Reflective Essays During Clerkship Following a Pre-clerkship Leadership Curriculum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Leadership curricula in medical student education require assessment - to determine if leadership skills can be taught to medical students and applied during clinical and medical team interactions to aid in medical student leadership development.

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether medical students applied principles of their pre-clerkship leadership curriculum (character, competence, context, and communication elements across four levels: personal, interpersonal, team, and organizational) during an internal medicine clerkship.

METHODS: Using art as a prompt, Uniformed Services University (USU) internal medicine clerkship students completed a structured reflection on a critical incident. Medical student essays written during a 10-week internal medicine clerkship at USU in 2019 were collected. 158 medical student submissions were de-identified and analyzed.

RESULTS: Sixty-four submissions (40.5%) focused on leadership or leadership and professionalism. Students identified as male (n = 34, 53%), female (21, 33%), or not reported (9, 14%). Most, 48 (75%), did not describe PITO explicitly in their essay. They instead focused on personal and interpersonal aspects (17, 27%) of leadership, the attending physicians they worked with (33, 52%), and effective leadership strategies (46, 72%). The most common themes written about were responsibility (30, 47%), teamwork (18, 28%), competence (17, 27%), and character/integrity (15, 23%).

CONCLUSION: Although the students' explicit use of the PITO model was limited, student essays centered on themes that reflected leadership concepts taught in pre-clerkship years, such as character, competence, and responsibility. This study demonstrates that an internal medicine clerkship rotation can feasibly implement a leadership reflection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23821205221091523
JournalJournal of medical education and curricular development
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Reflective Essays During Clerkship Following a Pre-clerkship Leadership Curriculum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this