Harvard Medical School’s Primary Care Clerkship

The Lown Group offers training opportunities for third year Harvard Medical School students through Harvard’s Primary Care Clerkship.

The Primary Care Clerkship grew out of Harvard Medical School’s desire to provide students with a longitudinal clinical experience in which they would care for patients outside a hospital setting. The central goals of the Primary Care Clerkship are to give students an opportunity to care for patients over time and to explore eight major themes of primary care:

  • Managing illness and clinical relationships over time
  • Finding the best available answers to clinical questions
  • Preventing illness and promoting health
  • Dealing with clinical uncertainty
  • Optimizing use of sometimes limited resources
  • Working in a health care team
  • Sharing decision making with patients, within the context of their family/culture
  • Practicing effectively within the health care delivery system

Every academic year, the Lown Group offers a small number of Primary Care Clerkship positions for Harvard Medical students.

If you are interested in our Primary Care Clerkship program, let us know.



One of the biggest lessons I learned is that often the best medicine is gentle and conservative, that you can be a great physician by watching the patient closely and making small, gradual changes. At other facilities, patients often receive interventional procedures that are unwarranted. The Lown Group taught me that you don’t always need to send the patient to the operating room.


Russell Goodman, former PCC participant

The atmosphere and attitude of patient care is fundamentally different from other clinical experiences. The patient/physician relationship is based on mutual respect – patients are viewed as more than just a series of laboratory data or exam findings. There is a thoughtful approach to management plans that incorporates many aspects of a patient’s story and past, and as a result each plan is different and individually tailored.


Jeffrey Wessler, former PCC participant