Integrated clinical experience: University of Nebraska Medical Center

D. J. Steele, J. L. Susman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The Integrated Clinical Experience (ICE) at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine is a required, two-year course of study for first- and second-year students. It provides early clinical experiences in primary care settings in metropolitan and rural areas, and related instruction in the social, behavioral, and ethical foundations of medicine. The authors describe the course goals, teaching format, topics, and evaluation of students and faculty. ICE is based on the assumptions that medicine is an applied behavioral science as well as an applied biological science, that critical reflection is important in professional education, and that early exposure to primary care will promote interest in primary care careers. The authors also describe some of the challenges associated with the implementation of this new course of study. These include student dissatisfaction with behavioral and ethical topics, resistance to critical reflection about their personal attitudes and values, and discomfort with 'subjective' grading. ICE has also been controversial with some basic science faculty who feel they have had to sacrifice curriculum time to make room for this new program. Also, recruiting the large number of faculty, particularly physicians, needed to run the program has been difficult. Finally, the organization of the curriculum, with basic sciences in the morning and the ICE in the afternoon, may inadvertently reinforce the conceptual split between the biomedical and psychosocial dimensions of medicine. Efforts are under way to address this problem by exploring ways to integrate the curriculum better.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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