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About the Family Medicine Clerkship Curriculum

What is it?
This curriculum is a list of common and important presentations that represents the core minimum medical students should experience during their third year family medicine clerkship.

Why was it created?
This curriculum was developed to give family medicine and family medicine educators:

  • the ability to establish core content for family medicine experiences
  • knowledge of our commonalities and the ability to describe what unique attributes we add to the curriculum at our school
  • focus for our national subject examination
  • national curricular resource materials

What's in it?

    I. Principles
    II. Clinical Experiences
       a. Acute Presentations
       b. Chronic Diseases
       c. Well adult and child prevention visits
    III. Role of Family Medicine in Health Care

Do I have to use it?  

This curriculum is a resource, not a requirement. The content is designed to help you, but you are not required to use it. However, when your institution is up for reaccreditation, the LCME self study requires that you note whether you used national curriculum to design your clerkship. In addition, you may find this content useful in discussions with your institution's curriculum committee on the amount of time needed to complete the objectives outlined in the national curriculum.

How do I use it?

The curricular content was designed to provide some national consistency around what is taught in a family medicine clerkship. This is important in order to give family medicine a more consistent identity, demonstrate to curriculum committees what differentiates family medicine from other rotations, and assist national testing bodies to understand what third year medical students are taught. In your clerkship, you can use the objectives to define the knowledge, skills and attitudes that your students should develop. We anticipate that over time, most clerkships directors will use the national curriculum as a base, and modify it as needed for their context.

Who created it?

A task force created the document for STFM. It has been endorsed by the Council of Academic Family Medicine, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, the Association of Departments of Family MedicineNorth American Primary Care Research Group and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The STFM Foundation provided funding for the creation of this curriculum. 

Download the Executive Summary of the Clerkship Curriculum. (PDF)
Download Frequently Asked Questions. (PDF)
Download the Family Medicine Clerkship Curriculum.(PDF)

Why was the website created?

The website was created by a task force to show ways to implement the curriculum and provide additional resources.  

Who maintains and updates the curriculum and the website?

The National Clerkship Curriculum Editorial Board does this by:

  • Identifying the needs of clerkship directors
  • Reviewing and updating website links and content
  • Requesting and peer-reviewing best practice curricula
  • Implementing structures that support cross-institutional collaboration
  • Educating clerkship directors about resources and improvements  

Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine