Undergraduate Medical Education

The Department of Medicine plays a major role in the education of our medical students in the classroom, hospital, and clinics. We also mentor medical students for career planning and sponsor basic and clinical research opportunities. All faculty from the Department of Medicine who participate in undergraduate education have an outstanding commitment to teaching and mentoring.

Department of Medicine faculty serve as course directors and section leaders for didactic and elective classes, and for inpatient and outpatient rotations. Faculty serving in these roles include Drs. Nancy Adams, Robert Bona, Kevin Dieckhaus, Raymond Foley, Dan Henry, Lynn Kosowicz, Thomas Manger, Ellen Nestler, and Carol Pfeiffer.

A Scholars in Medicine Program is led by Dr. Dan Henry. Numerous faculty participate as hosts for the Student Continuity Practices (SCP) that span all four years of medical school, and the Principles of Clinical Medicine course during the first and second years. Clinicians who are actively involved in the practice of internal medicine are typically the most effective mentors and teachers for these students. There is also a “brown bag” series designed for first- and second-year students. These meetings feature presentations by internal medicine generalists and subspecialists. They walk through an interesting case for the students and discuss their specialties in terms of lifestyle and training.

In addition to our dedicated faculty, the chief medical residents and residents in all of the department-sponsored residency programs participate in the daily education of the third- and fourth-year medical students during their inpatient and outpatient experiences at John Dempsey Hospital and affiliated hospitals.

The Department of Medicine works collaboratively with other faculty in undergraduate medical education to participate in the selection of the best teachers, the best clinical experiences, and the best research experiences for our students.

Informal educational activities for medical students are also hosted by the Department of Medicine. Faculty serve as volunteer preceptors or interest group leaders for several medical student activities. These include:

  • South Park Inn Homeless Shelter: A student-run medical clinic
  • South Marshall Street: A student-run medical clinic
  • Migrant Farm Workers Clinic
  • Mobile Outreach Clinic for the Uninsured
  • Internal Medicine Interest Group/Scholars of Medicine

Scholars in Medicine Program

The Scholars in Medicine program was introduced in 1983. It has been extremely well received and has served as a model for other programs. It is an enrichment experience that fosters interaction between faculty and students – it functions as an interest group and a research program. It is open to all four classes.

A monthly seminar series is held in the homes of faculty. There is also a two-month research experience, a school service project, and a presentation/banquet during which the fourth-year student scholars present their research and receive certificates of completion. The monthly meetings allow informal discussion and learning about topics in internal medicine. It is also a setting in which faculty can get to know students who have a strong interest in internal medicine. Presentations are given by fourth-year students at each meeting. These are generally discussions of cases that include audience participation to arrive at a differential diagnosis, and management and treatment plans. Other presentations have included games of “medical jeopardy.”

An early student “Scholar,” Thomas Sherman, proposed establishing a clinic in a shelter for the homeless in Hartford, The South Park Inn. This has become an important endeavor for the students, school, and community, and is just one example of activities in this program that have led to wonderful outcomes.