Education at the University of Michigan Medical School

PDF Version

The University of Michigan Medical School educates individuals to achieve the highest professional standards required to provide exemplary patient care and conduct outstanding research. Our trainees, graduates and faculty will be leaders in clinical medicine, research and education who will demonstrate:

  • commitment to and capacity for self-directed learning and continuous renewal,
  • expertise built on a strong scientific foundation,
  • skills necessary to interpret and apply evidence and produce new discoveries,
  • ability to communicate effectively and function professionally within teams,
  • understanding of the determinants of human health and disease,
  • curiosity and passion to address major problems in science and society, and
  • dedication to preparing the next generation of leaders.

Goals for Medical Student Education

The competent, effective, and compassionate care of patients and the advancement of knowledge about disease, its prevention and treatment require that physicians in training be introduced to a lifelong educational process in the practice of medicine. Medical school provides a critical phase of this education. The goals of the University of Michigan Medical School include educating physicians who achieve the highest ethical and performance standards required to provide exemplary patient care, and who will assume leadership roles in the areas of clinical medicine, research, and teaching.

Institutional Objectives for Medical Student Education

Medical Knowledge: Students will demonstrate a strong foundation in the biomedical sciences, clinical medicine, and the social determinants of health and disease as well as the application of this knowledge to individuals, community and society.

Patient Care: Students will demonstrate:

  • skills in obtaining and interpreting relevant information from patients, laboratory data, and other sources to deliver optimal patient centered care;
  • the ability to organize and interpret clinical information to make clinical decisions effectively and efficiently;
  • sustained excellence in patient management and treatment, including procedural skills.

Communication: Students will demonstrate interpersonal communication skills that facilitate empathic relationships and effective collaborations with patients, and other health care professionals and teams.

Professionalism: Students will demonstrate and maintain the professional attributes of compassion, altruism, respect, integrity and commitment to addressing the needs of a diverse and changing society.

Practice-based Learning and Improvement: Students will demonstrate:

  • a commitment to achieving personal and professional excellence, including self-directed learning, reflective practice, the critical evaluation of the performance of peers and self, and promotion of collaborative learning;
  • the expertise to apply the scientific method and critically evaluate the literature, assimilate new information, and apply this knowledge to patient care.

Systems-Based Practice: Students will demonstrate:

  • an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care;
  • the ability to effectively draw on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value.

Competencies and Associated Objectives

Competency Domain: Medical Knowledge
This domain reflects the expectation that students will demonstrate a strong foundation in the biomedical sciences, clinical medicine, and the social determinants of health. UMMS students are expected to:

  • Know the normal structure and function of the body, including cell structure and function, organ and tissue structure and function, and systems function and integration.
  • Recognize underlying molecular, genetic, biochemical, and cellular mechanisms as well as environmental and traumatic causes the impact human health and disease.
  • Apply the principles of pharmacology and therapeutics.
  • Identify and understand the factors, including social and behavioral determinants, affecting the distribution of illness and risk in human populations across the life span.
  • Understand the biomedical sciences, clinical medicine, and the social determinants of health and disease and apply this understanding to patient care.

Competency: Patient Care
This domain reflects the expectation that students will demonstrate skills in obtaining and interpreting relevant information from patients, laboratory data, and other sources to deliver optimal patient centered care; the ability to organize and interpret clinical information to make clinical decisions effectively and efficiently; sustained excellence in patient management and treatment, including procedural skills. UMMS students are expected to:

  • Elicit accurate medical histories relative to the clinical context, including issues related to social history and socioeconomic status;
  • Conduct complete and/or problem focused accurate physical and psychiatric examinations
  • Safely perform routine diagnostic and therapeutic procedures;
  • Interpret common clinical, laboratory, images test results related to common illnesses and conditions;
  • Interpret and integrate the medical history, physical findings and testing to formulate a differential diagnosis and plan;
  • Formulate appropriate management strategies for acute and chronic conditions that are in concordance with the patient’s problem, values and preferences (e.g., cultural competence & patient-centered care);
  • Demonstrate clinical reasoning and decision-making skills.

Competency Domain: Communication
This domain reflects the expectation that students will demonstrate interpersonal communication skills that facilitate effective and empathic relationships with patients, and effective collaborations with other health care professionals and teams. UMMS students are expected to:

  • Communicate professionally with patients and their families in effective and culturally appropriate ways
  • Develop and sustain respectful and effective working relationships with other health care professionals and teams.

Competency Domain: Professionalism
This domain reflects the expectation that students will demonstrate the professional attributes of compassion, altruism, respect, and integrity in the context of a diverse and changing society. UMMS students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate compassionate, empathetic, and respectful care of patients/families.
  • Demonstrate honesty and respect for other health care professionals and team members.
  • Recognize, anticipate and navigate ethical dilemmas in medical care.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to advocate for the interests of their patients.
  • Demonstrate respect for how people in diverse cultures perceive and respond to health, illness and care.

Competency Domain: Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
This domain reflects the expectation that students will demonstrate a commitment to achieving personal and professional excellence, including self-directed learning, reflective practice, and the critical evaluation of peers and self; and the expertise to apply the scientific method and critically evaluate the literature, assimilate new information, and apply this knowledge to patient care. UMMS students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to engage in lifelong learning;
  • Access, critically evaluate and apply pertinent scientific literature relevant to the medical needs and care of individuals and populations;
  • Critically evaluate self and peers, including self-directed learning, reflective practice, guided self assessment and demonstrate appropriate response to feedback;
  • Recognize limitations in their knowledge, skills and attitudes and engage in improvement of individual and institutional medical practices

Competency Domain: Systems-Based Practice
This domain reflects the expectation that students will demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care; and demonstrate the ability to effectively draw on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value. UMMS students are expected to:

  • Understand and work within health care systems in providing care for their patients in their communities;
  • Recognize the role of medical students and physicians in working in their health care institution, and within the larger health care system.

Approved by Curriculum Policy Committee on 9/14/2012
Endorsed by the Executive Committee on 10/18/2012