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School of Medicine

VCU School of Medicine

Welcome to VCU School of Medicine

Practice of Clinical Medicine

Welcome to Practice of Clinical Medicine


Dear First-Year Medical Student,

Welcome to the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine!

Throughout your first 18 months of medical school, you will participate in the Practice of Clinical Medicine (PCM) course. The PCM course teaches basic clinical skills such as professionalism, medical interviewing, physical diagnosis, and clinical reasoning. The course is designed to correlate with your basic science course work and consists of hands-on small group learning, simulated patient workshops, and a community preceptorship.


Your small group will consist of approximately 10 students who meet on campus every other week on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoon. Each small group is led by a physician and a fourth-year medical student. During the MS1 and MS2A semesters, you will also participate in simulated patient workshops approximately every other 


During the MS2B semester, you will meet off campus with your preceptor every other week on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday afternoon. Your preceptor will be a physician who teaches medical students in the practice setting, providing opportunities to reinforce and practice clinical skills.

The PCM staff looks forward to working with you! We hope you will find the course to be an exciting introduction to the practice of medicine.