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Since 1934, Kern Medical has been training residents and
health care professionals in our community.

Third year Medical Student Family Medicine Clerkship

Department Chair: Carol Stewart, MD, FAAFP
Clerkship Director: Hector Arreaza, MD
Clerkship Coordinator: Arianna Herrera
Questions about Family Medicine Clerkship?
Contact: Arianna Herrera or Dr Arreaza
Email: or


Welcome to the Family Medicine Clerkship at Kern Medical, in partnership with the Rio Bravo Family Residency Program!

The Family Medicine Clerkship is a six-week rotation that offers you valuable experience in both the outpatient and inpatient settings. The clerkship is administered at two clinical sites.

East Niles Community Health Center, where the Rio Bravo Residency Program is located, is the main clinic where you will participate in providing comprehensive outpatient care. When patients require hospitalization, they are admitted to Kern Medical so we can provide the best continuity of care. These sites provide ample opportunity for students to begin to acquire an understanding of the unique role of Family Medicine and its importance in the context of our community’s overall health and well-being.

During the rotation you will obtain knowledge through direct clinical experience, combined with dedicated didactic time and structured learning activities. You will work alongside the residents and their preceptors, actively participating in patient care as an integrated and important part of our team.

We hope you will find your clerkship to be intellectually challenging and rewarding.

Course Objectives

The Family Medicine Clerkship will focus on:

  • Knowledge needed to diagnose and manage common acute and chronic conditions across age groups seen in outpatient family medicine settings
  • Clinical and communication skills to take accurate histories, perform focused physical exams, develop evidence-based differentials, generate cost-effective management plans, and communicate those plans effectively with patients in outpatient family medicine settings
  • Skills to integrate preventive care into outpatient practice
  • Skills to elicit and understand patients’ lives over time and how this context influences care
  • Integrating evidence relevant to primary care settings, learning about quality improvement, working with population of patients, and understanding systems of care; these are concepts embodied by the Patient Centered Medical Home model

For inpatient setting ­– The goals of the inpatient aspect of the rotation are to expose students to a diverse population of patients and to the management of acute illnesses in the hospital setting. This includes caring for pediatric, adult and elderly patients. You will also participate in obstetric care before, during, and after delivery, as well as general neonatal care. In addition, students will learn to improve their skills in history taking, physical examinations and presentations, and will observe or actively participate in procedures related to inpatient care.

Please also refer to the Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) Clinical Guidelines in regard to the Family Medicine Clerkship Goals.

The assigned student textbook for the clerkship is “Essentials of Family Medicine, Sixth Edition,” by Sloane, et al. The textbook is available online through the resources provided by your medical school.

For additional information, CLICK HERE


Each student will be exposed to the same basic structure of inpatient and ambulatory Family Medicine care. A student-specific call schedule will be available on the first day of the rotation. VERY IMPORTANT: We avoid making last-minute changes to the schedule. If you have to take a test during your rotation, inform us two weeks before starting your clerkship so we can adjust our schedule accordingly.

  • Orientation Day: You will receive an email with specific instructions before your rotation starts. Orientation is normally done the Monday (first day) of your rotation.
  • Outpatient care: Our Teaching Health Center is located at the East Niles Community Health Center, 7800 Niles St, Bakersfield, CA. Clinic starts at 8:15 a.m. each day. Make sure you sign in every day you are in clinic. The sign in sheet is located at the Clerkship Coordinator’s office.
  • Inpatient care: Kern Medical. Arrive at 6:30 a.m. for patient sign out. Inpatient rounds and times vary each day; please check with residents and attending faculty. You will be assigned to work some nights. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. for your night shifts for patient sign out.
  • Family Medicine Departmental Final Written Exam: Thursday of the 5th week of the rotation at 3:00 p.m., Sagebrush Technology Center.
  • Shelf Exam – Last Friday of clerkship

Vacation Requests, Excused and Unexcused Absences – This six-week clerkship requires a full-time commitment from the medical student. Students on the clerkship are generally not allowed to take vacation, unless specifically allowed in advance by the Clerkship Director. Excused absences for personal medical leave, emergency family leave, and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge/Clinical Skills examinations are allowed once the request has been approved by the Clerkship Director. Unexcused absences may result in a formal warning letter and/or dismissal from the clerkship resulting in a failing grade.


All didactics take place in the conference room at the East Niles CHC.

  • Medical student didactics are held each Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 -3:00 p.m. These lectures are given by the Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency program faculty members or guest speakers.
  • Didactics for the residency program, which is also a requirement for medical students, takes place on Wednesdays from 1:00-5:00 p.m.
  • Sometimes lunch is provided. Some days you will have article discussions with Dr Katherine Schlaerth at 8:00 a.m. or you will share lunch with a guest speaker.
  • You will be updated regularly regarding specific dates when these didactics will take place.


All students will be expected to attend an orientation to the clerkship by the Clerkship Director and Clerkship Coordinator on the first day of the rotation. You will receive an email with the specific time and location.


All third-year students on the Family Medicine Clerkship will have a mid-clerkship review at the midpoint of the six-week clerkship. This review will assess the student to determine either satisfactory progress or demonstrate areas for improvement. If there are areas for concern, the Clerkship Director will help you develop a personalized plan for continued growth and improvement.

Throughout the Family Medicine Clerkship, the faculty will grade you on your performance. This clinical subjective evaluation will include your participation in the clinics and wards.

Online Cases

Completion of fmCASES online ­– You are expected to complete online cases (fmCASES on MedU), as you go along, to obtain an in-depth understanding of the most high-yield information pertinent to Family Medicine.

You will be provided with a list of required cases, and we will have dedicated time discuss some of them together during didactics. Your activity will be monitored and included in your final grade. This will account for 50 percent of your grade. The remaining aspect of your grade will depend on your performance on the Family Medicine Departmental Final Written Exam. This exam will consist of 40 multiple-choice questions similar in style to the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Subject Exam. You will have 60 minutes to complete the exam. The exam is given at the Sagebrush Technology Center on the 5th Thursday of the rotation.

Your medical school will then combine our evaluation with your NBME Subject Exam score to produce your final grade.

Please understand that our residency faculty considers your time and experience on our clerkship very valuable. We will do our best to enhance your learning experience. Great time and diligence are invested to provide an assessment of your performance.

Other Activities

  • Medical students are encouraged to participate in other activities organized by the Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program. It includes community events, residency wellness activities, social gatherings, and more. You will be updated on our activities during your rotation. If you are interested on our future events, make sure you contact your local Family Medicine Interest Group.
  • The FM residency also sponsors a pipeline program to encourage college-age students to get into health-related careers. You may see volunteers wearing a blue polo shirt during your rotation. Do not hesitate to introduce yourself and tell them about your experience as a medical student. If you have interest in providing some guidance to our volunteers, including giving a lecture, send an email to: or