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Medical Education

UCSF Celebrates Ten Years of the Groundbreaking PISCES Program

March 9, 2017

On January 28, current students, alumni, and faculty gathered at Mission Bay to celebrate ten years of the Parnassus Integrated Student Clinical Experience (PISCES) longitudinal clerkship. 

With keynote presentations by Catherine Lucey, MD, Vice Dean for Education, Molly Cooke, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine and Director of Education for Global Health Sciences, and David Irby, PhD, Professor of Medicine, as well as PISCES alumni presentations and a patient panel, the celebration included discussions on key topics and the latest trends in medical education.

PISCES was the first longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC) established at an academic medical center, and it has since been implemented at other academic medical centers worldwide. UCSF also offers longitudinal clerkships at Kaiser Oakland (KLIC) with a modified version at SFGH (model SFGH) and the VA Hospital (VALOR).

Ann Poncelet, MD, Director of the Haile T. Debas/UCSF Academy of Medical Educators, is the founding leader of PISCES. She has consulted with over 30 programs—helping them establish LICs in other medical centers.

”Longitudinal integrated clerkships are designed to support meaningful learning relationships between medical students and their patients and clinical teachers,” says Dr. Poncelet. 

LIC students follow a cohort of about 50 patients for one year and will monitor patients’ progress in different settings.  For example, a student might start to care for a pregnant patient during her prenatal visits, participate in the delivery, and continue to care for the mother and baby after the delivery. LIC students work closely with one or two faculty from each core discipline (such as medicine or surgery) over the year.  This differs from traditional clinical clerkships, where students spend six to eight weeks learning about a single specialty, often as part of an inpatient team.

“UCSF is a leader in innovation and studying the impact of this model of clinical training on the students, faculty, and patients,” says Dr. Poncelet.

Congratulations to Dr. Poncelet, Maria Wamsley, MD (PISCES Co-Director), Irma Moreno (PISCES Coordinator), PISCES students and alumni, generous PISCES patients who came to share their stories, and the Alumni Office for celebrating this landmark event!

Learn more about the PISCES program.