Teaching & Learning Modalities

Curriculum in the MD Program is delivered in a variety of ways, including large group sessions, case based teaching, Discovery Learning, workplace-based teaching, and labs. These teaching and learning modalities are summarized below and highlight the types of instruction students may experience throughout all four years of the MD Program.
Anatomy Labs
A highlight of the program is the faculty's cadaveric dissection anatomy lab. Students perform dissection under the guidance of anatomy preceptors to illustrate the anatomy concepts they are learning in their systems based courses and gain understanding of the 3-dimensional relationships of body structures. Students have unlimited access to the lab for self-study as well.
Students in Service

Students in Service provides first year students with the opportunity to partner with a community agency and develop an ongoing relationship with both the agency and the people that they serve. Medical students spend 20 hours in their first year working with the agency to meet the needs of its served population by focusing on a community or agency-identified issue or concern. The goal is to facilitate the development of a commitment to social accountability to be used in their future roles as physician and health advocate. Students with a strong interest in health advocacy are encouraged to join the (optional) Social Justice Community of Student Service (SJ-CoSS) for additional community engagement instruction and collaboration opportunities.

Communication Sessions
Small group teaching targeting patient-physician communication skills. Using role-playing, students learn how to take medical history under the supervision of a facilitator. The goal is to develop communication skills rather than presenting clinical knowledge, although guidance through clinical reasoning is provided.
DL = Discovery Learning
Small group discussions evolve sequentially over the course of a week involving a “non-content expert” faculty facilitator in a problem based learning format. Students engage with clinical scenarios illustrating key concepts of basic science and clinical application. Non-medical expert objectives are also addressed including discussion of social determinants of health, ethics, and evidence based medicine. Students develop collaboration skills by working as a team to address learning objectives, and develop self-directed learning skills that can be applied throughout their clinical practices. Students practice giving and receiving feedback, including peer feedback.
LCE = Longitudinal Clinical Experience
The Longitudinal Clinical Experience in Family Medicine provides first and second year medical students with early clinical exposure in a family physician’s office. Students spend 6-8 half days per year integrating classroom learning with these clinical experiences.
PDG = Physicianship Discussion Group
Physicianship Discussion Groups provide small groups of students with opportunities to discuss personal and clinical experiences with physician facilitators. PDG occurs in a safe, small group environment and encourages students to share issues of concern while developing physician identity and exploring other domains of competency.
PE= Physical Examination
Clinical skills sessions that aim to teach students pertinent physical exam skills in a small group format, led by a clinical facilitator.
PIE = Patient Immersion Experience
The Patient Immersion Experience program partners small groups of medical students and a patient mentor with a chronic illness with the goal of exploring the illness experience from a patient’s (and their family’s) perspectives. Students gain an in-depth understanding about how cultural and societal factors, social determinants of health, socioeconomic factors, family dynamics, social supports, health care beliefs and experiences with health, illness and navigating the healthcare system all have an influence on a patient’s illness experience. PIE occurs in both year 1 and year 2 and culminates in an interpretive project at the end of year.
SDL = Self Directed Learning
Self Directed Learning is scheduled throughout the week (generally on Thursdays) to give students time to study and focus on areas of personal growth and interest.
TBL = Team Based Learning
Team Based Learning is a whole class session guided by expert faculty facilitators. In a flipped classroom method, students participate in self-study preparation for the session (reading materials or short videos), then apply this information to clinical cases in a facilitated small group setting. Standard assessment practices of individual and group readiness as well as peer assessment structure these sessions.
Large group instruction
Didactic teaching sessions are developed to meet course and clerkship learning objectives. Teaching sessions are recorded for student reference and self-study.
Workplace based teaching
Students are embedded in a clinical learning environment to further learn and apply the knowledge gained in non-clinical settings. This begins in preclerkship with preclinical electives and optional summer electives. It continues with the required clinical learning experiences in clerkship.