Essentials of Clinical Practice & Professionalism


PURPOSE: The purpose of the Essentials of Clinical Practice and Professionalism (ECPP) course is to assist third year medical students in preparing for their clerkships by providing training and resources that will help them excel. This course builds upon the foundation established in the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course (ECM), by reinforcing clinical competency as well as social and cognitive skills. It combines lectures, small group exercises, and hands-on clinical practice to achieve these goals.

INSTRUCTIONAL FEATURES: ECPP was developed in response to two events. First, results of the M4 clinical skills exam pilot project in the winter of 2003-2004 showed that significant numbers of students had not mastered basic clinical skills regarded as appropriate graduation competencies. These findings also led to the development by the College Committee on Instruction and Appraisal to assemble a technical  Procedural Competency List that includes procedures in which the graduating student should be able to demonstrate competency as well as those that the student should have observed.

The second impetus for ECPP was the need to ensure that students receive reinforcement in the Graduation Competencies established by the College of Medicine, that parallel the ACGME general competencies for residents. These competencies include areas relating to communication skills and professionalism, and therefore a second objective is to provide instruction and practice in these areas.

ASSESSMENT: ECPP evaluation is based upon the direct observation of skills, attitudes, and problem solving abilities, thus students must be present at all sessions. A formal assessment of procedural skills is conducted at the end of the course prior to the Graduation Competency Examination at the end of the M3 year.   Students will have practice on all twelve procedural skills during ECP&P sessions; however formal assessment will be on a random sampling of twelve. An 80% passing rate on each skill must be met in order to satisfactorily complete the course. Grades for the course are either satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

To receive a Satisfactory grade in the ECP&P course, students must:

1) Successfully perform all skills on the "Procedural Competencies for Graduating Medical Students" list. 

Any student NOT meeting the 80% pass level per skill during the February/March skills assessment will be required to attend a scheduled remediation session that will take place prior to the Graduation Competency Exam in late spring 2013.( Dates to be announced at a later date.) Only those students who do not complete the remediation as required, will recieve a final grade of Unsatisfactory.

2) Adhere to the following professionalism guidelines:

a) Attend all sessions.

b) Be on time for all sessions.

c) Complete all assignments on time.

d) Be professional at all times.

 e) Complete all evaluations.

Course evaluations will be available for each session on Blackboard under the clerkship Site Evaluation 2012-13 and need to be completed after each session.

Failure to meet the above expectations can result in a final grade of Unsatisfactory for the course.  In addition, students not complying with these guidelines will have a "Professionalism Evaluation - Deficient Behavior" Form completed for him/her which will be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs and entered into the student's file. 

POLICY ON MISSED SESSIONS:  The ECP&P course is a graduation requirement, and like other graduations requirements must be satisfactorily completed in its entirety.  If a student misses Week One, he/she will be required to make up Week One with the M3 class the following year.  Special permission must be granted by the Associate Dean for Curriculum to begin clerkships or Week Two prior to taking Week One of ECP&P.

If a student has a viable excuse for missing any portion of Week One, he/she should contact the ECP&P course staff directly. This will be dealt with on a case by case basis.  Week Two of ECP&P consists of six dates spread across the M3 year. If a student misses one of the six dates, he/she will be required to make up the same missed date the following year.  (ECP&P cannot require a hospital site to release a student to make up a date, so an M4 student will need to take one of the days that would normally be allowed for interviewing, etc., and receive permission from the site director to miss a day of their rotation.) 

Missing an ECP&P date should be reserved for emergencies or immovable events such as attending a funeral, a College of Medicine sponsored research presentation, jury duty, standing up in an out of town wedding, etc. Students should not schedule vacations that conflict with any ECP&P dates. Documentation will be required for all absences.


Program Number: CLER 608
Program Director: Abbas Hyderi, MD, Octavia Kincaid, MD, Julie Mann (coordinator)
Telephone: 312-355-5900
Duration: 2 Weeks Credit/One week in June plus decompressed days across the M3 year
Night Call: No
Weekends: No
Students Accepted:  All
Housestaff Used as Faculty: Yes
Lectures/Conferences/Faculty Contact:
Laboratory/Independent Study:

Total Hours/Week:

Click here for additional contact information.

Key Words:  clinical skills, communication skills, professionalism, preparation for clerkships, problem solving abilities, clinical competency 

Reporting times will be published on Blackboard as the become available.  Students will be notified via e-mail by the Course Coordinator.