Clerkship Roles and Responsibilities in a Rapidly Changing Landscape: a National Survey of Internal Medicine Clerkship Directors

Susan A. Glod*, Irene Alexandraki, Harish Jasti, Cindy J. Lai, Temple A. Ratcliffe, Katherine Walsh, Michael Kisielewski, Jeffrey LaRochelle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: In the rapidly changing landscape of undergraduate medical education (UME), the roles and responsibilities of clerkship directors (CDs) are not clear. Objective: To describe the current roles and responsibilities of Internal Medicine CDs. Design: National annual Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) cross-sectional survey. Participants: One hundred twenty-nine clerkship directors at all Liaison Committee on Medical Education accredited US medical schools with CDIM membership as of September 1, 2017. Main Measures: Responsibilities of core CDs, including oversight of other faculty, and resources available to CDs including financial support and dedicated time. Key Result: The survey response rate was 83% (107/129). Ninety-four percent of the respondents oversaw the core clerkship inpatient experience, while 47.7% (n = 51) and 5.6% (n = 6) oversaw the outpatient and longitudinal integrated clerkships respectively. In addition to oversight, CDs were responsible for curriculum development, evaluation and grades, remediation, scheduling, student mentoring, and faculty development. Less than one-third of CDs (n = 33) received the recommended 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) support for their roles, and 15% (n = 16) had less than 20% FTE support. An average 0.41 FTE (SD.2) was spent in clinical work and 0.20 FTE (SD.21) in administrative duties. Eighty-three percent worked with other faculty who assisted in the oversight of departmental UME experiences, with FTE support varying by role and institution. Thirty-five percent of CDs (n = 38) had a dedicated budget for managing their clerkship. Conclusions: The responsibilities of CDs have increased in both number and complexity since the dissemination of previous guidelines for expectations of and for CDs in 2003. However, resources available to them have not substantially changed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1375-1381
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • clerkship
  • internal medicine clerkship
  • undergraduate medical education


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