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Standard 7: Curricular Content

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum provides content of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare medical students for entry into any residency program and for the subsequent contemporary practice of medicine.


7.1       Biomedical, Behavioral, Social Sciences

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes content from the biomedical, behavioral, and socioeconomic sciences to support medical students' mastery of contemporary medical science knowledge and concepts and the methods fundamental to applying them to the health of individuals and populations.

7.2       Organ Systems/Life Cycle/Prevention/Symptoms/Signs/Differential Diagnosis, Treatment Planning

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes content and clinical experiences related to each organ system; each phase of the human life cycle; continuity of care; and preventive, acute, chronic, rehabilitative, and end-of-life care.

7.3       Scientific Method/Clinical/Translational Research

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes instruction in the scientific method and in the basic scientific and ethical principles of clinical and translational research, including the ways in which such research is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients, and applied to patient care.

7.4       Critical Judgment/Problem-Solving Skills

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum incorporates the fundamental principles of medicine, provides opportunities for medical students to acquire skills of critical judgment based on evidence and experience, and develops medical students' ability to use those principles and skills effectively in solving problems of health and disease.

7.5       Societal Problems

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes instruction in the diagnosis, prevention, appropriate reporting, and treatment of the medical consequences of common societal problems.

7.6       Structural Competence, Cultural Competence, and Health Inequities

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum provides opportunities for medical students to learn to recognize and appropriately address biases in themselves, in others, and in the health care delivery process. The medical curriculum includes content regarding the following:

  • The diverse manner in which people perceive health and illness and respond to various symptoms, diseases, and treatments
  • The basic principles of culturally and structurally competent health care
  • The importance of health care disparities and health inequities
  • The impact of disparities in health care on all populations and approaches to reduce health care inequities
  • The knowledge, skills, and core professional attributes needed to provide effective care in a multidimensional and diverse society

7.7       Medical Ethics

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes instruction for medical students in medical ethics and human values both prior to and during their participation in patient care activities and require medical students to behave ethically in caring for patients and in relating to patients' families and others involved in patient care.

7.8       Communication Skills

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes specific instruction in communication skills as they relate to communication with patients and their families, colleagues, and other health professionals.

7.9       Interprofessional Collaborative Skills

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the core curriculum of the medical education program prepares medical students to function collaboratively on health care teams that include health professionals from other disciplines as they provide coordinated services to patients. These curricular experiences include practitioners and/or students from the other health professions.


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