MD Curriculum

Competencies and Institutional Learning Objectives

The primary curriculum governing body of IU School of Medicine, the Curriculum Council Steering Committee (CCSC) approved institutional adoption of the six ACGME competencies as the guiding framework for the new curriculum. IU School of Medicine extends these core competencies to student instruction through all four years of training: Aligning with this framework allows faculty and students to understand how current student learning prepares them for the next stage in their training and for their ongoing practice and maintenance of certification.

The six competencies and their associated objectives serve as our institutional level objectives. All course-level objectives are derived from specific objectives within one of the six competencies. In turn, as courses are designed, objectives are written for each session/class meeting, and each session objective is linked to a specific course objective. This allows the school to outline the courses that teach students the competencies and the sessions within courses where this learning is taking place.

Students apply evidence-based principles of biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences to guide diagnosis, treatment and patient care decisions.

Graduates will

  • MK1 — Apply knowledge of normal human structure, function and development, from the molecular through whole body levels, to distinguish health from disease and explain how physiologic mechanisms are integrated and regulated in the body.
  • MK2 — Explain the causes (behavioral, degenerative, developmental, environmental, genetic, immunologic, inflammatory, metabolic, microbiologic, neoplastic, toxic and traumatic) of diseases, injuries and functional deficits affecting organ systems.
  • MK3 — Describe the altered structure and function resulting from diseases, injuries and functional deficits affecting organ systems, with an ability to interpret the clinical, histopathologic, laboratory and radiographic manifestations commonly seen in practice.
  • MK4 — Provide justifications for interventions to diagnose, prevent, treat and manage a specific patient’s diseases, injuries and functional deficits of organ systems.
  • MK5 — Explain the role of the scientific method in establishing the cause of disease and use principles of evidence-based medicine, including biostatistics, to evaluate the efficacy of diagnostic and therapeutic options.
  • MK6 — Describe the epidemiology of common diseases affecting populations, including methods for prevention and early detection of disease and systematic, population-based approaches for reducing the incidence and prevalence of disease.
  • MK7 — Explain the impact of the variables of psychosocial, socioeconomic, environmental, lifestyle and lifecycle stage on a patient’s health, disease, care-seeking and care-compliance, barriers to care, and attitudes toward care.

Competency Director, Regina Kreisle, MD, PhD 
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Recognizing their role as a healthcare professional, students use knowledge and skills during clinical encounters to gather necessary information and apply evidence to develop appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic plans that enhance health and treat disease seen across a spectrum of patients.

Graduates will

  • PC1 — Demonstrate progressively more accurate, complete and relevant clinical history-taking and physical examination skills in a variety of settings.
  • PC2 — Justify a prioritized differential diagnosis in a variety of different clinical situations based on data discovered and interpreted from the patient encounter, medical record and diagnostic testing.
  • PC3 — Integrate data from a clinical encounter to develop a patient-centered plan of care based on up-to-date scientific information.
  • PC4 — Incorporate health promotion and patient education on the basis of the patient’s or population’s needs.
  • PC5 — Perform and document common clinical procedures using appropriate techniques within the limits of the level of training.
  • PC6 — Demonstrate an appropriate transition of care between providers or settings that minimizes the risk to patient safety.

Competency Director, Rakesh Mehta, MD
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Students are able to actively set and pursue clear learning goals and exploit new opportunities for intellectual growth and development. The student demonstrates the ability to generate critical, reliable, valid self-assessment(s) and use this knowledge for self-regulation and to promote their development. Students are able to recognize and thoroughly characterize a problem, develop an informed plan of action, act to resolve the problem and subsequently assess the result(s) of their action.

Graduates will

  • PBLI1 — Engage in self-directed learning by identifying gaps and limitations in current knowledge and performance; setting individual learning and improvement goals; identifying multiple information resources to achieve those goals; critically appraising the quality and credibility of information resources used; and synthesizing relevant information to advance medical knowledge and patient care.
  • PBLI2 — Seek and accept feedback from colleagues, faculty, supervisors, advisors and other health care professionals and incorporate this information into daily practice.

Competency Director, Joseph Dynlacht, PhD
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Students listen attentively and communicate clearly with patients, families, peers, faculty and other members of the health care team: establishing rapport; fostering, forming and maintaining therapeutic relationships with patients; effectively gathering and providing information during interactions with others; and participating in collaborative decision-making that is patient-focused.

Graduates will

  • ISC1 — Establish and maintain respectful relationships with members of the health care team (peers, faculty and inter-professional colleagues) to facilitate the provision of effective care to patients.
  • ISC2 — Engage in respectful dialogue with patients, demonstrating active listening and the use of verbal and non-verbal skills to establish rapport and an effective physician patient relationship.
  • ISC3 — Modify communication styles in accordance with the clinical context and purpose of the conversation, demonstrating sensitivity to differences, values and needs of others, with attention to one’s personal communication style.
  • ISC4 — Incorporate elements of shared decision-making into communication with patients to facilitate their active participation in their health care.
  • ISC5 — Share information accurately in academic and clinical settings both in oral presentations and written documentation including in the medical record.

Competency Director, Glenda Westmoreland, MD
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Students carry out professional responsibilities with the highest standards of excellence and integrity, consistent with the Honor Code and with adherence to ethical principles. Students value the humanity of all and demonstrate accountability to both patient and society by placing the patient first and advocating for improved access and just distribution of resources.

Graduates will

  • P1 — Be responsive to the whole patient in a manner that supersedes self-interest by respecting the needs, dignity, privacy and autonomy of the patient and by employing strategies to reduce the effect of their own needs, beliefs, values, interests, vulnerabilities, conflicts and biases on patient care.
  • P2 — Demonstrate compassion, honesty, integrity, respect, responsibility and self-discipline in relationships with all individuals, regardless of gender, age, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, native language or role.
  • P3 — Adhere to ethical and legal principles governing medical practice, including maintaining patient confidentiality, gaining informed consent, the provision or withholding of care, identifying and managing conflicts of interest, complying with human subjects’ research protections, identifying, analyzing and addressing unethical and unprofessional behaviors, and maintaining appropriate boundaries in relationships with patients.

Competency Director, Liam Howley, MD
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Students demonstrate an awareness of, and responsiveness to, the larger context and system of health care, utilizing other resources in the system to provide care for patients. Students acknowledge the relationship between the patient, the community and the health care system and the impact on health of culture, economics, the environment, health literacy, health policy and advocacy to determine their role within these social and system dynamics.

Graduates will

  • SBP1 — Demonstrate effective team work through collaboration with diverse patients, their supporters, multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals and other staff in the delivery of respectful and patient-centered health care.
  • SBP2 — Evaluate the impact of a patient’s social context in health and disease and how factors, such as culture, socio-economic status, environment, religion, spirituality, sexuality, education and health literacy impact patient-physician interactions, health care decision-making and health outcomes.
  • SBP3 — Explain fundamental features of health care policy (including funding, legal and regulatory issues) both locally and nationally, the importance of physician advocacy in shaping healthcare policy, and the potential impact of policy changes on patients, underserved populations and health care providers.
  • SBP4 — Contribute to a culture of health care and patient safety through compliance with national and institutional guidelines and protocols in addition to reporting real and potential errors or threats and participating in quality improvement activities.
  • SBP5 — Apply the principals of high-value health care to prioritize resource utilization, on behalf of individual and under-served populations, while preserving the delivery of high quality health care to ensure improved outcomes and just distribution of finite resources.

Competency Director Rohit Das, MD
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