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Acad Psychiatry. 2017 Jun 23. doi: 10.1007/s40596-017-0742-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Findings from the Harvard Medical School Cambridge Integrated Clerkship, a Year-Long Longitudinal Psychiatry Experience.

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Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA.



The Harvard Medical School Cambridge Integrated Clerkship is a longitudinal integrated clerkship that has provided an alternative clinical model for medical education in psychiatry since its inception in 2004. This study was undertaken in an effort to better understand the student experience of the Cambridge Integrated Clerkship and how it may have impacted students' perceptions of and interest in psychiatry, as well as performance.


Qualitative surveys were sent via e-mail to the first 11 student cohorts who had completed the Cambridge Integrated Clerkship (from 2004 to 2014) and for whom we had e-mail addresses (N = 100), and the free-text responses were coded thematically. All available standardized scoring data and residency match data for Cambridge Integrated Clerkship graduates were obtained.


From 2006 to 2014, 12 out of 73 Cambridge Integrated Clerkship students who entered the match chose a psychiatry residency (16.4%), four times more than students in traditional clerkships at Harvard Medical School (3.8% of 1355 students) or the national average (4.1% of 146,066 US applicants). Thirty of the 100 surveyed Cambridge Integrated Clerkship graduates (30%) responded to the qualitative survey with free-text remarks on a number of themes.


Cambridge Integrated Clerkship students compared positively to their classmates in terms of standardized test performance. Their fourfold higher match rate into psychiatry compared to other students raises intriguing questions as to what role a longitudinal clerkship might have played in developing interest in psychiatry as a career.


Clerkship; Medical Students; Teaching Methods

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