.
  • Be familiar with the approach to the management of the most common sports-related injuries.
  • Gain exposure to the role/use of exercise and modalities physical therapy in the management of sports-related injuries.
  • Be familiar with prevention of athletic injuries.
  • Be aware of medical issues related to mass participation in sports.

Students have the opportunity to see patients in the outpatient setting as well as accompany attendings and preceptors during training room visits. Students will be expected to attend sporting events and write up appropriate cases with the assistance of attendings.

The medical student will have an opportunity to deal with acute injuries firsthand and will gain experience in training of the athlete, emergency care and transportation of the athlete, and definitive diagnostic procedures to be used.

The experience will involve office care of athletes as well as coverage of various sporting events at local high schools and community programs.

It is expected that the student will gain knowledge not only in the clinical aspects of sports medicine, but also the philosophy of sports medical care and the basic science of sports medicine in the area of preventive sports medicine.