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Integrating Clinical Skills and Competencies into the First 2 Years of the Medical Curriculum

Phillip Cooles, Liris Benjamin, Harold Schiff, Diana Callender, Dave Pederson, Jyotsna Pandey, Gerald Grell, Ross University School of Medicine, Ross University School of Medicine

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recommends that “medical schools adopt an explicit, developmental approach to the design of the skills education curriculum, including expected levels of skills performance proficiency throughout the four-year curriculum” (1). Ross University School of Medicine has taken the initiative and has incorporated clinical skills and competencies modules throughout the four semesters of the Basic Sciences. The mission of the clinical skills and competency module is “ to develop the professional, interviewing and clinical skills, and competencies, necessary for the students to succeed in the clinical years and in residency, to develop the understanding necessary to do well in the other modules, and finally, in the USMLE licensing exams” (2). The clinical skills and competencies modules are delivered by three departments – Introduction to Clinical Medicine, Integrated Medical Education and Behavioral Science. The curriculum reinforces the basic sciences while simultaneously progressively introducing students to the necessary skills and competencies. The content includes history taking and physical examination on standardized and real patients, simulation, problem based learning and reflective practice.

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