Medical Student Education

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Educational Objectives


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This page is maintained by the Office of Medical Education. You may contact the OME by email ( or phone (504) 988-6600.


GENERAL MEDICINE ELECTIVES - Advanced Art and Practice of Internal Medicine

Maximum number of students: 22
Timeframe:  August  27th – September 21st
Prerequisite:  Completion of the Internal Medicine Clerkship with a passing grade

“The art has three factors, the disease, the patient, the physician.”    - Hippocrates
Much of medical school is spent on understanding the two aspects that we have the least control, the disease and the patient.  There is no doubt that understanding these two things is a prerequisite to becoming an outstanding physician.  We have assumed that by focusing most of our energy on the disease and the patient, the outstanding physician will blossom from the seeds of this knowledge, which is often the case.  Nonetheless, we feel we can do even better.  The Advanced Art and Practice of Medicine” course is dedicated to developing the one aspect over which we have the most control – ourselves, the physicians.  The course is four weeks devoted to making the best physicians with the best diagnostic skills.  It is an intense month of personal and professional development.  The course will involve lecture, small-group discussion, independent reading, patient history taking and examination, simulation, and “field trips” to the New Orleans Museum of Art and the French Quarter for observation.  We will invite patients with actual physical exam findings to our classrooms (rheumatoid arthritis, aortic stenosis, etc) to hear their stories and learn from their pathology.  A typical day will begin at 9:00 AM and go through 4:30 PM with a break for lunch.  There will be weekend assignments of light reading.   

Throughout the course, we will focus on five main categories:
1.    Clinical Skills                                                                                                                              
2.     Clinical Reasoning                                                                                                            
3.     History of Medicine                                                                                                            
4.     Humanism and Professionalism                                                                                          
5.     Leadership                                                                                                                      

The goal is that students will graduate from this course with improved technique, skill, and confidence to meet the toughest challenges of a career in medicine.   It is our hope that students who benefit from this added training will develop into exemplary physicians and leaders in their residency program and future practice.
1.    Interpret classical writings on the art and practice of Medicine (i.e. Osler).
2.    Understand the influence of medical history on current practice.
3.    Recognize the limitations of diagnostic tests and laboratory studies.
4.    Identify the best physical exam maneuvers to evaluate certain diagnoses.
5.    Recognize subtle historical clues to guide your diagnosis.  
6.    Draw conclusions regarding the appropriate diagnostic test or study.

1.    Demonstrate and practice proper technique for 20 specific physical exam maneuvers.
2.    Improve diagnostic skills through examination of patients with confirmed pathology (e.g. aortic stenosis, pulmonary fibrosis, rheumatology dz, dermatologic disease).
3.    Enhance diagnostic skills through art of observation (e.g. NOMA, French Quarter).
4.    Practice physical diagnosis on real patients and through the use of simulation.  

Attach value to the proper utilization of the physical exam, diagnostic, and laboratory studies.
2.     Express and explain viewpoints regarding the principles of humanism and professionalism.
3.     Show respect for the care and comfort of the patient.
4.     Assist colleagues and peers with the development of physical exam techniques, lab interpretation, and diagnostic skills.
5.     Propose to set an example for colleagues and peers regarding humanism and professionalism.


Course Directors:  Chad S. Miller, M.D. and Ben Rothwell, M.D.

1430 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70112