Many of the clinical skills in the course require hands-on practice that cannot be learned without attendance and participation in certain course activities. Most of these types of clinical skills simply can't be learned exclusively from lecture notes or textbooks. Therefore, a number of activities in the course have a required attendance policy.
The policy for excused absences for required course activities is the same as that for missed exams as listed in the College of Medicine Student Handbook. Excused absences for required sessions can be granted only in certain situations; these include: illness, accident, or injury to the extent that you are unable to be present, or death, sudden serious illness, or catastrophic event involving an immediate family member. Please note that routine physician's appointments are not a basis for an excused absence from required course activities.
In order to obtain an excused absence, the course director must be notified of the absence in advance of the required activity. This can be accomplished by calling The course director or the ICM office. If the excuse is for an illness or injury to the student, the form "Physician's Statement for Excused Absence from Quiz or Exam" must be completed and turned into the ICM office. The physician's statement can be submitted to the ICM office after the absence as long as the course director has been notified prior to the absence.
If you must miss a required ICM session, quiz, or exam, you must notify the course director or the ICM office BEFORE the session begins. Failure to provide prior notice will result in an unexcused absence.
Any UNEXCUSED absence from a required small group or lab session will result in a loss of 25 points deducted from your course grade. A second unexcused absence during the year will result in automatic FAILURE of the course.
Any UNEXCUSED absence from a written or computer-based quiz or examination will result in a grade of "zero" for that examination.
Any UNEXCUSED absence from a clinical experience (UAMS ER and Children's Hospital experiences) or a clinical examination, including the practice examination, will result in a grade of "zero" and the issuance of a negative scholastic non-cognitive evaluation.
During the course, you will see and interact with a variety of patients. There are several expectations for all course activities involving real or standardized patients. Among these expectations are:
Professional attire is expected for all activities involving patients in this course. Most patients will not be able to distinguish you from a practicing physician, so we expect you to be well groomed and in professional dress. White coats and nametags are required whenever course activities involve real or standardized patients. No jeans, scrubs, shorts or sneakers should be worn. Socks or hose and closed-toe shoes are required. Men should wear ties.
Adult patients should be addressed by Mr., Mrs., or Ms. and not by their first names. You should introduce yourself to your patients in a manner in which you are comfortable. We suggest phrasing such as, Hello, I am John Smith, a first-year medical student at UAMS, and [acknowledge the patient's problem and explain the task] ... Although some suggest using the term student-doctor, the term medical student is preferred at UAMS.
This course may provide your first contact with patients in a hospital or clinic. Many medical students are uneasy or intimidated by their first patient encounters. Don't be overly concerned; it is very common to feel uneasy in the first clinical encounters with patients. The patient interactions you will do this year will not demand knowledge beyond your level of training. If a patient asks you for medical advice or has questions about his condition or treatment, explain your role as a student and ask them to ask their attending physician. You should then tell your preceptor or The course director so that they can make certain the patient's physician can answer the patient's questions.
You are reminded of the importance of patient confidentiality. Even as a first-year medical student, in the eyes of most patients, you are in a physician role. Many patients will share information with you that they would not share with strangers or even with members of their family. Please respect the patient's trust and confidence and preserve their confidentiality.
There are a wide variety of methods used to interview and examine patients. Although we try to teach very standard, regular examination methods in ICM, you will work with clinicians during your medical education whose practice will differ from the methods taught in this course. Physicians vary the emphasis they place on various elements of the medical history, and their personalities influence the way they relate to patients and gather information. Interviewing and physical examination techniques are also adapted to particular practice settings and specialties. Information may be recorded in the medical record in various ways. All of these differences reflect the "art" of medical practice. In ICM I, we expect you to establish competence in a specified set of basic interviewing and physical examination skills. This is done with the full realization that you will likely encounter various ways to perform many of these tasks later and will develop your own style as you progress in your education.