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Clinical Physiology Grand Rounds

Clinical Physiology Grand Rounds (CPGR) is a required component of the BIDMC PCE Curriculum. CPGR is a monthly evening session held at BIDMC that is open to all HMS students from all classes, but the sessions are mandatory for BIDMC PCE students. The sessions are directed toward PCE-year students on their clinical rotations. 

During CPGR, six PCE students (two pairs of three students) present two cases (one case per pair) and work to develop shelf-style MCQs for their case. Cases are selected by the student-presenters from patients they have seen on their Clerkships and should focus on an element of one of the core topics listed. 

Student-presenters will work with CPGR core faculty to develop and implement their presentations (including the summary teaching points and shelf-style questions), with an emphasis on using this interactive, active teaching strategies during the CPGR session. These sessions with the faculty are also opportunities for you to get personal coaching on the clinical and basic sciences underlying the case along with teaching tips! 

The goal of CPGR is to vertically integrate basic science concepts, such as core concepts in anatomy, biochemistry, histology, physiology, and pathophysiology, with clinical practice topics. We emphasize understanding of key principles rather than transfer of pure factual content. If you can easily look it up (e.g., what drug do I give for ulcerative colitis), it should not be a focus of the presentation. The focus of the discussion should be on “why” and “how” questions rather than “what” questions. 

The learning objectives of CPGR are: 

At the end of the year students should be able to 

  • Connect basics of physiology and pathophysiology with clinical cases seen in practice 

  • Use inductive reasoning to create explanations for patient symptoms, clinical findings, and laboratory results 

  • Formulate clinical questions that assess or reveal connections between underlying pathophysiologic processes and clinical signs or symptoms 


Case Presentation Guidelines 

  • Case presentations should be approximately 30-35 minutes in length. 

  • Three students will present each case and will work together to develop MCQs. 

  • Student presenters will provide participants with a brief summary of the case including three high-yield teaching points. 

  • In addition to the case presentations, students will write four multiple choice “shelf style” questions from the list of core topics, relevant to the cases being presented. 

  • Students must meet with Dr. Schwartzstein, Dr. Richards, and Dr. Strauss 6 weeks before their presentation date to brainstorm cases and teaching points, and must have planned their presentations 2 weeks prior to their presentation date so that they can be reviewed at a second mandatory prep meeting with Dr. Richards and/or Dr. Schwartzstein one week prior to their presentation. 

  • MCQs should be drafted but not finalized by the mandatory prep meeting. 


After the CPGR session, cases, MCQs, and high-yield teaching points will be posted on CANVAS so that students may use them to study and review for shelf and Step 1 exams. 


CPGR is a PCE activity, although it is distinct from your clerkship requirements. Timeliness of your preparatory materials (professionalism), the degree to which you integrate basic science concepts and clinical practice topics into your presentation, and the curiosity and challenge you bring to this exercise will be the basis for your evaluation, which will be incorporated into your PCE narrative. Formative feedback will be provided to all student-presenters on their presentation skills.


Click HERE for Clinical Physiology Grand Rounds Topics / Multiple Choice Question Info  

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