Medical Clerkship

Posted on March 14, 2010


According to my lecturer this clership derives from the Dutch work clerk- meaning joting notes, doing paper works like how a secretary does.


In medical education, a clerkship, or rotation, refers to the practice of medicine by medical students during their latter years of study. Usually, the first half of medical school trains students in the classroom setting, and the second half takes place in a teaching hospital. Clerkships give students experiences in all parts of the hospital setting, including the operating room, emergency department, and various other departments that allow learning by viewing and doing.

During this training, students are required to rotate through different medical specialties and treat patients under the supervision of physicians. Students elicit patient histories, complete physical examinations, write progress notes, and assist in surgeries and medical procedures. The work hours are that of a full-time job, generally similar to that of residents. Students may also be required work on weekends and to be on call.

I’m having my clerkship now, here they call it ‘clerek’. It is for one whole semester,which is during the 8th semester for the 4th year medical students. The definition from wiki pretty much has sum-up what i’ll will be going through.
There are four rotations to attend: O&G ( known as OBGYN here), Internal Med (@ IPD), Surgery (@ Bedah), and Pediatric (@IKA), every two weeks for a rotation, except for the last rotation there is a bonus one week! However there is no electives: dermatology, ENT..etc to attend.

However, the teaching hospital here does not allow us to attend in the OR. We’re not to scrub in or do invasive procedures unless, we’re 5th year student which is known as Co-Assistant (Co-Ass), where we work closely with the physician of practice.

My batch is the last for the old teaching system, where the first four years of medical schooling is in the classroom but during the 2nd half of the 4th year there is the clerkship program to participate to expose the medical students to what they are about to face in their 5th year, in other words to mentally prepare them. It is crucial to know how the hospital is run and what are the protocols of each part of the hospital.

ps: Doctoral degree in Indonesia is M.D. same as in Canada and USA unlike the Commonwealth nations the qualifying medical degree is MBBS.