Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Medicine


Junior Medicine Clerkship

The Junior Medicine clerkship is the culmination of much of what you learned in the first two years.  It is during this rotation that students learn to think like doctors and to appreciate that Medicine, as Osler said, is "a science of uncertainty and an art of probability". It is during Medicine that students refine their risk/benefit analyses of common, yet important, life-impacting decisions, e.g. anticoagulation, RBC transfusions, antibiotic regimens. Medicine teams spend a great deal of time talking to patients on inpatient rounds. We feel that time spent talking with patients is time well spent. As W. Somerset Maugham (who trained to be a physician) wrote: … “you can go through the wards of a hospital and be as ignorant of man at the end as you were at the beginning. If you want to get any benefit from such an experience you must have an open mind and an interest in human beings.” We strive to ensure that students benefit greatly from the experience of the Junior Medicine clerkship.  

Learn more about the junior medicine clerkship.

Primary Care Clerkship

This required four-week clerkship is intended as a brief, but intensive, introduction to the world of the primary care physician. Students will have the opportunity to work with physicians who practice the biopsychosocial, patient-centered philosophy that is central to primary care. During the four weeks, learners will be exposed to the broad range of clinical problems encountered by family medicine and internal medicine physicians, and gain a broader perspective on the role of medical care in people's lives.

Learn more about the primary care clerkship.

Senior Medicine Subinternship

The medicine sub-internship marks a transition from “student” to “doctor.” For most medical students it is the first rotation where they are held responsible for the daily care of their patients.  Students are tied to the daily events of their patients and a professional duty to be available for all new clinical developments. We expect that all students participate in all aspects of the care of their patients; from the initial interview upon admission, to discussions on of care plans with other health care professionals, to being a part of “difficult” conversations with the patient. The emphasis of the rotation is more about learning professionalism and responsibility, rather than simply increasing one’s knowledge base. We strive to ensure each student has an intern level experience and learns the skills that will make them an excellent physician.

Learn more about the senior medicine subinternship.