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About the Department
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CME(CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION)


Programs

MD
Biomedical Sciences Program
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Interdepartment Programs 
 


Learning Resources

Problem Based Learning
Standardized Patient


Recruitment and Credentialing 

GPA-HRSA
 
 

MD Program

 

Description

The Medical Education Program at Ponce School of Medicine is a 4-year program with emphasis in primary care, and a duration of 152 weeks. It grants a doctor of medicine degree (M.D.).  The Program consists of two years of pre-clinical (basic science) courses in the core disciplines of Gross Anatomy, Histology and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Microbiology/Immunology.  It also includes Human Genetics and Neuroscience. 

The pre-clinical years provide integration of clinical content and early clinical experiences through Pathophysiology, Introduction to Clinical Medicine, Behavioral Sciences and Basic Psychiatry.  Longitudinal programs in preventive and community medicine, problem-based learning and medical ethics are integrated in the educational program of the first two years.

The third year provides the core clinical clerkships, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Surgery.  The fourth year complements these core clinical experiences with Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Radiology, Surgical Subspecialties and Primary Care Selectives.  Five months of elective rotations provide additional clinical experiences in several subspecialty fields.

A five year program is offered in which the first two years are extended to three.

 

Medicine Program Competencies and Educational Objectives

  1. Medical Knowledge: Medical student must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and socio-behavioral sciences as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care.

    By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
     

    1. Explain the normal structure and function of the body and of each of its major organ systems; as well as the molecular, biochemical, and cellular mechanisms that are important in maintaining the body’s homeostasis.
       

    2.  Explain the genetic, developmental, metabolic, toxic, microbiologic, autoimmune, neoplastic, degenerative, and traumatic causes of disease states and their pathogenesis.
       

    3. Identify epidemiological and other factors that place individuals at risk for disease or injury, select appropriate tests for detecting risks, and determine preventive strategies for responding appropriately.
       

    4. Interpret the results of commonly used diagnostic studies.
       

    5. Solve clinical problems using deductive and inductive reasoning in the context of culture, psychological, socio-economical status and the spiritual-health beliefs and needs of the patient.
       

    6. Formulate appropriate management strategies in the care for patients with common conditions, both acute and chronic, including pain and rehabilitation.
       

    7. Describe the mechanisms by which therapeutic agents work, and apply the principles of pharmacology in patient care.
       

  1. Patient Care: Students must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the promotion of health and for the treatment of health problems.

    By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
     

    1. Demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families.
       

    2. Obtain a complete and accurate medical history that covers all the essential aspects of the history taking in a patient-centered interview. Identify health issues and correlate with patient’s age, gender, cultural, spiritual beliefs, psychological and socio-economic status.
       

    3. Perform a comprehensive and/or a problem-focused physical examination, including a mental status examination, and accurately interpret the findings.
       

    4. Formulate, using clinical reasoning an initial diagnostic impression and differential diagnosis.
       

    5. Recommend appropriate diagnostic studies and therapeutic management plan based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence, and clinical judgment.
       

    6. Perform routine technical procedures, including but not limited to: venous and arterial puncture; placement of an intravenous line, transurethral and nasogastric catheters, and suturing of simple wounds.
       

    7. Recognize patients with life threatening conditions, with serious physical and or acute/chronic mental conditions in need of critical care, and institute appropriate initial therapy.
       

    8. Counsel and educate patients care givers and families about patients condition and aspects of health promotion and prevention.
       

  1. Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective interchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families and health professionals.

    By the time of graduation, students are expected to:

    1. Create and sustain a team relationship with patients, their families and health care professionals.

    2. Use a patient centered approach with effective listening and communication skills during the medical interview.

    3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills in English and Spanish, with patients, their families and health professionals.

    4. Document patient information in a comprehensive, timely and legible electronic or written medical record.

    5. Demonstrate leadership skills as a member of a health care team and other professional groups.

    6. Demonstrate effective interaction with colleagues and health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.
       

  1. Practice-based Learning and Improvement: Students must be able to investigate and evaluate their care of patients, appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and continuously improve patient care based on constant self-evaluation and life-long learning.

    By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
     

    1. Demonstrate capacity to accept personal limitations and continuously improve one’s medical knowledge and clinical skills.
       

    2. Identify the information resources and tools available to support life-long learning and self improvement.
       

    3. Review and incorporate the most current and relevant evidence based information in the diagnosis and management of patients.
       

  1. Systems-based Practice: Students must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value.
    By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
    1. Recognize the various approaches to organizing, financing, and managing of health care delivery systems.
    2. Understand health care systems regulations and resources and assess how they affect patient health care.
    3. Advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities.
    4. Promote cost-effective health care and optimal resources allocation.
    5. Formulate appropriate management strategies for patients with clinical conditions that require short and long-term rehabilitation.
    6. Identify and assess factors that place patients’ safety at risk and select appropriate interventions to minimize them.
    7. Collaborate with colleagues, health care providers and other professionals to assess and coordinate patient care.
       
  1. Professionalism: Students must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to the health care needs of a diverse patient population.

