A: The main benefits of COSMIC, our LIC model, is that our students experience the benefits of patient and preceptor continuity. Students have the opportunity to follow patients longitudinally across health care systems to experience a patient-centered perspective on health care. For example, students may follow a pregnant patient, help in the delivery of her baby, and then follow up in clinic with both the mother and newborn for postpartum care and well-child check-ups.
Typically, CSB students also get to work with the same attending in each specialty throughout the entire year. As a result, the CSB students are the primary learner for each attending, since there are very few residents in Colorado Springs. The attending preceptor, who can also serve as a mentor, can participate in the student’s knowledge and skill development over the course of the year and can provide progressive levels of health care team and patient care responsibility to the student. The other main benefit for CSB students is having 2-3 half-days per week of Clinical Enrichment time. During this self-directed learning time, students can participate in longitudinal patient care or schedule additional clinical opportunities for career exploration.
The main challenge of COSMIC is a clinical schedule that is quite variable at the beginning of the year. Students have a different inpatient experience every week during the course of the first 2 months and then experience a different specialty every half-day throughout the remaining 10 months during. Although this is challenging at the beginning, most students in LIC models become comfortable with their schedules in about 3-4 months. Following the first 2-3 months of the year, the schedules for CSB students are fairly stable among required experiences, but retain the flexibility for students to add clinical enrichment experiences.