Ambulatory Care (AC) is a community-based preceptorship for first-year students. The purpose of this course is to build the fundamental skills that every clinician needs for a career of working with patients. These include physical diagnosis, interviewing, and other modes of doctor-patient interaction. Preceptors introduce students to medical charts and other paperwork used in office practice, such as prescriptions and patient progress notes. Preceptors are encouraged to allow students to participate in all ambulatory office procedures. Examples include taking blood pressures, obtaining throat cultures, assisting with skin biopsies, joint injections, pelvic exams, and sigmoidoscopies. The course goals are:
- To introduce students to the office practice of medicine. This includes learning how the physician and the rest of the office team interact to provide patient care.
- To begin to develop the knowledge base needed to manage common medical problems seen in the ambulatory setting.
- To begin to develop the basic clinical skills that all physicians need, such as physical diagnosis, patient interviewing and history taking, and simple procedural skills.
- To learn how medical records are kept and other fundamentals of medical paperwork, such as prescription writing.