The HMS Cambridge Integrated Clerkship (CIC) was launched in 2004 as part of the Harvard Medical School curriculum reform efforts. The CIC is a pilot effort that replaces the third year traditional clerkship curriculum with a "continuity of care" curriculum.
Each year, twelve enrolled Harvard Medical students are organized into teams and each team has a cohort of patients. Patients are selected by faculty (with patient consent) and represent a spectrum of patients across disciplines and specialties.
Students follow the patients longitudinally through all phases of diagnosis and treatment, all services, through any hospitalizations, and including follow-up after discharge. Cases are assigned in an order that is likely to provide an ascending level of academic and patient care challenge.
The program is intended to emphasize whole patient care, and to promote ideals of professionalism and connection with patients. Early results show that compared with students not in the program, these students report an increased feeling of connection with patients, greater self-awareness, and a greater responsibility for their own learning. Students on the program also perform slightly better on NBME shelf exams and retain the information longer, suggesting there are no major gaps in content knowledge.