PURPOSE / SCOPE:
Provide guidelines for student supervision in the clinical learning situations involving patient care.
The ICOM curriculum includes required clinical experiences in a variety of clinical learning environments. The role of the ICOM student doctor is to participate in patient care in ways that are appropriate for the student doctor’s level of training and experience and the clinical situation. The ICOM student doctor’s clinical activities will be under the supervision of licensed physicians. During a student doctor’s time at the clinic or hospital, the preceptor must be available for supervision, consultation, and teaching, or designate an alternate preceptor. Although the supervising preceptor may not be with a student during every shift, it is important to clearly assign students to another physician or non-physician provider who will serve as the student doctor’s preceptor for any given time interval. Having more than one clinical preceptor has the potential to disrupt continuity for the student doctor, but also offers the advantage of sharing precepting duties and exposes student doctors to valuable variations in practice style, which can help learners develop the professional personality that best ﬁts them. The preceptor or their designee must examine all patients seen by the student doctor. It is the responsibility of the precepting/ supervising physician to assure that documentation in the patient's medical record is appropriate.
In the rare case where supervision is not available, student doctors may be given an assignment or may spend time with ancillary staff (x-ray, lab, physical therapy, pharmacist, mental health professional, etc.), as these experiences can be very valuable. The preceptor should be aware of the student doctor’s assigned activities at all times.
Student doctors are not employees of the hospitals or clinics and therefore work entirely under the preceptor’s supervision. Student doctors are not to substitute for paid clinicians, clerical staff, or other workers at the clinical sites.
The preceptor can provide direct supervision of technical skills with gradually increased autonomy in accordance with the student doctor’s demonstrated level of expertise. First and second year medical students will be directly supervised at all times (supervising physician or designee present or immediately available).
Third- and fourth-year medical students will be supervised at a level appropriate to the clinical situation and student doctor’s level of experience. For some tasks, indirect supervision may be appropriate for some student doctors. Direct supervision would be appropriate for advanced procedures. The supervising physician or provider may only supervise procedures in which they hold privileges and that are within their scope of practice.
PRIMARY POLICY OWNER:
Assistant/Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs