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Many of the applicants to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry choose Rochester because of the long tradition of the biopsychosocial model in our medical school. Developed here by Dr. George Engel, the biopsychosocial model takes into account the psychological, interpersonal and societal influences in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. The components of the biopsychosocial model add to the purely biomedical model of clinical care which focuses on the mechanisms of disease and therapeutics. Education, clinical care, research and community service incorporate biopsychosocial aspects with the biomedical principles.
Every course and clerkship has learning objectives, a plan for enabling students to meet those objectives and appropriate assessment instruments to ensure that students have met the objectives. Individual course objectives are linked to the overall curriculum objectives. Emphasis is on integrated exams and evaluation formats that assess preparation, participation, critical thinking skills, knowledge application to problem solving, and professionalism. Our curriculum has two Comprehensive Assessments (at the end of Year 2 and after Year 3) which allow students to evaluate their process and develop their own educational goals in courses and electives.
Educational Settings and Experiences
Courses in Years 1 and 2 that provide instruction on the Foundations of Medical Science are interdisciplinary. Emphasis is on active student learning through the school-wide use of multidisciplinary PBL cases in all courses. Small group sessions consist of PBL, laboratories, conferences, seminars, and computer-assisted learning, which complement whole-class overview lectures. Simulation provides hands-on experience and training.
Clinical exposure begins during the first week of medical school. Students complete their Introduction to Clinical Medicine in the fall of year one and then participate in Skills in Complete Patient Evaluation (SCOPE) which allow them to apply their knowledge in adult and pediatric settings. In April of Year 1, the Primary Care Clerkship begins and continues through Year 2. Students are in ambulatory settings in adult, pediatric, obstetrics and gynecology and psychiatry settings.
Year 3 clerkships focus experiences in Adult Medicine (internal medicine and surgery), Women's and Children's Health (pediatrics and OB/GYN), Mind/Brain/Behavior (neurology and psychiatry). There are three two-week Basic Science Blocks during the third year that reexamine basic science information and principles as they apply to the care of the patient.
Fourth-year students can choose from a wide variety of clinical electives. They also participate in the Community Health Improvement Clerkship, the Process of Discovery course, Emergency Medicine, a Subinternship and a Successful Interning course.
Students have 10 weeks of electives in Year 3 and over 22 weeks in Year 4 to direct their learning under the guidance of their Advisory Dean and other academic and career advisors.
A wide variety of student enrichment programs complement the formal medical school curriculum. A small sample of these opportunities includes:
International Medicine Experiences
- Clinical and research; 40% of students participate.
- Elective, Academic Research Track, Year out and Joint Degree opportunities
Community Outreach Volunteer Programs
- Tutoring inner-city children, UR Well Clinic for uninsured, activity programs and many others.
Student Interest Groups
- Speciality, Affinity, and Advocacy