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Book and Media Reviews
December 5, 2012

Guidebook for Clerkship Directors

JAMA. 2012;308(21):2283-2284. doi:10.1001/jama.308.21.2283

The clinical clerkship remains a time-honored tradition in medical schools across this country. Clinical clerkships began as the “desired teaching device,” whereby students take part in the responsibility of evaluating and caring for patients under the direct supervision of house staff and attending physicians.1 Although most clerkships are organized by traditional clinical departments (eg, surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics), newer models are emerging such as the longitudinal integrated clerkship, which emphasize the continuity of the student-patient and student-faculty preceptor relationship. The modern clerkship must be structured to ensure that each student encounters the appropri ate types of patients, participates in well-designed educational activities, and receives the necessary supervision from resident and faculty physicians who are well prepared for their teaching roles. To accomplish this, medical schools rely on clerkship directors who have the necessary knowledge and educational, clinical, leadership, and interpersonal skills to be effective in this role. The Guidebook for Clerkship Directors, fourth edition, edited by Bruce Z. Morgenstern, will be valuable for both the new and the seasoned clerkship director.