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Learning Objectives for the Doctor of Medicine Program


The following document outlines the learning objectives for the Roy J and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine (CCOM), doctor of medicine program that were approved by the Medical Education Council in February 2016, and modified in November 2018.

The overall organization of the collegiate objectives follows the schema of the six ACGME competencies. Generally, each of the collegiate objectives are organized to align with the spiral nature of the New Horizons curriculum. The spiral nature of the curriculum intentionally places learning activities that revisit and build on previous experiences while preparing students for subsequent learning.  Major educational strands exist throughout the curriculum and serve to provide the experiences that promote the skills, attitudes, and knowledge necessary for the medical degree.  The educational strands include:

  • Mechanisms of Health and Disease (MOHD)
  • Clinical and Professional Skills (CAPS)
  • Medicine and Society (MAS)

A diagram of the MD Curriculum, including strands, and approximate timing and

Details of the CCOM Objectives

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Develop Interpersonal and Communication Skills (ICS) that result in effective information exchange and collaboration with patients, their families, and other health care professionals.

  • ICS01 Present information and ideas in an organized and clear manner to educate or inform others.
  • ICS02 Engage in effective communication with all those concerned in the patient’s healthcare including the patients and the patient’s family.
  • ICS03 Demonstrate ability to write appropriate clinical notes and communicate effectively with the health care team.

Medical Knowledge

Integrate Medical Knowledge (MK) to address the mechanisms of health and disease.  This involves a solid foundation in the established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, and social-behavioral sciences that impact patient care.

  • MK01 Demonstrate knowledge of the healthy human body, explaining structure and function from conception to death through integration of molecular, cellular, biophysical, genetic, organ system, behavioral, and/or psychological bases.
  • MK02 Demonstrate knowledge of how alterations of normal structure and function cause diseases and abnormal conditions of the body and correlate this knowledge with clinical, laboratory, radiologic and epidemiologic data.
  • MK03 Integrate medical knowledge and clinical findings to diagnose common diseases and disorders and recognize the potential for variation in their presentation and prognosis.
  • MK04 Integrate the scientific foundations of medicine with clinical reasoning skills to prevent and treat diseases and conditions as they apply to individuals, including pharmacologic and other interventions that can prevent, cure, or alter the course of diseases and conditions. 

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

Develop skills for Practice Based Learning and Improvement (PBL). These skills are necessary to investigate and evaluate the delivery of patient care; appraise and assimilate scientific evidence; and implement continuous improvements for patient care.  Collectively this goal reflects routine self-evaluation and life-long learning. 

  • PBL01 Demonstrate fundamental skills in self-directed learning including the ability to identify knowledge and performance gaps; generate appropriate questions; use effective strategies to obtain answers to those questions; assess the validity, completeness and relevance of the information; and apply validated knowledge to address gaps.
  • PBL02 Demonstrate a systematic, integrated and effective evidence-based approach to problem solving in the diagnosis and management of diseases and disorders.

Patient Care

Deliver Patient Care (PC) that is patient-centered, compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health. 

  • PC01 Integrate knowledge of mechanisms of health and disease, and the concerns, needs and expectations of a patient in order to take an appropriate history, perform a physical examination, and develop a thorough problem list.
  • PC02 Integrate foundational sciences with clinical information in order to develop and prioritize a differential diagnosis; and appropriately order diagnostic tests to evaluate and clarify the differential.
  • PC03 Report clinical data by obtaining and communicating the clinical facts in an organized manner that demonstrates understanding and synthesis of the findings.
  • PC04 Develop appropriate and comprehensive patient care plans to promote health, prevent illness and/or injury, and manage disease.
  • PC05 Counsel and educate a patient effectively.  


Develop Professionalism (PR) as manifested through a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population.

  • PR01 Routinely demonstrates respect, empathy and compassion towards peers, teachers, staff, patients, families, healthcare team members and others, regardless of differences in beliefs, lifestyles, and cultural heritage.
  • PR02 Demonstrate understanding of the ethical and legal principles operating in the healthcare environment and the medical profession, and adhere to these principles.   
  • PR03 Accept personal responsibility for meeting the expectations of their role as appropriate to their stage of training.

Systems Based Practice

Develop a System Based Practice (SBP) approach to patient care as manifested by actions that demonstrate an awareness of, and responsiveness to, the larger context of health care.  This includes developing skills to effectively call on system resources to provide optimal health.

  • SBP01 Understand factors that affect access to and delivery of healthcare and the patient-doctor relationship including cultural, environmental, socioeconomic, policies, financing and healthcare systems.
  • SBP02 Explain the role of all members of the healthcare team and collaborate with them to provide the highest quality of care.