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Med Teach. 2012;34(7):548-54. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.696745.

Better learning, better doctors, better delivery system: possibilities from a case study of longitudinal integrated clerkships.

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  • 1Harvard Medical School, MA, USA.


Interest in longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) as an alternative to traditional block rotations is growing worldwide. Leaders in medical education and those who seek physician workforce development believe that "educational continuity" affords benefits to medical students and benefits for under-resourced settings. The model has been recognized as effective for advancing student learning of science and clinical practice, enhancing the development of students' professional role, and supporting workforce goals such as retaining students for primary care and rural and remote practice. Education leaders have created multiple models of LICs to address these and other educational and health system imperatives. This article compares three successful longitudinal integrated clinical education programs with attention to the case for change, the principles that underpin the educational design, the structure of the models, and outcome data from these educational redesign efforts. By translating principles of the learning sciences into educational redesign efforts, LICs address the call to improve medical student learning and potential and advance the systems in which they will work as doctors.

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