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Medical Student Education – Third-Year Clinical Clerkship

The OU College of Medicine neurology clerkship is a mandatory 4-week rotation occurring in the third year. The goal of the neurology clerkship is to teach medical students as effectively as possible how to care for patients with common and urgent neurologic conditions by providing two concurrent and complementary curricula:  (1) a standardized, competency-based, didactic curriculum utilizing case-based learning, simulation, focused skills assessments, directed self-learning, gaming, essay assignments, and small-group discussions; and (2) a traditional curriculum based on clinical experiences tailored to the learner’s interests. The standardized curriculum provides students with the core knowledge, skills, and attitudes in clinical neurology that are essential for future non-neurologists while the experiential curriculum provides context and validity, thereby enhancing retention of the core content and facilitating supplemental gains in knowledge and skills. See “Medical Students” webpage for contact information.

Standardized Didactic Curriculum 

  • Lesion Localization in Neurology. Five online lectures viewed the first week of the rotation summarizing clinical neuroanatomy followed by an open-book 20-question quiz. 
  • Case-Based Learning (CBL).Twenty essential neurologic cases—10 common outpatient conditions and 10 key emergency conditions. Students review 10 cases in instructor-led sessions and 10 in self-learning format. A brief quiz follows each CBL assignment. 
  • Brain Imaging Self-Study. Three online lectures viewed the first week of the rotation followed by a quiz covering CT and MRI images of the brain, both anatomy and pathology, with emphasis on CT neuroanatomy, including CSF cisterns. 
  • Essential Neurologic Findings (ENF) Self-Study. Self-learning online program containing videos or still images of 26 key clinical findings in neurology that every primary-care clinician should be able to recognize & understand followed by a quiz. The program includes descriptions; animations depicting pathophysiology, practice exercises; and self-assessment questions. 
  • Unconscious Bias in Medicine. Online lecture concerning the neuroscience behind unconscious bias and its effect on patient diagnosis and management, followed by a quiz and group review of the quiz with a faculty member. 
  • Case Summaries/Handovers. Students create eight case summaries/handovers (two each week) regarding patients they have seen in the hospital or clinic, four written in 100 words or less and four presented orally in 2 minutes or less, followed by formative assessments (feedback without grade) the first two weeks and summative assessments (grades) the last two weeks. 
  • Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs). Two standardized-patient (SP) sessions held either in person or virtually:  an aphasia OSCE focused on the neurologic exam of an aphasic patient and a coma OSCE focused on the neurologic exam of a comatose patient and counseling of the patient’s caregiver with 360° formative assessments. 
  • Neurotransmission Interdisciplinary Communication Reading.  Narrative of an interdisciplinary team meeting involving four patients followed by a quiz regarding the responsibilities of various health professionals. 
  • Ethics & Professionalism Readings, Essays, & Discussion. Essay responses to questions regarding an unprofessional patient note, a photograph of a physician-patient interaction, and two end-of-life issues (brain death and Alzheimer disease) followed by a faculty-led discussion of the essays, pertinent personal experiences, the definition of professionalism, the role of a doctor, and the influence of bias in decision making. 
  • Ward-Based Learning (WBL) Presentation. Student patient presentations to a senior resident and small group of other students with demonstration of key neurologic findings and feedback from the senior resident. 

Traditional Experiential Curriculum 

  • Inpatient Services. On orientation day, students are assigned to two 2-week rotations among four different neurology services based on their stated career goals (OU Inpatient Neurology, OU Consult Neurology, VA Neurology, and OU Child Neurology).  Students follow their own patients and attend inpatient team rounds weekdays and one weekend day. 
  • Call. Students take call on 4 days—three weekdays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and one weekend day starting from 6-8 am and ending at 8:00 pm. 
  • Clinics. Students attend OU Residents’ Neurology Clinic 1-2 afternoons during the rotation.