beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Medical Student Education

The Department of Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center leads Harvard Medical School in medical student education, both in the number of leadership positions and in overall faculty participation.

The best testimonial to the accomplishments of the departmental faculty is to be found in the list of Harvard Medical School faculty teaching awards, more of which have gone to this department than to any other.

Four Academic Societies

Of the four Academic Societies at Harvard Medical School, three have leadership from our department:

  • Gordon Strewler, MD, is Master of the Walter B. Cannon Society.
  • William Taylor, MD, is Associate Master of the William B. Castle Society. 


The faculty of the Department of Medicine are active as lecturers, tutors, and small group leaders. They serve as directors of many elective courses.

Patient-Doctor Program

Interviewing Skills and Physical Diagnosis

Patient-Doctor I and Patient-Doctor II teach students interviewing skills and physical diagnosis. Both are year-long courses.

Patient-Doctor I

  • Year-long program
  • Site Coordinator: Joyce Sackey, MD

Patient-Doctor II

  • Year-long program
  • Overall Course Director:  Ronald Silvestri, MD
  • The BIDMC site is the second largest in the course, teaching 38 students in 2007-2008 and is under the able direction of Amy Ship, MD, and Ronald Silvestri, MD.
  • More than 150 faculty members participated in Patient-Doctor II this year.

Medicine Clerkships

Approximately one-third of Harvard Medical Students complete their third-year  Medicine Clerkship at Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center. They spend two months on inpatient medical service and one month on Ambulatory medicine.


This month-long inpatient experience for fourth-year students prepares them for internship. This is a valued experience that is highly rated by Harvard medical students.  We recently restructured the Subinternship by creating a Subintern-Resident Service (SIRS) and other changes to improve the teaching of fourth-year students.