Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine
The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine has been designed to be a model for educating diverse, patient-centered physicians who are partners and leaders in an interprofessional workforce responsive to health care needs in the communities they serve. Students from diverse backgrounds attain their highest personal and professional potential in a collaborative student-centered environment that fosters academic excellence, scholarship, lifelong learning, respect and inclusivity. The school embodies the university’s commitment to the core values of academic excellence, a student-oriented environment and a strong sense of community. Accordingly, the school values:
- excellence in education that places the student at the center of the learning experience, and nurtures the student’s independence as a lifelong learner
- diversity and inclusiveness in all students, faculty and staff
- a learning environment that promotes the provision of holistic, patient-centered care
- interprofessional education and service-learning experiences to promote teamwork in the care of patients
- clinical partners who support and promote the school’s vision, mission and values
- social justice and the education of physicians to address health care inequalities
- partnerships within our community that provide students with learning and service opportunities to improve the health of the community
- advancement and support of primary care education and health services research through the school’s Institute for Primary Care
- advancement of global health through the school’s Institute for Global Public Health by promoting community medicine, public health and international partnerships
- advancement of rehabilitation medicine, through the school’s Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine by promoting interprofessional care, services and research programs especially for wounded military personnel
The four-year curriculum leading to the MD degree is comprehensive and integrated. Core biomedical principles are correlated temporally and contextually with behavioral, clinical and allied health sciences. The curriculum emphasizes active student learning designed to equip graduates with the tools to be effective lifelong learners. Learning occurs in a variety of settings: small-group conferences, case-based learning seminars, lectures, with patients, standardized patients and independent study.
The curriculum is holistic in scope; content such as prevention and wellness promotion, population health, complementary and alternative medicine, and the study of contemporary health care systems are incorporated into discussions of the traditional diagnosis and treatment of medical diseases.
Each course has longitudinal themes that anchor the content in a pedagogically relevant and cohesive manner. These significant learning experiences shift the focus from “what is taught” to “what and how students learn.” The longitudinal themes include medical informatics, biostatistics, epidemiology, ethics, nutrition and sociobehavioral science.
Students begin clinical experiences in their first year and assume increased clinical responsibility in their second through fourth years. They have opportunities to formally learn and hone clinical skills during the clinical arts and sciences course, which uses standardized patients and state-of-the-art simulation labs. Students also meet weekly with a primary care physician, seeing patients, practicing clinical skills, and learning how to work effectively with other health care team members. The first year follows an organ system approach to biomedical sciences, focusing primarily on normal human function. To increase the medical context of this approach, students learn the fundamentals of common diseases in each curricular area. Year 2 follows a pathophysiological approach to content, exploring topics in greater depth and with enhanced sophistication and understanding. Students are exposed to a broad array of human diseases and best practices for diagnosis and management.
Students are allowed to individualize their medical education by selecting a field of concentration for elective course work. The elective course work provides the foundation for a student’s capstone project, an independent research project. Elective concentration areas may include health management, policy, economics, law, education (including interprofessional education), global health, communications, ethics, humanities, or the student may design a novel concentration area with the support of a faculty adviser.
The School of Medicine also offers an anesthesiologist assistant program. For details, visit the website.