Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is designed to educate compassionate, skillful physician-scientists, with an emphasis on preparation of physicians for residency training in the primary care disciplines. Excellence in patient care requires a firm foundation in the medical sciences and clinical skills, combined with an empathetic attitude and the ability to apply the scientific method to the solution of medical problems. The logical continuum of educational experiences leads to graduation of physicians who have the knowledge and skills to advise patients on the maintenance of good health, to diagnose and treat illness, and to appreciate how illness affects their patients.

To meet the challenges created by the rapid development of new technologies and new understanding in medical science, the physician of the future will need not only accurate current information but the ability to obtain, evaluate, and assimilate the rapid advances in medicine. Essential to this ability is a habit of critical scientific inquiry. With the increasing complexity of medicine, deductive reasoning and problem-solving become increasingly important. With these concepts in mind, the EVMS curriculum is designed to:

  • provide a firm foundation in medical sciences and clinical skills;
  • address medical problems using the best available medical evidence;
  • cultivate habits of independent learning and scholarship;
  • help students recognize the broad social and economic responsibilities of members of the medical profession;
  • encourage the development of self-awareness and communication skills; and
  • emphasize human values in the practice of medicine.

The instructional approach at EVMS emphasizes an integrated program of basic and clinical sciences from the first week of medical school throughout all four years of study. Students participate as active learners in a carefully sequenced program designed to achieve competency in all areas required for the general professional education of the physician. Small study groups help students develop their interpersonal skills, professional attitudes, and problem-solving abilities. The curriculum stresses analysis, synthesis, and integration of knowledge. Progress toward achieving the expected professional competence is assessed periodically through the Professional Skills Center in all four years, and through standardized testing.

The four-year curriculum includes both interdisciplinary and discipline-based instruction. Interdisciplinary themes that are developed over multiple years include topics such as medical ethics, information technology, clinical skills, behavior science, community medicine, and geriatrics.