Family Medicine

The Family Medicine Clerkship in the AIM program allows medical students the unique opportunity of getting to know a panel of patients and their families over the academic year. As part of this curriculum, a medical student will spend a full day per each two-week rotation with a family medicine AIM attending and share a group of patients with him or her. These patients will represent the wonderful range of patients that family medicine physicians are able to see and get to know over time. These patients will range from young infants to the elderly, some healthy, some with acute illnesses or injuries, and some facing chronic illnesses such as diabetes or COPD. The student will be able to follow this cohort of patients through time and follow them to any specialty referral offices or any procedures they may need. If hospitalization or an emergency room visit is required, the student will be there with them as well. As most family physicians see the patient's entire family, students will become familiar with not only that patient, but their family, and see the impact one member's health can have on the family as a unit. As part of the health care team of one clinic, students will also get to know the community in which their clinic resides and how it may impact their patients' health, both positively and negatively. The Family Medicine Clerkship will have the same goals and objectives as the traditional College of Medicine Family Medicine Clerkship. There will be instruction in primary care procedures as well as focus on the musculoskeletal exam, both individually with their attendings as well as in dedicated sessions. There will also be sessions on helping patients achieve their health care goals through patient education and preventive care instruction.


The AIM clerkship in OB-GYN will encompass obstetrics and gynecology in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. In the longitudinal component, the student will be assigned to an OB-GYN community physician and follow a panel of patients for a half day per week. With the high volume of obstetric care provided in our community, students will have an active role in all aspects of their patients' prenatal care, labor and delivery, and post-partum care. The AIM students' top priority will be attending the delivery of their continuity patients. Gynecologic visits will include both preventive and problem visits. With gynecologic visits scheduled every day of the week, students will have the opportunity to follow their patients through pre-operative visits, surgical procedures and post-operative care as well. Students will have opportunity time (self-directed learning time) so they will be able to follow their cohort of patients to surgery, ultrasounds and other required procedures/appointments.


The pediatrics component of the AIM curriculum for our students will provide an education program that allows the student to mature in their pediatric medical knowledge over 12 months. The highlight of the program will be the opportunity to spend sessions with a longitudinal attending who is a practicing pediatrician in a primary care office, and see what pediatrics is about. Primary care pediatrics mainly occurs in the outpatient setting — as most children are well and only occasionally get ill — and most can be managed in the ambulatory setting. Of course, for a medical education program there must be an inpatient hospital-based program, and that is incorporated as a two-week inpatient rotation at Driscoll Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. The students who participate in this program will have a complete experience in pediatrics and by doing this longitudinally, will see the uniqueness of pediatrics as compared to other specialties.


The psychiatric medicine longitudinal curriculum will provide students with one-on-one teaching, collaboration and mentoring with experienced attending physicians. Students will spend half days in an outpatient setting evaluating patients in crisis and in treatment. Students, supervised by emergency room physicians, will help manage care for patients suffering acute symptoms of mental illness at the point when patients often enter the healthcare system. Students will learn how to perform risk assessments, learn the indications for hospitalization and consider the medical, legal and ethical issues inherent in providing mental healthcare to patients. Students will spend one week in the Veteran’s Hospital in Waco, Texas, for their inpatient experience.

Internal Medicine

The AIM Internal Medicine Clerkship integrates both inpatient and outpatient clinical experiences through which the student learns the acute, chronic and preventive management of the adult patient. The IM experience will have four to six weeks in the hospital setting, where the student will admit patients with a wide variety of diseases. Our general medical service admits all internal medicine patients and manages their medical problems comprehensively with subspecialty consultation as needed. The students will work with the medical care team while learning to convey details of clinical encounters through oral presentations and written documentation. An emphasis on learning to develop differential diagnoses and clinical management plans will be a crucial part of this curriculum. The student will also admit patients during emergency room shifts and follow patients with conditions including chest pain, diabetic ketoacidosis and sepsis, who come in acutely. In the outpatient experience, the student will share a panel of adult patients with an assigned attending in community practice over the course of the year. The practice will include patients with chronic diseases including diabetes, hypertension, COPD, obesity, hyperlipidemia and depression. The student will become familiar with preventive counseling, chronic disease management and acute care of common outpatient problems, and follow patients on a recurrent basis. A focus on transitions of care (hospital to outpatient, outpatient to nursing home or hospice, hospital to rehabilitation hospital) will be an important element of the curriculum. The student will also develop an understanding of the clinical work in the context of a multidisciplinary team —  home health services, nutrition, social work, clinical pharmacy and programs designed for specific chronic disease management. If any assigned patients are referred to other clinics, undergo diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, or are admitted to the hospital, the student will accompany the patient and assist with clinical management whenever possible. The student will be asked to keep a journal with reflections of their patient's journey through the health care system.


General surgery AIM students will spend two-week rotations in surgery during the year. The rotations will consist of core general surgery and specialty surgery. During these rotations, patients with complex surgical problems will be selected for longitudinal follow-up in coordination with the assigned AIM attending. During the longitudinal phase, students will be asked to make periodic contact with their cohort patients and record their encounters in the electronic medical record in order to refine their skills of integrating data from care providers within diverse domains, and articulate a comprehensive care plan for their patients in collaboration with the AIM attending. Students will meet for small group sessions with faculty mentors to debrief on their experiences and discuss the challenges of multi-system care.

Emergency Medicine

Emergency medicine plays a pivotal role in our health care system and the ER facility provides an ideal learning environment for medical students. Serving as the gateway through which over one third of our patients enter the hospital, it also provides acute care for the surgical, medical, trauma, pediatric, obstetric, psychiatric and geriatric patient. Staffed by physicians trained to be experts in resuscitation, rapid diagnosis and treatment, the emergency department also serves as a safety net for patients to receive primary care when other services are not available to them. As such, the emergency department will augment the education of our AIM students as they spend one evening per week and one Saturday per month in an ER rotation (ER, labor & delivery, surgery).