Guiding Principles of the Curriculum
The UCCOM curriculum emphasizes vertical and horizontal integration across all years by bringing patient care and clinical cases into the pre-clerkship years and revisiting important aspects of the foundational sciences in the formal clinical training of the clerkship (third) and fourth years. Longitudinal curricular threads include basic science concepts (embryology, gross anatomy, histology, pharmacology), application-based skills (radiology and imaging, patient safety, and quality improvement) and co-curricular elements (career counseling, lifestyle, and wellness).
Prior to the start of medical school, students complete a common reading focusing on a major health crisis to begin developing their future identity as a clinical. During the first two weeks of beginning medical school, students participate in a clinical emersion experience through the First Responder course, the first component of the Health Care Emergency Management program, which prepares students to handle a patient crisis in a clinical and nonclinical setting.
As part of Learning Communities, which spans the first two years of the medical student curriculum, students meet in small groups with a Clinician-Facilitator and practice applying the basic science principles to formulate a differential diagnosis. Students also begin working with standardized patients in the Simulation Center as part of the Clinical Skills course. In January of their first year, students begin the Longitudinal Primary Care Clerkship where they further hone the fundamentals of doctoring at a primary care clinical site. The third-year intersessions prepare students for their clinical rotations and reinforce how basic science concepts inform the clinical evaluation and decision making of the physician. Finally, the fourth year provides medical students with opportunities for greater patient care and responsibility in preparation for their residency programs.
- The curriculum content will transcend discipline and will be patient-centered.
- Biomedical, clinical and psychosocial sciences will be integrated with clinical skills and professional identity throughout the four-year curriculum.
- The curriculum will promote contextual learning where basic science concepts are given clinical relevance by being introduced and assimilated in the context of common health issues and/or diseases.
- Early clinical experiences will be integrated into the curriculum and will be followed by intensive clinical experiences with opportunities to reinforce biomedical, clinical, and psychosocial sciences, clinical skills, humanism/altruism, and professional behavior.
- The curriculum will be designed to allow students to acquire a core set of competencies in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes pre-requisite to graduate medical education.
- Innovative teaching methods will be encouraged and supported.
- The educational environment will promote students and faculty participation as mutually respectful partners in learning.
- The educational environment will support and facilitate the students’ immersion in peer learning, independent study, and self-directed learning.
- The curriculum will facilitate student learning through the utilization of effective and evidence-based instruction methods.
- The curriculum will remain flexible to accommodate differences in students’ learning styles, learning needs and professional interests.
- The medical education program will be experiential and designed to facilitate students’ development of skills necessary for discovery, scholarship, critical and creative thinking, self-education and lifelong learning.
- Curricular changes will be supported by faculty development programs.
- The curriculum will include a comprehensive program evaluation process that includes the collection and triangulation of multiple data points, allowing effective evaluation and future revision.
- Achievement of a core set of learning outcomes, based on Accreditation Council Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies, will be required prior to student graduation.
- Student assessment will include professional qualities, attitudes, and behaviors in addition to basic knowledge acquisition.
- Student assessment will include an integrated examination of knowledge and clinical reasoning.
- Competency-based learning and assessment will be incorporated throughout the four-year curriculum.
- The curriculum will provide integrated content through a) integrating the basic sciences; b) integrating the basic sciences and clinical sciences; and c) integrating the study of normal structure and function with the study of abnormal, disordered structure and function.
- The health care systems, issues of patient safety, quality care, diversity, and care delivery will be integrated throughout the curriculum.
- Population health, community leadership, and service will be integrated throughout the curriculum.