If you are interested in volunteering for the Foundations of Doctoring course, please contact the Foundation's Office.
Foundations of Doctoring is a three-year, longitudinal curriculum emphasizing a humanistic approach to medical care and is designed to equip students with the basic clinical skills required of any excellent physician, regardless of specialty.
Students spend one afternoon a week with a preceptor during their first three years of medical school. The majority of the students are paired with primary care physicians family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics), emergency physicians or hospitalists. However, they can change to a specialist preceptor in their third year for career exploration opportunities. The goal is to expose the students to physician role models early in their educational experience and to allow them to become comfortable interacting with patients and to practice basic communication and physical exam skills.
Students learn basic skills in a series of topic-oriented (e.g., the cardiovascular exam) small-group exercises. Standardized teaching associates introduce the physical exam in the first-year curriculum. Subsequent to this introduction, students examine both standardized and real patients under the guidance of a faculty tutor.
We teach a relationship-centered approach to communication skills. Communication coaches receive training prior to coaching small group exercises in which students interview standardized patients.
Our third- and fourth-year students meet in small groups for six sessions throughout the year to discuss the experiences that are shaping them as medical professionals. The discussions are led by a faculty member and a senior medical student. There are topics provided for each session (e.g., power abuse). We try to emphasize the positive experiences and discuss how we might learn from the negative experiences.