If you have gone to the effort of learning more about this program then you probably want to be a doctor. And you want to be a really good one. You have come to the right place.
The ICC is based in six different B.C. communities and has been in existence since 2004. UBC was one of the first universities in North America to pilot an integrated clerkship, and the first in Canada. Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships, in all their permutations, have become a successful and innovative model of undergraduate clinical education, a model that is endorsed and implemented by medical schools all over the world. The success and strength of these clerkships is now informing curriculum reform in our own university and elsewhere.
What defines an Integrated Clerkship?
The international literature suggests that the main organizing principles are continuity and integration of learning experience. The continuity descriptor applies to geographic community, preceptor faculty, and ongoing longitudinal patient contact. The integration descriptor refers to the learning of multiple disciplines on an ongoing basis throughout the academic year.
The idea is that if you place a student in one place, with one group of teachers, and with a defined patient population, you help foster professional identity and accountability. When you expose that same student to multiple clinical disciplines on an ongoing basis, you facilitate clinical confidence and expertise. For the student, this means lots of hands-on patient contact, fewer learners, opportunities for direct teaching from experienced physicians, and the chance to become part of a community and hospital community for a year. It is a fun and challenging way to learn.
It isn’t an easy program. Learning multiple disciplines concurrently or in rapid succession can be stressful and can leave a student feeling in January that they don’t know anything – except maybe that they should never have gone into an Integrated Clerkship!
Students need to be prepared for a lot of self-study and reading in the ICC program. We just don’t have the same degree of didactic teaching that the rotational programs have. And the ICC is not a place where students can hide or evade scrutiny – these are small volume clerkships in small to medium sized communities, and that means we know your business. But if you like hard work, consider yourself to be an adaptable type, and enjoy a challenge – I don’t think you can do better.
After years of being in operation, we can confirm that our graduates have equal success in obtaining their residency of choice, regardless of specialty, and they actually do better when matching to their location of choice. As for whether or not this special experience helps transform students into special doctors, that part is up to them.
I hope that you take the time to read about the various sites where the program takes place. Each site is different in the way it delivers the clerkship. In each site the ICC program has evolved to match the strengths and resources of the community in which it is engaged and invested. Clinical medicine is a pragmatic process and so is frontline clinical education.
Enjoy your website tour of the ICC program. Thanks for your interest.