MD Program Curriculum
Forest School of Medicine provides a unique medical education developed by a
faculty that value self-inquiry, collaboration, curiosity, and leadership. We
offer a transformational and supportive experience that develops physicians who
set the standard for compassionate, collaborative care; who lead the way in
socially responsible healthcare and biomedical sciences locally, nationally,
and globally; and who learn, discover, and apply innovative state-of-the-art
knowledge and skills to the art of medicine. Students and faculty are equal and
active partners in the learning process.
Principles of the MD Program
Wake Forest School of Medicine is defined by a commitment to:
and respect for patients and colleagues
rigor and scientific curiosity
and lifelong learning
- The belief that even the most challenging
problems can be solved
Our medical school culture and curriculum are
based on these principles. Our faculty value them and model them for students. Although
our curriculum evolves as medicine changes, we hold firm to these core values so
that above all else, our graduates are trained to practice medicine according
to these principles
Objectives of the MD Program
1. Knowledge for Practice
Each graduate must demonstrate knowledge of the
basic, clinical, and behavioral sciences, and apply this knowledge to patient
care. By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
knowledge of the normal structure and function of the human body and each of
its major organ systems.
a foundation of cell and molecular biology for understanding mechanisms of
acquired and inherited human disease.
knowledge of altered structure and function of major organ systems that are
seen in common diseases and conditions.
knowledge of the clinical, laboratory, and radiologic manifestations of common
disease and conditions.
knowledge of behavioral, pyschosocial, genetic, and cultural factors associated
with the origin, progression, and treatment of common diseases and
knowledge of the epidemiology of common diseases and conditions within a
defined population and systematic approaches useful in reducing the incidence
and prevalence of these maladies.
knowledge of the impact of cultural and psychosocial factors on a patient’s
ability to access medical care and adhere with care plans.
2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Each graduate will communicate and interact
effectively with patients, their families and members of the inter-professional
healthcare team. By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
empathic and patient-centered interviewing and communication.
2.2. Demonstrate the
ability to obtain an accurate and complete medical history considering the
patient’s culture, beliefs, personal preferences and level of health literacy.
2.3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in
writing, with patients, families and members of the healthcare team/other
2.4. Demonstrate the
ability to work as a member of a healthcare team, collaborating effectively
with other healthcare professionals in caring for patients.
3. Patient Care
Each graduate will function as a member of an
inter-professional healthcare team and provide patient care that is
compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems
and the promotion of health in diverse populations and settings. By the time of
graduation, students are expected to:
3.1. Elicit in-depth
and focused patient-centered histories.
accurate complete and focused physical and mental status examinations.
3.3. Integrate patient information with clinical and basic science
knowledge. Select appropriate, relevant
laboratory, radiologic and other clinical studies and interpret the results of
3.4. Develop a differential diagnosis.
3.5. Formulate a
plan for the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of common clinical problems.
3.6. Recognize patients with life-threatening, emergency conditions and
institute appropriate initial therapy.
3.7. Identify opportunities for early intervention, prevention and health
education of patients while being mindful of the patient’s readiness and
barriers to change. Demonstrate technical competence of routine medical
appropriate referral of patients including ensuring continuity of care
throughout transitions between providers or settings, and following up on
patient progress and outcomes.
3.9. Synthesize and
communicate patient information to other health professionals to accomplish
safe care transitions and promote effective teamwork.
Our students are expected to demonstrate a
commitment to upholding their
professional duties guided by ethical principles. By the time of graduation,
students are expected to:
respect for patients by using the appropriate form of address, attending to a
patient’s comfort, displaying appropriate attire and grooming, and honoring a
patient’s privacy and right to make decisions.
responsibility in actions by being punctual, managing emotions when confronted
with adversity and confrontation, and recognizing personal and peer
4.3. Demonstrate honor and integrity by being honest about role and experience
level, admitting mistakes and shortcomings, appropriately attributing sources
of ideas and data, and respecting boundaries between patients, peers, and
4.4. Demonstrate reverence for human life, understanding that sympathy for
suffering is a fundamental concern of the medical profession and that the needs
of the patient are paramount and should govern a physician’s actions.
4.5. Demonstrate compassion by recognizing and responding with empathy to
others’ emotions and expectations, regardless of regardless of gender, race,
sexual orientation, culture, socioeconomic status, religion, political
affiliation, medical diagnosis, level of adherence, or health
4.6. Demonstrate a
dedication to teamwork, and an understanding of and respect for the unique
roles of all members of the healthcare team.
4.7. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles that govern ethical
decision-making and rules and regulations regarding healthcare delivery,
incorporating them into clinical practice and research.
5. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
Each graduate must demonstrate the ability to
investigate and evaluate their care of patients, to appraise and assimilate
scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care based on constant
self-evaluation and life-long learning. By the time of graduation, students are
5.1. Demonstrate the
ability to recognize strengths, deficiencies and limitations in their knowledge
5.2. Demonstrate the
ability to set learning and improvement goals.
5.3. Demonstrate the ability to identify and perform learning activities that
address gaps in their knowledge, skills and/or attitudes.
5.4. Demonstrate the use of information technology to optimize learning.
5.5. Demonstrate a
commitment to continuously improve their medical knowledge, skills and/or
attitudes by incorporating formative evaluation and feedback into daily
5.6. Participate in
the education of patients, families, trainees, peers and other health
5.7. Demonstrate the ability to obtain and utilize information about individual
patients, populations of patients or communities of patients to improve care.
life-long learning skills by continually identifying, analyzing and
implementing new knowledge, guidelines, standards, technologies, products or
services that have been demonstrated to improve outcomes.
6. Systems-Based Practice
Each graduate will demonstrate awareness and
understanding of the broader health care delivery system and will possess the
ability to effectively use system resources to provide patient-centered care
that is compassionate, appropriate, safe and effective. By the time of
graduation, students are expected to:
6.1. Advocate for
quality patient care and optimal care systems.
6.2. Demonstrate a
commitment to balancing risks of harm vs. benefit in patient and/or
population-based care as well as exercising cost-awareness.
6.3. Use system
resources available to patients, families and communities for health promotion
and maintenance, disease prevention, education, treatment, and rehabilitation
of medical and psychiatric conditions.
6.4. Identify system errors and common sources of medical error and recommend
potential systems solutions.
Each graduate will demonstrate the skills to
participate as a contributing and integrated member of an interprofessional healthcare
team to provide safe and effective care for patients and populations. By the
time of graduation, students are expected to:
7.1. Identify one’s
own role and the roles of other team members, including limitations and
boundaries of each role to optimize healthcare delivery and effective
healthcare team functioning.
7.2. Work with other
health professionals to cultivate and preserve a climate of mutual trust,
respect, dignity, diversity, integrity, and ethicality.
with respect for and appreciation of all healthcare team members and include
them in all relevant information exchange.
7.4. Participate as
a high-functioning team member by contributing one’s skills set, supporting
other team members as needed and ensuring the functioning of the healthcare
team remains optimal (i.e. safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable)
for patient and population-centered care.
and Professional Development
Each graduate will demonstrate the qualities and
commitment required to sustain lifelong learning, personal and professional
growth. By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
self-awareness in identifying limitations (in knowledge, skill, emotion, etc.)
and the ability to seek help appropriately and engage in health coping
8.2. Develop skills
for ongoing improvement as a healthcare provider through self-reflection,
critical self-appraisal, and openness to accepting feedback.
8.3. Understand that
situations involving ambiguity and uncertaintly are natural elements of the
medical profession and respond to such situations by drawing upon appropriate