Guidelines for Clinical Activities by Medical Students

Medical students rotate in clinical settings to learn all aspects of patient care, including obtaining patient histories, performing thorough physical examinations, formulating differential diagnoses, learning to make decisions based on appropriate laboratory and radiological studies and procedures, interpreting results of special studies and treatment, communicating with patients on all aspects of disease and prognosis and communicating with members of the health care team.

To this end, the medical student may participate in the following activities:

  1. Access patients to obtain a medical history, perform a physical exam, and follow the inpatient and /or outpatient course.
  2. Access the patient's entire medical record, including laboratory reports, x-ray reports, etc.
  3. Perform appropriately supervised procedures as authorized by the patient's attending physician.  For procedures such as drawing blood that the student has been trained for and declared competent in, the student may draw blood and perform independent of direct supervision.
  4. Perform basic laboratory studies such as urinalysis, under appropriate supervision and review.
  5. When the student is clinically prepared, write orders for specific patients.  All of the orders written by a medical student must be reviewed and countersigned by the responsible resident or attending physician before forwarding to the nursing service.
  6. Write progress notes that the responsible resident or attending physician will review and countersign.

Students CANNOT:

  1. Write orders independently, without review and counter-signature by the responsible faculty member or resident.
  2. Be the primary line of communication in the critical value reporting process.
  3. Have sole responsibility for communicating vital patient related information to the patient or family members.

Last modified: Aug 13, 2012
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