Undergraduate Medical Education

The UICOMR Department of Family and Community Medicine is deeply committed to providing quality medical student teaching. Our faculty, staff and community-based preceptors are involved in all aspects of student education, from required courses and electives to student organizations as well as our nationally recognized Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program.

Doctoring and Clinical Skills (DoCS) Course

DoCS is a longitudinal course that occurs in the first and second year of medical school. The DoCS course integrates what students learn in the classroom with clinical practice information. The goal is to help prepare students for clerkships and beyond to become competent, patient-centered physicians.

Family Medicine Clerkship

The Family Medicine Clerkship is a six-week experience where students work with family medicine physicians and family medicine residents caring for patients in both the inpatient setting and outpatient primary care clinics that occurs during the third year. A weekly didactic and case-based curriculum focus on the synthesis of basic science knowledge with clinical application. The clerkship serves as a developmental axis around which students build a firm knowledge base of clinical science, acquire the skills of a competent clinician, gain insight into the psychosocial dimension of disease, and develop the professional attitudes of a caring and compassionate physician.

Family Medicine Electives

The Department of Family and Community Medicine offers the following electives.

A two-week experience at the Winnebago County Justice Center (WCJC) allows students to participate in the healthcare of Winnebago County inmates. Since 2005, the department has provided health care services including medical care, dental care, physical therapy, and pharmaceutical services for incarcerated individuals. The medical team consists of nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, a physical therapist and a dentist. The WCJC is one of the largest in the country serving between 800-1,000 justice-involved individuals each day.
A two- or four-week clinical experience at a Family Medicine clinic focusing on diagnosis, developing a patient management plan, and managing the business aspects of a medical practice.

A two-week rotation designed to provide students with the opportunity to increase their knowledge of geriatric care in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and end-of-life programs in the Rockford area.

A two- or four-week experience with the UICOMR family medicine teaching service caring for acutely hospitalized patients.
A four-week experience, the Family Medicine Sub-Internship focuses on developing the skills students need to transition to residency. Students will work directly with attending physicians on the Family Medicine Inpatient Service on a daily basis learning the skills and responsibilities of a resident physician. Students may also follow-up with patients after their hospital stay at Mile Square Health Center – L.P. Johnson Rockford for care with their primary care physician.

A four-week experience for fourth-year medical students, the Global Health Elective focuses on providing health care to urban dwellers living in informal settlements as well as rural communities in Vellore, India. Students will work with UICOMR faculty as well as faculty from the Department of Family Medicine at Christian Medical College. Planning for the annual rotation typically occurs in April of each year with travel during the month of February.

Rural Medical Education Program

The Rural Medical Education (RMED) Program at UICOMR, seeks to recruit, admit and educate medical students, who will, upon completion of residency training, practice medicine in a rural location. RMED is a supplement to the regular medical school curriculum.

Family Medicine Interest Group

The Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG) is a student-led interest group on the UICOMR campus. Dr. Rhonda Verzal, assistant professor and associate program director of the UICOMR Family Medicine Residency Program serves as the faculty advisor. The purpose of the group is to introduce students to a career in family medicine, understand the opportunities and challenges within the field of family medicine, and interact with others with the same passions/interests. This group focuses on community medicine and has a strong focus on community service work when available. Regularly scheduled meetings include panel discussions, procedure workshops and guest speakers, to name a few.