Core Clerkship in Internal Medicine

This clerkship introduces students to the discipline of internal medicine. Following three days of PRECEDE (Pre-Clerkship Education Exercises) instruction, students spend half the rotation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the other half at either Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center or Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. During the rotation, students work with general medical ward teams which include residents and faculty. Instruction occurs through direct patient contact, student conferences and teaching rounds with residents and interns.

PRECEDE Overview

Pre-Clerkship Education Exercises (PRECEDE) employ active learning processes and are built around a simulated patient exercise. Students perform self-assessments of their patient encounters and their oral case presentations, which are later debriefed with faculty, as are the clinical reasoning and differential diagnostic process. Case write-ups are reviewed and critiqued by faculty. The Internal Medicine Clerkship PRECEDE focuses on helping students develop the basic skills needed to “hit the ground running” and succeed in the clerkship. We focus on the following skills:

  • Clinical reasoning and patient communication skills with emphasis on advanced medical interviewing skills and hypothesis testing;
  • Basic and advanced case presentation skills including formal case presentations, calling consults, sign-out rounds and discharge planning rounds;
  • Applying physical examination skills to clinical reasoning;
  • Case write-up skills;
  • Interpretation of EKGs;
  • Interpretation of basic radiographs;
  • Interpretation of basic laboratory tests;
  • Evaluation of evidence in patient management;
  • Safe discharge planning skills.

Learning Objectives:

  • Demonstrate professional behaviors including reliability and commitment, response to instruction, self-directed learning, patient interactions, response to stress, and working relationships;
  • Improve fund of knowledge in internal medicine and begin to develop the critical mass of information needed to care for medical patients for inpatient medicine issues as defined by educational leaders in the Department of Medicine and the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) curriculum guide;
  • Be able to demonstrate communication behaviors to accomplish the three functions of the medical interview: data gathering, therapeutic relationship building, and patient education and counseling;
  • Perform a complete and accurate history and physical examination;
  • Obtain and interpret basic laboratory test results;
  • Learn how to dissect patient problems by asking questions and using the medical literature and consultants to understand the medical issues affecting the patient, including issues related to pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of the patient;
  • Present patient information to attendings, residents and colleagues in an accurate and concise manner;
  • Use information obtained in the history, physical examination and laboratory data to develop a problem list that identifies and prioritizes patient problems. 

Clerkship Directors

  • Danelle Cayea, MD

    • Vice Chair for Education, Department of Medicine
    • Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Bruce A. Leff, MD

    • Director, The Center for Transformative Geriatric Research
    • Professor of Medicine


Jennifer Weaver
Medical Training Coordinator
Email: [email protected]

Time Commitment and Clerkship Length

The clerkship runs for eight weeks.

Clinical Sites for this Clerkship

  • Johns Hopkins Hospital - View map
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center - View map
  • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore - View map

More on Internal Medicine

Learn more about the education programs in Internal Medicine.