The Department of Medicine’s clerkship site at Jacobi Medical Center offers third-year medical students the opportunity to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to low-income, uninsured patients. Jacobi’s diverse patient population, ranging from Hispanics and African Americans to immigrants from countries including Albania, Macedonia, Guyana, Jamaica, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and China, present with a myriad of complex medical and psychosocial factors.
During the eleven-week internal medicine clerkship rotation, students directly interact with patients in the inpatient setting. The clerkship emphasizes the importance of compassionate patient care with attention to sociocultural and economic factors, as well as ethical issues in clinical decision making. Students learn first-hand what it takes to provide the best possible care to patients who have limited resources.
The Jacobi rotation offers students a wealth of hands-on experience treating complex cases with multiple co-morbidities including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, and asthma. Students are encouraged to take full ownership of their patients and work closely with subspecialists and supportive staff in managing care. Jacobi’s newly launched Resident-Student Mentorship Program, led by third-year resident and Einstein alumnus Dr. Raphael Hulkower, provides an additional layer of support for medicine clerks and sub-interns, with weekly meetings where students have a platform to discuss their experiences and learn topics pertinent to patient care and their training.
“The intellectual curiosity and thirst for knowledge that students have at this level of their training, as well as their genuine interest in their patients’ well-being, inspires us to learn from one another and challenges us to be better doctors, teachers and role models,” said Dr. Mimoza Meholli, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine), an academic hospitalist and palliative care specialist, and the Jacobi clerkship site leader. “I never take for granted what medical students tell me about the patients they are following, and have had a few instances where students’ involvement and input has saved my patients.”
Originally from Kosovo, Dr. Meholli moved to the United States during high school. She completed medical school at the Medical School for International Health (MSIH) at Ben Gurion University (Israel); an internal medicine residency at Jacobi Medical Center, where she was chief resident; and the Montefiore-Einstein Certificate Program in Bioethics and Medical Humanities. She is passionate about the teaching of medical students and residents, having won the Leo M. Davidoff Society award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Medical Students, and the distinguished “Excellence in Teaching” award by Jacobi Medical Center housestaff. Dr. Meholli served as the Medicine Sub-Internship Site Leader from 2010 to 2012, and assumed the Medicine Clerkship Site Leader in October 2012. In addition to her role as site leader for the clerkship, she is Associate Program Director for the Jacobi Internal Medicine Residency Program. Her interests include health and human rights, global health, cross-cultural medicine, narrative medicine, palliative care, and bioethics. She is an active member of Jacobi’s Ethics Committee, as well as a facilitator for the Bioethics and Patient, Doctors and Community (PDC) courses for the Albert Einstein medical students.
A comment from one student who completed the Jacobi clerkship experience stated, “Jacobi is a wonderful place to learn medicine. The doctors and residents who work here have a real passion for helping their patients, and a sense of altruism that is built into the culture of the hospital.”
Another student reported, “I learned a lot from my patients, and I was able to do that because the team included me in decisions and allowed me to serve as the patient’s contact with our team.”
“[The clerkship] is a crucial and momentous time of growth in the development of every physician,” said Dr. Amanda Raff, Associate Chair of Medicine for Undergraduate Medical Education at Einstein. “You hit the wards filled with the knowledge gained from the first two years and are charged with the responsibility of applying that knowledge to the care of real people.”