University of Pittsburgh


3rd Year Clerkships -- Let's get real

Date: Friday, September 12, 2014
Time: Noon - 1 pm
Location: Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 1
an image of Maxine Papadakis, MD
Debra Klamen, MD, MHPE

Dr. Debra Klamen is Associate Dean for Education & Curriculum and Professor and Chair, Department of Medical Education, of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIUSOM). Dr. Klamen received her MD in 1985 from the University of Chicago, and did her psychiatry residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) from 1985-1989.  She received her Masters of Health Professional Education from UIC in 1998.  After running a general adult inpatient psychiatric unit for five years, Dr. Klamen became the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education in Psychiatry at UIC from 1994-2002.  From 1998-2003 she became first the Assistant Dean for Preclerkship Curriculum at UIC, then the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum, until assuming her current position at SIUSOM in early 2004.  Dr. Klamen has been heavily involved in undergraduate curriculum and assessment innovations for much of her career.   She created, developed, and implemented SIUSOM’s Longitudinal Performance Examination, a clinical reasoning progress test, which is now used by five medical schools around the country.  She was responsible for the development of SIUSOM’s diagnostic justification exercise, which examines the clinical reasoning skills of students throughout their four years of medical school.  She heads the innovations curriculum committee at SIUSOM and has been at the forefront of the development of the innovative curricula which recently received $500,000 through the Josiah Macy Foundation.

About This Session

There are many calls in the literature for changes in how medical students are educated.  A look at the theory behind how complex skills are learned provides useful information to guide new curriculum developments.  The requirement of deliberate practice for success in the learning of clinical skills suggests that perhaps the current clinical milieu is not an optimal place for medical students to learn.  The idiosyncrasy inherent in the dramatically changed medical landscape of the last 20 years makes it difficult for such practice to occur; the apprentice model of legitimate peripheral participation in a community of practice as it used to exist does no longer.  Indeed, current workplace environments are at odds with the needs of medical students.  Overwhelming numbers of goals and objectives in existing third year clerkships serve as wish lists of what students should learn.  They should be replaced by a systematic, longitudinal curriculum in which all students can be guaranteed to have encountered the core clinical competencies as defined.  Moving the goals and objectives of the current clerkships to a longitudinal, spiral curricular format frees up clinical time in the third year to be used for students to find their future specialty and socialize into medicine.  Doing so allows for an opportunity for students to spend extended time in areas of their interest.  Moving to such a new curriculum format maximizes and optimizes learning while embracing the reality of current clinical workplace environments.

Continuing Medical Education


The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Other health care professionals are awarded 0.10 continuing education units (CEUs) which are equal to 1.0 contact hours.

Suggest a Topic

We welcome topic or speaker suggestions for future sessions of Medical Education Grand Rounds.

Please e-mail Colleen Mayowski, Executive Assistant to the Vice Dean, with a description of why the suggested person or topic is appropriate or timely. If suggesting a person, please include a CV, a short bio, and a link to his/her Web site.