Students starting on the wards are often bewildered at their role and unable to make the most of the learning opportunities presented to them. Clinical Medicine: A Clerking Companion is written for inexperienced clinical students, and helps them to use their patients to learn medicine. At heart, it is a workbook that students can use whilst on the wards, that provides students with a framework for approaching patients with a range of common conditions. It is a ‘friend over the shoulder’ – guiding students through history taking and medical examination, and then evaluating the patient’s current condition and their future management. It is also a self-directed learning portfolio, helping students to assess their progress by seeing where they are lacking clinical exposure.
The book’s introduction explains how to use it to make the most of time spent on the wards – how to interview and examine patients, how to use the book in recording findings findings, and then how to present patients to doctors. It emphasises the importance of anonymising patient information and ensuring patient consent before interviewing and examining them. The book goes on to cover around 50 common medical and surgical problems. Each chapter (for instance ‘cardiology’) begins with an introductory section offering basic approaches to the symptoms, signs, skills and investigations encountered in that specialty. The subsequent clerking proformas provide a guided framework for students to follow when working with their patients. A set of questions then helps students explore the topic in more detail – sending them back to their textbooks to read about what they have seen and understand the science underlying it.
Online Resource Centre The Online Resource Centre to accompany Clinical Medicine: A Clerking Companion features dynamic, annotated figures and PDFs of the proformas in the book, available to download.