Teaching 'Family': Evaluating a Multidimensional Clerkship Curriculum

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Background: A multidimensional program that includes workshops on family systems, family interviewing, a home visit, and faculty precepting at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is described and evaluated. Methods: Over a 3-yearperiod, ETSU junior clerks received systematic instruction on family issues in medical practice. Evaluations were obtained at the conclusion of the experience. Results: The number of students who rated the importance of family in Family Medicine as 'very strong' increased from 14 (28%) to 33 (66%) between the beginning and the end of the rotation. The majority of students reported that each of the curricular elements on family had a 'strong positive impact' and rated home visits as most important in promoting their understanding of families. Conclusions: The curriculum on family had a significant role in enhancing students' appreciation of the importance of the family in medicine.