The curriculum at P&S is designed to train students to be the most knowledgeable, scientifically inquisitive, compassionate, and professional physician leaders of tomorrow. The intersection of biological, behavioral, and population sciences with clinical training serves as the foundation for the educational experience at P&S. Faculty and student review of the curriculum is an on going process and serves as an important impetus for curricular enhancements.
We help students gain a better grasp of the fundamental basic science concepts on which the practice of medicine is based through new efforts to integrate and coordinate the teaching of related disciplines. The basic biological sciences are taught in an integrated interdepartmental approach. They are presented in lecture, small group seminars and with independent learning assignments. In year two there is an organ systems approach synthesizing course material from Pathophysiology and Pharmacology. We hope to provide a climate for learning that reduces memorization, one that enhances and rewards problem-solving, thus developing skills for life-long learning.
The Clinical Practice Course I and II, which extends through the first two years, brings together the scientific principles of population and behavioral sciences. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of the physician and patient in the context of the family, the community and society. The faculty focuses on prevention and health maintenance. Students will understand the role of the physician in relation to other members of the health care team and the responsibility of being the patient’s advocate.
In year one clinical training begins with each student selecting a half day per week experience in a community based public health clinic or education program. These experiences are supervised by a variety of health professionals from the faculty.
The clinical years are devoted to clerkships in the clinical disciplines. Under close supervision the students are helped to develop the skills and knowledge required for the practice of clinical medicine. Students learn to elicit a comprehensive history and to carry out a complete physical examination. They learn to develop professional relationships with peers, faculty and other health professionals and they acquire an understanding of the mechanisms of disease and of the principles necessary for valid diagnostic appraisal and effective therapeutic plans.
Each fourth year student is required to select one month of a seminar course offered in one of the basic sciences. During this month, one day per week will be devoted to assessing health care policy issues and societal concerns relating to health care organization and cost. In addition, a course in Biomeical Informatics will help to prepare you for medicine in the 21st century.
In the fourth year, with the guidance of faculty advisors, students design individual elective curricula, drawn from a wide range of basic scientific electives, clinical electives and research programs offered by the faculty. The elective courses of all departments are described in a catalog which is printed annually and distributed to students and faculty. Students are permitted to spend three months of the curriculum in elective programs offered by other medical schools. In addition, the School of Public Health and Center for the Study of Society and Medicine offer international programs that provide opportunities to study the organization and delivery of health services in many countries of the world.
During the elective curriculum students have available the resources of the entire university. Students are encouraged to utilize the elective curriculum to reach career decisions. Faculty advisors stress the acquisition of knowledge and skills in areas of medicine apart from the student’s career discipline, and they encourage students to gain experience in clinical and/or laboratory research.