    By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
     

    1. Appraise the perspectives in major ethical dilemmas in medicine in view of the ethical principles.
       

    2. Demonstrate sensitivity to the diversity of patient population, including, but not limited to differences in culture, social status, gender, sexual orientation, and health beliefs.
       

    3. Demonstrate understanding of and respect for the roles of other health care professionals.
       

    4. Demonstrate honesty, integrity and respectful behavior in all interactions with patients and families, peers, preceptors, members of the healthcare team and others.
       

    5. Demonstrate compassionate treatment of patients, respect and sensitivity for their privacy and dignity.
       

    6. Advocate for the patients interest over one’s, and be accountable to society and the profession.
       

    7. Judge the threats posed by the conflicts of interest inherent in various financial and organizational arrangements that affect the practice of medicine.
       

    8. Demonstrate respect for patient’s autonomy in decision making.

       

 

USMLE Requirements

USMLE-Step 1

  1. All medical students must take and approve the USMLE I examination as a requirement for promotion to the third year (Academic Senate Certification 94-95-5 March 2, 1995).  The examination must be scheduled no later than the first week of July of the corresponding year, allowing at least four weeks for the results.
  2. Those students who approve the examination will register for the third year academic program.
  3. Transfer students are required to take and approve USMLE I prior to admission to the third year.
  4. Those students who fail must take a leave of absence (LOA) of a maximum of 180 days to prepare and re-take the examination.  A passing score is required in order to register in the third year academic program.
  5. Students will have a maximum of three opportunities to approve the USMLE I examination.  Students who fail the third time will be considered for dismissal from the Medical School Program.

 

USMLE-Step 2

  1. All medical students must take and approve the USMLE II examination as a requirement for graduation (Academic Senate Certification 97-98-1 March 16, 1998).  The first examination must be scheduled no later than the end of the second clinical rotation of the fourth academic year.  The last opportunity to take and approve the USMLE II examination to complete the requirement with the student’s graduating class will be the first week of April of the corresponding graduation year.
  2. Those students who have not completed this graduation requirement with their corresponding graduation class, must take a Leave of Absence (LOA) according to student’s academic program and within the established time frame for the medical education program.

 

 

Clinical Practice Examination

  1. All medical students are required to take and pass a Clinical Practice Examination (CPX) to be given at the end of their Third Academic Year.
  2. Written feedback concerning individual performance will be provided to each student.
  3. Students not meeting the acceptable level of performance, will receive guided learning to overcome areas of low performance during one or more of the fourth year required clinical rotations.  A modified version of the exam will be given after completion of the guided learning experience.
  4. Satisfactory completion of this additional guided learning fulfills the requirement to pass this examination.
 

Program and Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of all course work and examinations as required by the faculty
  2. Taking and approving the USMLE Step I examination as a requirement for promotion to the third year (Academic Senate Certification 94-95-5 March 2, 1995)
  3. Taking and approving the USMLE Step II examination as a requirement for graduation (Academic Senate Certification 97-98-1 March 16, 1998)
  4. Taking and passing a Clinical Practice Examination (CPx) to be given at the end of their Third Academic Year as a requirement for graduation.

Curriculum

First Academic Period: Begins August: Duration, 40 weeks
Required Courses
  • Gross Anatomy, Embryology and Imaging
  • Histology and Cell Biology
  • Medical Biochemistry
  • Clinical Correlation (PBL)
  • Medical Ethics I
  • Physiology
  • Community Medicine I (FCM 719)
  • Community Medicine II (FCM 720)
  • Behavioral Science
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience
     
Second Academic Period: Begins August: Duration, 42 weeks;
Includes a 4 week period reserved for a USMLE rewiew courses (Skills Development Course)
Required Courses
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Basic Psychiatry
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Introduction to Clinical Skills I
  • Introduction to Clinical Skills II
  • Family and Community Medicine (FCM 721) (Biostatistics)
  • Family and Community Medicine (FCM 722)
  • Fundamental Pathophysiology for Clinical medicine
  • Pathology
  • Medical Ethics II
  • Skills Development
  • Introduction to Clinical Practice
     

Third Academic Period: Begins July; Duration, 40 weeks

Required Courses
Weeks
Internal Medicine 8
Surgery 8
Pediatrics 8
Obstetrics-Gynecology 8
Psychiatry 4
Family Medicine 4
 

Fourth Academic Period: Begins July; Duration, 44 weeks

Required Clerkships*
General Internal Medicine 4
Emergency Medicine 4

Primary Care Selective (Family Medicine, Med., or Pediatrics, OB/GYN)

4

Clinical Radiology and Introduction to Health Service Management

4
 
Electives**
Electives Program: Five rotations of 4 weeks 20
 
Unscheduled time
8
 
*All required rotations have to be taken in Ponce School of Medicine clinical sites or affiliated institutions. Two required clerkships must be taken per semester.

**All off-campus electives must have the approval of the corresponding Department Chairperson and the Clinical Coordination Office. A maximum of five off-campus electives are allowed.


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