Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of the program of medical education leading to the MD degree are listed below (not listed in chronological order or order of priority). These were revised in the Spring 2002 and were adopted in September 2002, by the Executive and General Faculty Councils. These objectives were constructed in keeping with the MSOP of the AAMC.


The medical school intends that before graduation, a student will have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the faculty, the following knowledge:
  • (K1) the basic scientific principles underlying the biochemical, genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms that determine the normal development, structure and function of the body as a whole and of its major organ systems;

  • (K2) the normal psychosocial development of individuals from birth through old age;

  • (K3) the role of nutrition, exercise, healthy lifestyles, and preventive medicine in promoting health and decreasing risk of disease;

  • (K4) the epidemiology of common disorders in populations and approaches designed to screen and detect illness and to reduce incidence and prevalence of disease in populations;

  • (K5) the etiology of diseases and disorders (e.g. genetic, developmental, toxic-metabolic, infectious, autoimmune, degenerative, neoplastic, traumatic and behavioral causes) and the non-biological determinants of poor health including economic, sociocultural, and psychological factors that may contribute to or prolong illness;

  • (K6) the clinical, laboratory, radiographic and pathologic manifestations of major diseases and disorders;

  • (K7) the pathology and pathophysiology (altered structure and function) of major diseases and abnormal conditions;

  • (K8) the spectrum of pharmacologic, surgical, psychologic treatments of common physical and mental disorders and symptoms such as pain; the biological and sociocultural role of complementary medicine; common adverse effects of therapies; and the relative efficacy of therapeutic interventions in the healing process;

  • (K9) the palliative care of individuals with life-terminating illness, particularly management of acute and chronic pain;

  • (K10) the variants in clinical manifestation, course, prognosis of diseases and in therapeutics in children, older adults, or immunologically, neurologically, or behaviorally compromised patients, and the need to modify therapeutic regimens in these groups;

  • (K11) the ethical principles and theories that govern the doctor-patient relationship and medical decision making, particularly with regard to beginning and end of life issues, genetics and molecular technologies;

  • (K12) the organization, financing, and delivery of health care services with particular awareness of the needs of the underserved;

  • (K13) the strengths and weaknesses of the study designs used to develop new knowledge to evaluate diagnostic, preventative and therapeutic modalities.


The medical school intends that before graduation, a student will have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the faculty, the following skills:
  • (S1) ability to formulate accurate hypotheses about the causes and solutions of medical problems, to develop strategies for exploring these problems, and to achieve reasoned conclusions;

  • (S2) ability to search, retrieve and utilize from electronic databases and other resources, biomedical information that is useful and relevant for clinical problem solving and decision-making;

  • (S3) ability to critically analyze original biomedical data and secondary data in the medical literature with special emphasis on the evaluation of the appropriateness of methodological design, statistical analysis, and data interpretation;

  • (S4) ability to obtain an accurate, complete medical and psychosocial history;

  • (S5) ability to perform an accurate, complete and organ-specific, physical, neurological and mental status examination in adults, infants and children;

  • (S6) ability to perform core technical procedures (e.g. phlebotomy, performance of electrocardiograms, and insertion of intravenous catheters) as would be expected of a beginning intern;

  • (S7) ability to select appropriate tests for screening individuals considered at high risk for disease, to select appropriate tests for the evaluation and diagnosis of individuals with presumptive disease, and to interpret results of common screening tests, diagnostic procedures and laboratory data and correlate the findings with specific clinical conditions;

  • (S8) ability to formulate an appropriate plan for evaluating patients to achieve a reasonable differential and working diagnosis and to develop therapeutic management plans for patients with common acute or chronic medical, surgical, or psychiatric conditions;

  • (S9) ability to recognize patients with acute, life-threatening conditions; to perform procedures to stabilize such conditions, in particular the initiation of basic life support when appropriate; and to institute initial therapy and plan for further diagnostic evaluation and critical care;

  • (S10) ability to apply principles of evidence-based medicine, medical ethics, and cost-effectiveness to decisions regarding diagnosis, therapeutics, and prognosis;

  • (S11) ability to present clinical and scientific information clearly and cogently, both orally and in writing, to colleagues and other health professionals;

  • (S12) ability to communicate effectively and compassionately with patients and their families about the evaluation, diagnosis, therapy and prognosis of disease and ability to counsel patients in a caring, empathetic, and culturally-sensitive way about behaviors that promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease.


The medical school intends that before graduation, a student will have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the faculty, the following attitudes:
  • (A1) acknowledgement of the importance of altruism, patient advocacy, and dutifulness to patients, that involves placing the patient's needs before one's own;

  • (A2) a commitment to provide compassionate care to all patients regardless of the patient's disease, prognosis, age, gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious, cultural or health-related beliefs, socioeconomic class, citizenship status, or ability to pay for care;

  • (A3) a respect in all interactions for patients' privacy, confidentiality, dignity, beliefs, and family, cultural or religious values even when such values would conflict with one's own values;

  • (A4) honesty and integrity in all interactions and activities with patients, families, medical colleagues and others, and in the collection, synthesis, analysis, and presentation of scientific and clinical data;

  • (A5) acceptance, collaboration, and respect for other colleagues and for other health professionals who provide services to patients, populations or communities;

  • (A6) maintenance of a professional demeanor in one's work and as a role model for society including the demonstration of an attitude that values timely attendance, punctuality, and reliability in the performance of one's duties;

  • (A7) recognition and acceptance of ambiguity and uncertainty in biomedical information, clinical situations, and medical decision-making;

  • (A8) recognition and acceptance of limits in one's medical knowledge and skills and an accompanying willingness both to seek consultation and to defer to more experienced individuals;

  • (A9) commitment to a scholarly approach to medical problems and a recognition of the need to continually improve knowledge and skills through lifelong self-directed study;

  • (A10) acknowledgement of the critical role of research and scholarship in understanding human disease and alleviating human suffering, and commitment to participation in research activities;

  • (A11) willingness to educate colleagues, students and other health professionals.

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