Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
MD Program

Medical Student Community Clinical Training Experiences

Updated September 15, 2022

Background: The Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM) has long recognized the value of engaging medical students in meaningful community efforts. These efforts include enhancing primary and secondary school curricula, participating in community-based programs that provide care for underserved populations (e.g., clinics and health fairs), and other related opportunities.

Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to:

  • Describe the role of PSOM undergraduate medical students in supervised community-based programs.
  • Describe the supervision requirements for students working in community-based programs.

Implementation: Senior administrative leadership, the Associate Dean for IDEAL MEd, the Assistant Dean for Community Engagement, and faculty all share responsibility for implementing this policy consistent with its terms.

Policy and Guiding Principles: Student Activities in the Community

Starting in the MS1 year, PSOM students engage in a variety of clinical and non-clinical community-based programs. The process of introducing students to opportunities for service within the community is guided by IDEAL MEd and is coordinated by the Assistant Dean of Community Engagement and medical student CLINICOM leadership.

Programs that provide clinical care to community members will adhere to the following principles regarding the clinical training experiences:

  • Students or faculty will identify a community-based opportunity for clinical training.
  • All PSOM students involved in community work will complete a program-specific orientation.
  • All PSOM students working in the community-based program will be supervised by Penn clinicians.
  • Penn clinicians will oversee the administration of community-based clinical programs.
  • Students will engage in clinical care that is commensurate with their level of clinical training.
  • Any medical student who sustains a needlestick or other wound resulting in exposure to blood or bodily fluids should follow the PSOM Needlestick Protocol.