Summer Externship

The Department of Family Medicine offers West Virginia University students between theirĀ first and second year of medical school the opportunity to participate in a summer externship program. This program offers a 4 week clinical experience in a private physician's office, a group practice and/or hospital setting. The Externship provides students with a balance of patient care exposure, physical diagnosis skills, and research skills. The program uses lectures, small group discussion, patient examination, and interviews to meets its educational objectives. Students receive a three-day intensive orientation in these areas and then spend the remainder of their rotation working with practitioners. Student activities while working at their rotation site with their preceptor should include various duties:

  • Observe/assist with physical diagnosis of patients, including interviewing, physical examination, etc. Students will be expected to participate in such activities and then review the same with a preceptor.
  • Accompany physicians on hospital rounds, view x-rays, review lab work, etc., home health visits, scheduling a half-day or day with different services in the hospital (where available)
  • The students are assigned a research project.
  • If in an RHEP Consortium, students are expected to attend the Interdisciplinary Sessions.

The first several days will include "shadowing" or observing and assisting much like a volunteer (taking vitals, patient transport, etc.); then as the student gains confidence they will advance to a hands-on roll at the discretion of the preceptor. The suggested weekly format will include 6 to 7 half days of patient care or general clinic or hospital duties (of which 4 to 5 half days will be with the primary preceptor); 1 half day working on a research project or community project and1 half day of IDS sessions; and 1 half day off.

Following the summer experience, a wrap-up dinner will be held, allowing the students the opportunity to share their experiences and make recommendations for future years.

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