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Family Medicine

The DMU Family Medicine department is dedicated to applying the skills of our experienced primary care providers to teaching the osteopathic students of today how to  become the competent osteopathic physicians of tomorrow.  We fulfill our mission through the classes that we teach and the family medicine clerkship that we supervise.

Along with the Family Medicine department’s primary responsibility of teaching the students of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, we are privileged to help train students throughout the three colleges at DMU:  College of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, and College of Podiatric Medicine.

Courses

Clinical Medicine is our primary first year course.  Clinical Medicine is coordinated with Anatomy during the first year to teach in parallel the anatomy of each section of the human body and the physical exam skills that apply to each body system.  In clinical medicine the basic concepts and knowledge necessary to examine the human body are taught through lecture and then reinforced with a hands on Clinical Medicine laboratory experience.  In the Clinical Medicine laboratory the students practice the individual physical exam skills on each other in a structured experience.  Clinical Medicine includes three Standardized Patient encounters designed to reinforce the use of basic physical exam and interview skills in a simulated patient encounter. 

Clinical Reasoning is our primary second year course.  Clinical Reasoning is a yearlong course that coordinates with the system orientation of the DMU second year curriculum.  It is primarily graded through structured clinical experiences.  There are eight simulation encounters spread throughout the year.  In the simulation encounters students are divided into teams or 4-5 students.  Each team experiences an encounter with our patient simulation mannequins in either an Emergency Department or Office Based Scenario.  The Scenarios are drawn from medical cases designed to complement the teaching in each body system.  In addition to the eight simulation encounters, Clinical Reasoning contains 7 Standardized Patient encounters that are also designed to complement the current body system curricular component.  The combination of Simulated Patient Encounters and Standardized Patient encounters is a key part of preparing our students for entry into the third year of clinical training which focuses on real patient encounters in the real world of medicine.

The family medicine clerkship is an opportunity for our students to see and experience the life of the family physician.  For 8 weeks during the third year of training, our students work side by side with an assigned family medicine preceptor at the preceptors office.  This is a chance for the student to train his or her mind to think like a physician and learn from their preceptor to help them refine their ability to think like a physician.  In addition to the one on one training with their preceptor, students are asked to complete a series of case based studies that will be tested at the end of the rotation to ensure exposure to certain common disease processes during the rotation.