Education

Educational Program Objectives and Competencies (Tucson)

The College of Medicine – Tucson curriculum is designed to develop six educational competencies central to the practice of medicine.

In the following competencies and objectives diversity is understood to include race, sex, ethnicity, culture, ability, disability, socioeconomic status, education level, language, religion, spiritual practices, sexual orientation, gender identity, geographic region, age, country of origin, education and genetics.

Patient Care

Graduates obtain appropriate histories; perform skillful, comprehensive and accurate patient examinations; and develop appropriate differential diagnoses and management plans. Graduates will recognize and understand the principles for managing life-threatening situations. They will select, perform and accurately interpret the results of laboratory tests and clinical procedures in order to provide patient-centered care that results in high-quality outcomes. Graduates will be able to:

  • Obtain an accurate medical history that covers all essential aspects of the history
  • Perform both a complete and an organ system specific examination
  • Identify appropriate diagnostic procedures, perform those commonly used, and correctly interpret the results
  • Reason deductively and efficiently to reach a diagnosis for patients with common medical conditions
  • Outline an optimal plan of management for patients with common medical conditions, and describe prevention plans for common conditions
  • Recognize patients with immediate life threatening conditions regardless of etiology, and institute appropriate initial treatment
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of rehabilitation, long-term care, and palliative and end-of-life care
  • Provide appropriate care to all patients, regardless of any individual characteristics, background, or values
  • Provide health care services as well as health education that empower patients to participate in their own care and that support patients, families, and communities in preventing health problems and maintaining health

Medical Knowledge

Graduates apply problem solving and critical thinking skills to problems in basic science and clinical medicine. They demonstrate knowledge about (1) established and evolving core of basic sciences, (2) application of sciences to patient care, and (3) investigatory and analytical thinking approaches. Graduates will demonstrate their knowledge in these specific domains:

  • Core of basic sciences
  • The normal structure and function of the body as a whole and of each of the major organ systems
  • The molecular, cellular and biochemical mechanisms of homeostasis
  • Cognitive, affective and social growth and development
  • The altered structure and function (pathology & pathophysiology) of the body/organs in disease
  • The foundations of therapeutic intervention, including concepts of outcomes, treatments, and prevention, and their relationships to specific disease processes
  • The many and varied social determinants of health and disease
  • The legal, ethical issues and controversies associated with medical practice
  • Critical thinking about medical science and about the diagnosis and treatment of disease
  • The scientific method in establishing the cause of disease and efficacy of treatment, including principles of epidemiology and statistics
  • The effective use of information technology to acquire new information and resources for learning

Practice Based Learning and Improvement

Graduates are prepared to practice medicine today and in the future within the context of society and its expectations. They use evidence-based approaches, demonstrating proficiency with information retrieval and critical appraisal of the medical literature to interpret and evaluate scientific and patient care information. They are dedicated to continuous learning within the science of healthcare delivery. They understand the limits of their own personal knowledge, remediate inadequacies to remain current, and integrate increased self-knowledge into their daily activities. At the time of graduation, students have not yet established a practice but nonetheless will demonstrate an awareness of and an understanding of general principles for:

  • Identifying strengths, deficiencies and limits in one’s knowledge and expertise
  • Identifying and performing learning activities that address gaps in one’s knowledge, skills, or attitudes
  • Incorporate feedback into clinical practices
  • Remaining informed about new, most current practices on national and international levels
  • Locating, appraising, and assimilating evidence from scientific studies related to clinical care
  • Participating in the education of patients, families, students, trainees, peers, and other health professionals
  • Obtaining information about the populations and communities from which individual patients are drawn and applying it to the diagnosis and treatment of those patients
  • Understanding the population, background, socio-economic, and community factors that can affect health and health care delivery for individual patients
  • Identifying and critically analyzing the role and cost-benefits of guidelines, standards, technologies, and new treatment modalities for individual patients
  • Describing the causes and systemic approaches to prevent medical errors and provide a safe environment for patient care

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Graduates demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective information exchange and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals. They use effective communication skills with patients, families, and the community to educate and promote health and wellness. Graduates will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Develop a meaningful therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients and their families across diverse backgrounds
  • Effectively communicate with patients and families by understanding and appropriately responding to emotions, using listening skills, nonverbal, explanatory, questioning and writing skills to elicit information and manage interactions
  • Document and present patient data and clinical information in an organized, accurate, legible and/or verbally clear manner
  • Encourage patients’ health and wellness through appropriate health education
  • Engage in collaborative communication when working within a team of one's profession or as part of an interprofessional team

Professionalism

Graduates are committed to carrying out professional responsibilities, demonstrating compassion, adhering to ethical principles, and are sensitive to diverse patient populations. Graduates respect patients, families, and professional colleagues and are advocates for improving access to care for everyone. Graduates will exemplify a professional character that exhibits:

  • Compassion, integrity, and respect for others
  • Respect for patients’ autonomy, privacy, and dignity
  • Respect for patients’ race, sex, ethnicity, culture, ability, disability, socioeconomic status, education level, language, religion, spiritual practices, sexual orientation, gender identity, geographic region, age, country of origin, education and genetics
  • Integrity, reliability, dependability, truthfulness in all interactions with patients, their families and professional colleagues
  • A responsiveness to patient’s needs and society that supersedes self-interest
  • The skills to advocate for improvements in the access of care for everyone, especially vulnerable and underserved populations
  • A commitment to excellence and on-going learning, recognizing the limitations of their personal knowledge and abilities, and the capacity to effectively address their own emotional needs
  • Knowledge of and a commitment to uphold ethical principles in such areas as the provision of care, maintaining confidentiality, and gaining informed consent
  • An understanding of and respect for the contributions of other health care disciplines and professionals, and appropriate participation, initiative and cooperation as a member of the health care team

Systems-based Practice and Population Health

Graduates demonstrate awareness of and responsiveness to the context and system of health and healthcare. They recognize health disparities and are able to effectively call on system resources to provide optimal care. Graduates are able to work with patients both as individuals and as members of communities and take this into account when performing risk assessments, assessing symptoms, diagnosing illnesses, making treatment plans and considering the patient care and systems-level implications of their work. Graduates will demonstrate:

  • An understanding of how patient care and professional practices affect health care professionals, the health care organization, and the larger society and how these elements of the system affect their own practice
  • An understanding of factors involved in healthcare disparities and how to optimize care for vulnerable or underserved populations
  • Knowledge of how types of medical practice and delivery systems differ from one another
  • An understanding of how to practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care
  • Advocacy for quality patient care and access for all people, including the underserved, and a commitment to assist patients in dealing with system complexities
  • The capacity to partner with health care managers and health care providers to assess, coordinate and improve health care and knowledge of how these activities can affect system performance
  • An understanding of the physician’s role and responsibilities to promote the health of the community and the underlying principles of preventive medicine and population-based health care delivery
  • The ability to acquire relevant information about the health of populations or communities and use this information to provide appropriate services
  • The ability to appropriately mobilize community-based resources and services while planning and providing patient care