Longitudinal Clinical Clerkship

Sullivan and students in Longitudinal Clinical Clerkship

Course Description and Overview

The Longitudinal Clinical Clerkship is a clinical elective taught by Peter Sullivan, MD during the MD/PhD students' graduate program years. This course is sponsored by the OHSU department of Internal Medicine, division of Hospital Medicine. Students will work with Dr. Sullivan in OHSU's inpatient and outpatient clinics to gain and maintain clinical expertise while completing their PhD.

Students begin this course after they have passed USMLE Step 1 exam and completed their Transition to Clinical Experience (TTCE) mini-course with the MD program. Usually students start this course in the Spring term of their second year. Students are expected to complete two 5-hr sessions per month. Time and schedule can be flexible as long as the student completes 240 hours (including CPX time) at the end of 2 years of clerkship. Upon completing two years of the clerkship then the student participates in clinical clerkship at least one 5-hr session per month until they complete their PhD.

Students will assess patients as assigned by attending faculty. An assessment will include history, physical, reviewing records, and laboratory results and other pertinent tests. After assessment students will complete a formal presentation, including diagnostic and treatment plans. 

In addition to the 240 hours of clinical experience, student are required to complete 3 SIMPLE cases per quarter. The cases are available through the SOM Dean's Office and the course director will be the administrator. Students will send a log each term of their activities to the course director.


MD/PhD students can apply up to 6 clinical credits for their required MD elective credits from this course. Students are required to audit the course after they have completed 240 hours of clerkship until they complete their PhD.

Course Objectives and Goals


  • Provide an ongoing clinical experience for MD/PhD students during their Graduate Studies years.
  • Teach and maintain the basic skills of patient communication, history taking, physical examination, and written & oral presentations (SOAP notes & complete H&Ps).


  • Obtain an accurate history, covering essential medical, personal and socioeconomic considerations.
  • Perform accurate physical examinations appropriate to patient presentation.
  • Construct and present a clinical assessment and treatment plan.
  • Construct a prioritized differential diagnosis for common presenting complaints.
  • Apply basic principles of clinical, laboratory and imaging tests for clinical screening and diagnosis, and critically evaluate their limitations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate and interpret scientific and medical literature and to apply findings to clinical situations.
  • Continually self-assess one's strengths and areas for improvement, and pursue a plan for improvement.
  • Accept and incorporate into clinical practice the feedback received from patients and colleagues.
  • Demonstrate skills necessary to support independent lifelong learning and ongoing professional development.
  • Demonstrate effective listening and speaking skills when communicating with patients and their families.
  • Demonstrate effective written and verbal communication skills with all members of the health care team.
  • Demonstrate respect for cultural and ethnic backgrounds of patients and their families and other members of the health care team.
  • Demonstrate compassion, sensitivity and respect for patients.
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity in all interactions with patients, patients' families, and members of the health care team.
  • Demonstrate professional judgment in the use of electronic and social media.