Aims & Objectives
Aims and Objectives
The aim of the curriculum is to create self-directed learners who will continue to develop as caring physicians during graduate training and practice. This aim is accomplished by providing students with the environment and incentive to acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes basic to all fields of medicine. The curriculum fosters a knowledge of (a) normal states of health and disorders of structure and function that result from disease, injury, or defect; (b) the manner in which physical, chemical, biological, psychological, and social factors affect health and disease; (c) skills and resources within the community that relate to the prevention or cure of disease, limitation of disability, and promotion of health; and (d) social, ethical, and historical traditions associated with medicine.
Central to the medical curriculum is the study of the human body and the structure, function, and coordination of its major systems. Lectures, conferences, and small-group tutorials are a required part of the student’s course of study. The faculty encourages and assists the student in (a) developing a better understanding of patients and their problems; (b) establishing essential habits of continuing self-education; and (c) becoming thorough and accurate in perception, recording, and interpretation of information. The student is taught the usefulness and limitation of basic diagnostic and therapeutic skills. The student learns through personal experience with patients that the health professional can cure sometimes, relieve often, prevent frequently, and comfort always.
The curriculum, Prescription for Excellence: A Physician’s Pathway to Lifelong Learning, was developed in accordance with the following assumptions:
• A primary mission of a medical school is to educate physicians.
• The vast majority of our graduates will practice medicine.
• Medicine is a professional discipline that requires its members to possess elements of knowledge from many sources arranged and organized with a distinct practical purpose in view and to use this knowledge for the benefit of the patient.
• It is no longer feasible, nor rational, for the undergraduate medical educational program to expose the student to the whole body of medical knowledge.
• Learning is the student’s responsibility; creating the environment in which to learn is the responsibility of the school.
• The individual physician is no longer the sole healthcare resource for the patient, and emphasis must shift from encyclopedic coverage of facts to the solving of the patients’ problems.
• Knowledge of the theories and principles that govern ethical decision making and of the major ethical dilemmas in medicine, particularly those that arise at the beginning and the end of life;
• Reverence for human life, understanding that sympathy for suffering is the fundamental concern of the medical profession, and that the needs of the patient are paramount and should govern a physician’s actions;
• Understanding of and respect for the roles of other healthcare professionals, and recognition of the need to collaborate with others in caring for individual patients and in promoting the health of defined populations;
• Adherence to the highest standards of integrity and discretion while treating all with equal honor, respect, and compassion; and
• Grace to admit mistakes and lack of knowledge and the desire to learn and improve continuously.
• The delivery of medical care is a team effort.
• The varied career opportunities that exist in medicine require increased flexibility in the medical curriculum.
• Opportunities must be provided for the student to observe the delivery of health care in a variety of clinical settings.
• Emphasis should be given to the delivery of continuing and comprehensive health care.
• The various segments of the medical curriculum are interdependent and should contribute to the whole.