Office of Medical Education

Undergraduate Medical Education

Curriculum Goals

Approved by Curriculum Renewal Committee (9/25/13), Curriculum Steering Committee (10/28/13),

Administrative Council (10/2/13), and by the General Faculty (11/13/13)


Our curriculum is based upon principles of learning and is designed to train physicians who are capable of success in any graduate medical education program. Our curriculum instills the knowledge, skills, behaviors and professional attitudes commensurate with best medical practice. Our graduates become critical thinkers who are committed to life-long learning in order to adapt to the changing landscape of clinical care. Our graduates can effectively work in health care teams to serve their communities and deliver excellent care to their patients.

Goal 1

The 4-year curriculum is based on competencies in categories defined by the ACGME and specified in the National Alliance for Physician Competence document entitled Good Medical Practice-USA.

Goal 2

In every classroom or laboratory session, course content is guided by relevant learning objectives and linked to core program objectives.  Course content is clearly stated for students, coordinated by course directors, and accessible to all faculty in a school wide database.

Goal 3

Basic and clinical sciences are integrated throughout the 4 year curriculum.  This is done using a variety of modalities including case discussions, simulation training, didactic teaching and opportunities for early exposure to clinical medicine.  Both basic scientists and clinicians have a role in teaching and design of all courses throughout the curriculum.

Goal 4

New curriculum content, including opportunities for interprofessional education, cultural competency, health systems, and literature searching skills, is introduced incrementally.  When feasible, material will be taught and reinforced over several years by the creation of vertically integrated tracks within existing courses.

Goal 5

National norms for items such as curriculum hours, exposure to ambulatory care, elective time, interprofessional experiences, and duration and timing of clerkship experiences are used as guidelines in curriculum design.

Goal 6

Our curriculum recognizes differences in learning styles.  Time spent in sessions that are designed primarily forinformation/content delivery should conform to national norms for lecture hours. Students should have open access to the information delivered in these classes.  Class sessions emphasize knowledge application and active/self directed learning (e.g. small group, laboratory, and team based learning activities.)  The use of educational technology is encouraged where appropriate and feasible.  Student attendance at active learning sessions is necessary for peer education. Time in the curriculum should also be available for the independent study that is required to prepare for active learning sessions. 

Goal 7

We recognize that assessment drives behavior. A variety of student evaluation methods are used, and those best suited to the course and curriculum objectives are selected.   Test questions and other assessment methods are clearly linked to learning objectives.  Frequent knowledge assessments are available to provide formative feedback in addition to less frequent summative evaluations. Formative and summative assessment of clinical competency is emphasized.  Assessment tools and processes are designed to recognize achievement of competency milestones, and to encourage meaningful formative feedback.  

Goal 8

Students are encouraged and provided opportunities to explore areas of academic interest.

Electives and curriculum tracks are designed to facilitate career exploration and, where possible, accelerate their experience in specialties of choice.

Goal 9

The medical school administration supports the principles and goals of the curriculum.  While curriculum is designed and managed by an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students, there is support and coordination from a central office of medical education. 

Goal 10

The medical school administration supports and promotes excellence in medical education through several mechanisms including:

              a. recognition that teaching is an essential responsibility of the faculty

              b. recognition and reward of excellence in teaching             

              c. advancement of promotion guidelines that reward teaching

              d. development of faculty teaching and assessment skills

              e. development of faculty skills in education research

Goal 11

There are multi-source, periodic, systematic reviews of the content and instruction in each course and the curriculum as a whole to ensure that content is relevant, learning objectives are appropriate, and redundancy, teaching methodology, and assessment are optimized.  Reviews are conducted by faculty and students.