University of Illinois at Chicago MD Program Curriculum Goals:
- To graduate new physicians who have acquired and mastered the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and professional behavior that is necessary to begin graduate study in the medical discipline of their choice. Additionally, students should be committed to lifelong learning
- To enable students to learn the arts and sciences of medicine that are basic to any career path within the medical profession.
During the first (M-1) year, students build on the basic behavioral science knowledge mastered during their baccalaureate studies. Courses integrate laboratory skills with didactic lectures and focus on providing an understanding from the molecular level through more complex structures and pathways of the fundamental elements that constitute health.
In Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM), students begin to see the application of classroom learned concepts through:
- A longitudinal patient care experience with a physician preceptor
- Skills workshops teaching the fundamentals of taking patient histories and presenting patient data
- Plenary and small group sessions devoted to issues of professional behavior, ethics, patient safety, doctor-patient interaction, and biopsychosocial aspects of medicine.
The second (M-2) year provides the transition from fundamentals of molecular medicine to actual clinical experience. Laboratory and lecture focus is on developing the fundamental knowledge base that enables the student to understand and intergrate a patient’s pathology, microbiology and immunology, and pathophysiology – in states of both health and disease – and at every age. Additionally students develop the ability to understand the pharmacological principles underlying patient response to treatment.
Students hone their hands-on skills in:
- Taking a history
- Performing a complete and focused physical examination
- And also learn rudiments of clinical decision-making and problem-solving
Clinical experience continues with longitudinal primary care experiences, and broadens to include a number of weeks in hospital practicum work spaced throughout the year. Plenary and small group sessions discuss aspects of the profession such as evidence-based medicine, preventive care, health promotion, ethical and legal standards, team-based care, leadership and the role of both the patient and other health care providers within the larger community.
The third (M-3) year consists of clinical clerkships in six core disciplines. In each clerkship, students develop competencies specific to the discipline as well as to the practice of medicine in general. Care of hospitalized and ambulatory patients gives students experience with both the time commitment and the emotional demands of the physician’s life. The habits of information gathering and study developed in basic science are now brought into play in “real time” situations, further preparing students for the life-long learning required by their profession.
During the fourth (M-4) year, students complete a sub-internship, a specialty experience, and elective clerkships that will help them both narrow their choice of residency and acquire the specialty clinical skills common and complementary to all medical disciplines. Electives may be taken within the UIC system or at another Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited program, allowing students to sample geographic locations as well as disciplines prior to the final residency commitment.
The Clinical Experiences Catalog details third and fourth year experiences, and is updated on a regular basis.