Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431

UME Curriculum

The Integrated Patient-Focused Curriculum

studentThe Integrated Patient Focused Curriculum is based on the principle that future physicians should learn essential basic science information in the context of patient care, patient case studies, and the practice of clinical skills. We provide our students with a stimulating, supportive and collegial learning environment featuring:

  • An early introduction to the patient and the community
  • Continuity relationships with patients, physicians, and health care systems
  • Longitudinal integrated clerkship modules in the third year
  • Integrated competency assessments
  • A small class size

typical week during the first two years includes dedicated independent study time, no more than 10 hours a week of didactic lectures, and two to three half days of clinical experiences.

The current College of Medicine Academic Calendar for Years 1, 2 3 and 4 is available here

The basic science curriculum integrates key disciplines like anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and pathology throughout the courses. Teaching methods include problem-based learning, with a balance of small group sessions and independent study, supplemented by labs, clinical correlations, simulations, and lectures focusing on core concepts rather than lists of facts.

The clinical curriculum in years 1 and 2 (Foundations of Medicine) begins with sessions that concentrate on professionalism, ethics, cultural competency, communication and history taking skills. Medical interviewing and physical examination are taught using an hypothesis-driven approach grounded in evidence-based medicine. Standardized and simulated patients are used to teach core and advanced clinical skills. Starting in the fall semester in year 1, students develop doctor/patient relationships with patients under the supervision of their physician preceptors in the community and at clinics that provide care to the under-served in Palm Beach County.

In our year 3 Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LICs), students are placed with a group of physicians at affiliated community hospitals for an extended period, rather than completing short discipline-specific clerkships in random order at multiple sites. Each six-month LIC integrates across several specialties (e.g., surgery, medicine, critical care, anesthesia, and geriatrics). Students learn within a health care system, mastering clinical skills and knowledge and getting to know not only the patients, but also the doctors, nurses and other members of the health care team.  Each student also completes a year-long continuity preceptorship as part of the Community and Preventive Medicine clerkship.  At the end of year 3, students have completed core clerkships in Medicine, Surgery, Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry and have been exposed to other medical subspecialties including emergency medicine, pathology, and radiology.  

Throughout year 3, there are up to three half days a week of "white space time" - time set aside for students to pursue their own interests - such as clinical experiences in subspecialties, research, or community health projects. During year 4, students have the opportunity to take a wide range of hospital-based and other electives in addition to required sub-internships. The Transition to Residency course at the end of year 4 brings all our students together for an immersion experience to prepare them for the next phase of their education - residency.

For a copy of our Admissions Brochure, click here.

Competencies and Objectives

The 11 General Competencies all graduates are expected to achieve are:

  1. Medical Knowledge & Research Skills
  2. Patient Centered Care
  3. Ethics & Law
  4. Professionalism
  5. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  6. Cultural Competency
  7. Health Promotion & Disease Prevention for Patients & Populations
  8. Life-Long Learning and Self-Improvement
  9. Systems of Health Care Practices
  10. Self Awareness and Personal Development
  11. Community Engagement, Service & Advocacy

Last Modified 10/9/18