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Mission and Objectives
The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry is dedicated to training future physicians who excel and become leaders in their profession. This goal is met by fostering the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors of our students with the specific objectives outlined below. In our educational process, we recognize the importance of rigorous natural and social sciences together with humanistic values to developing and practicing physicians. The Double Helix Curriculum, which fully integrates clinical and basic science training throughout all four medical school years, is our 21st Century expression of the biopsychosocial approach developed here by Drs. George Engel, John Romano, and many others over the years. Our curriculum presents this patient-centered model of medical practice across every level of natural systems organization—from molecules, cells and organs to patients and doctors to families and communities—developed across the four years of medical school.
The School provides a supportive, challenging environment designed to foster collaboration. Our curriculum provides students with strong foundations in the natural and social sciences essential to the practice of medicine. These foundations combine with professional attitudes and clinical skills to provide a general medical education that focuses on launching a lifetime of continuous learning. From problem-based learning to clinical clerkships, students learn how to formulate hypothesis-driven questions and develop the research skills to find and interpret information to arrive at the answers. Emphasis is placed on active student-centered learning, high levels of integration across the curriculum, curriculum management based on learning objectives, and outcomes assessment. In our curriculum, students teach fellow students and members of the health care team as well as patients. We utilize a variety of small and large group teaching experiences while embracing the role of technology advances in medical education and patient care. The School is committed to respect for the individual and to community involvement within the medical profession and collegially across all health professions.
The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry offers opportunities to conduct mentored research in the foundational sciences, clinical care and translational medicine mentoring students to achieve their long-term educational and career goals. The Academic Research Track is an elective program that facilitates a productive, mentored year-out research experience. Additional degree programs including M.P.H., M.S., M.B.A., and M.Ed. are available at the university, emblemizing the School’s dedication to providing an outstanding start to any of the multiple career options in medicine today, from clinical care to research to academic leadership roles.
Community volunteer service and service learning are key components of our program, underscoring the School’s long tradition of public health and service to diverse populations. With robust international medicine opportunities, many of our students have international experiences in research, teaching or clinical care prior to graduation. Given the diverse educational goals of our students and the broad populations we serve, we offer elective pathway programs in Ethics, Latino Health, Deaf Health, Medical Education, and Global Health.The School is committed to setting the highest standards in medical education and serving as a national model for innovation and continuous improvement in medical student education.
The ultimate objective for University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry students is professional competence in all areas. When this is achieved, excellence is attained. The objectives of the M.D. curriculum at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry are:
- Natural and Social Sciences: Understand normal human structure, function, and development from molecular through cellular, organ system, and whole person levels. Understand psychological, interpersonal, family, cultural, societal, and environmental determinants of health and illness, and their application to the care of diverse individuals and populations.
- Diseases: Understand disease processes that lead to or are caused by alterations in human structure and function, including their epidemiology, etiology, pathogenesis and pathology.
- Treatments: Understand the scientific principles underlying rational approaches to health maintenance and preventive screening, therapeutic, rehabilitative, and palliative interventions.
- Systems of Care: Understand the frameworks within which health care is provided at global, national and local levels, and the principles underlying approaches to improving patient care quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness.
- Patient Evaluation: Demonstrate under direct observation the ability to evaluate patients, including history, examination and selection and interpretation of diagnostic tests.
- Communication: Demonstrate the ability to listen empathically, teach, communicate and collaborate effectively with diverse patients, families, the inter-professional health care team and the community.
- Clinical Reasoning and Management: Demonstrate the ability to appropriately retrieve, appraise and apply evidence and the scientific method to patient formulation, differential diagnosis and clinical decision-making and integrate electronic information systems into these activities.
Attitudes and Behaviors
- Professionalism and Humanism: Demonstrate the exemplary attitudes and humanistic behaviors expected of physicians, including integrity, reliability, compassion, accountability, ethical conduct and reasoning, selfless advocacy for patient and population health and appropriate management of potential conflicts of interest.
- Improvement and Self-care: Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning, maintaining one’s own health and well-being, and improving individual practice and systems of care.