Posted: October 20, 2020

Virtual Clinical Support: Inpatient Internal Medicine Elective


In this two-week elective, students have the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the clinical care of hospitalized patients during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while remaining physically removed from direct patient contact. Students will join an inpatient medicine team five days a week for virtual rounds and will follow the hospital course of 3-5 patients through chart review and direct communication with interns/residents. Students will assist care teams by drafting discharge summaries and patient discharge instructions to increase the efficiency of frontline providers while allowing students to continue clinical learning. Students will conduct research on clinical questions and share evidence-based medicine (EBM) findings with their teams. Students can also take on additional duties as deemed appropriate by their clinical teams. For example, students may contact patients, families, outpatient providers and/or pharmacies via phone or email, draft assessments and plans for new admissions, and help register patients for COVID-related post-discharge monitoring programs. Before students are assigned to clinical teams, they will first complete a practice discharge summary on a sample patient and send it to the course directors for approval and feedback. While on clinical teams, students will be paired with a partner for peer review of discharge summaries. Additional reading and a written reflection will also be assigned. Students who participate in this elective will need to be dedicated and pay special attention to detail and communication given the remote manner of the work. Completion of a medicine sub-internship is not required prior to taking this elective.


Margot Cohen, M.D., M.S.Ed, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Clare Cutri-French, MS4, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Jeremy Jones, MS4, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Erik Tan, MS4, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Andrew Orr, M.D., University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine


Learner Audience

Undergraduate Medical Education (UME)


Patient Care and Procedures

Resource Type(s)

Distance Learning - Asynchronous
Distance Learning - Synchronous

Instructional Method(s)

Independent Learning
Ward Rounds


Medical Students, Discharge Summary, Undergraduate Medical Education, Inpatient Medicine, Virtual Rounding, Hospital Medicine