Educational Objectives

The central aim of the School of Medicine MD degree program is to develop highly competent, intellectually curious, and caring physicians who possess the attributes necessary to meet their individual and collective responsibilities to society. These physicians will demonstrate commitment to humanistic health care for all people, especially underserved and vulnerable patients and populations, acting in accordance with the highest standards of integrity. The school’s institutional learning objectives and competencies reflect these values.


Physicians must understand the necessity and responsibility for lifelong learning in order to remain current both in their understanding of the scientific basis of medicine and in the application of new knowledge to their patients. They must have sufficient knowledge of the structure and function of the body and its organ systems, and of the molecular, cellular and biochemical mechanisms that maintain the body's homeostasis in order to comprehend disease and to incorporate wisely modern diagnostic and therapeutic modalities in their practice. They must understand the many non-biologic factors that affect health, and integrate them in the care of the patient.


Physicians must be highly skilled in all aspects of providing care to patients. They must be able to obtain from their patients a complete and accurate medical history; to perform a physical examination in an appropriate manner; to perform clinically relevant diagnostic procedures; to obtain, interpret, and manage information from appropriate laboratory and imaging studies and burgeoning digital resources; and to seek consultation from other physicians and health professionals when indicated. Physicians must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, patients’ families, and their health care colleagues. Physicians must be effective team members as well as leaders. Physicians must be competent in lifelong learning skills, and carry out "best practices" approaches in their daily work.

Values, Attitudes and Behavior

Physicians must be compassionate and empathic in caring for patients, and must be trustworthy and truthful in all of their professional dealings. They must bring to the study and practice of medicine those character traits, attitudes and values that underpin ethical medical care. They must understand the nature of medicine's social compact, the ethical precepts of the medical profession and their obligations under law. At all times they must act with integrity, honesty, respect for patients' privacy, and respect for the dignity of patients. In all of their interactions with patients they must avoid being judgmental when the patient's belief and values conflict with their own. Physicians must have an understanding of and respect for the obligations of active citizenship and civic engagement inherent in our profession, and fulfill those obligations in our local and global communities.