UCSF OHNS Faculty Participate in SPAN, a Program for MS4s to Gain Experience and Knowledge of Otolaryngological Ambulatory Care

September 5, 2023

Medical students at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are fortunate to be able to explore and develop skills through the Specialty Practice Ambulatory sub-internship (SPAN). SPAN is a program that pairs each UCSF fourth-year medical student with a faculty preceptor in a specialty or subspecialty of their choice. Faculty members at the UCSF Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) have enjoyed working with MS4s through SPAN.

SPAN was launched in 2019 as a way allow MS4s to develop ambulatory patient care skills, explore a field of interest, gain knowledge and begin residency training well prepared. Students work with their preceptor in clinic for 12 half-day sessions over the course of their fourth year.

"[SPAN] brings depth and skill to the way students care for patients in outpatient settings," says Kate Lupton, MD, professor of medicine at UCSF and SPAN director. "I am proud to have been able to build opportunities for faculty to work with learners in a longitudinal setting, as well as providing medical students opportunities to have a precepting relationship outside of primary care."

Students who participate in SPAN with a UCSF OHNS preceptor have the opportunity to:

  • Observe the experience at outpatient sites
  • See patients during clinic visits and take histories
  • Participate in all aspects of ambulatory patient care
  • Be involved in interprofessional care
  • Create and discuss learning goals with a UCSF OHNS faculty member
  • Receive feedback, mentoring and coaching from the SPAN preceptor
  • And more!
Rex Lee, MD

In recent years, several UCSF OHNS faculty members have participated in the program as preceptors, including Clark Rosen, MDRex Lee, MD participated in SPAN working with Dr. Rosen. "My SPAN experience with Dr. Rosen was one of the most valuable components of my fourth year of medical school," shares Dr. Lee. SPAN played a crucial role in allowing Dr. Lee to observe the day-to-day operations of an outpatient OHNS clinic setting. "Through the program, I was able to develop invaluable skills for my intern year, from streamlining an HPI for common otolaryngologic complaints to developing an approach to a comprehensive head and neck exam and even practicing flexible laryngoscopy towards the end of the rotationI am so grateful for the experiences SPAN provided me as a fourth-year medical student and look forward to continuing to cultivate these clinical skill sets with my former SPAN mentors as a resident at UCSF."

Learn more about SPAN from UCSF Medical Education.