Dartmouth Medical School Begins Bi-coastal Teaching Partnership
with San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center

Dartmouth Medical School has entered a new educational affiliation with California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), one of San Francisco's foremost teaching hospitals, to enrich the breadth of patient care experience for medical students.

The collaboration offers third year DMS students the opportunity to take some of their required clinical clerkships at CPMC, a large, urban academic medical center that serves the needs of patients with a great diversity of medical diagnoses, backgrounds, cultures, and countries of origin.

As the first DMS students to participate in the new program, Carolyn Presley and Haitham Ahmed recently completed clerkships in psychiatry at CPMC, working in both inpatient and outpatient departments over seven weeks.

"I was excited to go to CPMC for my psychiatry rotation because of the urban experience it offers," says Presley. "San Francisco has a large homeless population as well as an extremely diverse group of people in terms of ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. I wanted more experience with all of these different types of populations, and CPMC definitely delivered."

Both students spoke very highly of the experience. "I definitely would recommend it," says Ahmed. "I was impressed with how welcoming the faculty were. We really felt like we were a part of the team, and we learned an incredible amount from our patients. I think it would be a great rotation for any DMS student."

Other DMS students will begin their inpatient medicine clerkships at CPMC in March, and their neurology clerkships in July. Additional clerkships may become available during the coming academic year as well.

Dr. David Nierenberg, senior associate dean for medical education, anticipates that eventually a majority of DMS third year students will have the opportunity to take one of their clinical clerkships at this urban medical center. "We look forward to exploring a shared vision of expanded options at CPMC," says Nierenberg. "In the future, DMS students may also benefit from more options for their fourth-year clinical electives, and greater insight into residency opportunities in the San Francisco area hospitals."

All DMS students are expected to complete several weeks of clinical training at a site where patients differ significantly in cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, or other background from those commonly seen in New Hampshire and Vermont. The new educational liaison complements the first-rate clinical training students currently receive at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and at a variety of hospital and practice sites, particularly in rural New Hampshire and Vermont.