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Our Pledge to be Patient-Centred Medicine is a calling, a call to service. The patient-centred curriculum reflects this noble tradition of commitment to individual patients, their families and community. The physician's covenant is a promise to be fully present to patients in their time of need -- to "be there", even when the physician can offer no cure, to provide relief whenever possible, and always to offer comfort and compassion.
The patient is the centre of our clinical work and, consequently, the centre of our learning. Patient-centred care requires a relationship in which patients will feel that their concerns have been acknowledged and that the physician has understood their plight from each patient's own unique perspective. Patients and physicians must work together to find common ground regarding management -- reaching a mutual understanding of their problems, goals of treatment and respective roles of patient and physician. Patient-centred care also includes the concept of Ecosystem Health which studies human health within the interrelations between economic activity, social organization and the ecological integrity of natural systems.

Our curriculum is a reflection of our responsibility to attend to our patients' suffering in the broadest and deepest sense. Our graduates must have a thorough understanding of the biological, behavioural and population sciences basic to medicine. They will apply their medical learning within the integrated context of patient's lives, families and communities and they must also begin a lifelong quest to understand the human condition, especially the unique responses of patients to their illnesses.

The undergraduate medical curriculum is a four year program. It is designed to provide each student with an opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to advance to graduate or post-graduate studies leading to clinical practice, research or other medical careers. The educational format is a blend of lectures, laboratory exercises, small group learning and supervised clinical experience in community and hospital settings.

Students enrolled in the undergraduate medical education program will be located in London and Windsor. A section of the class will attend classes in Windsor for the entire four-year program. The curriculum will be set and delivered by the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and all graduates will receive University of Western Ontario medical degrees.

Undergraduate medical education is a continuous process and should not be interrupted except under the most unusual circumstances.

Years One and Two 

The first two years of the curriculum provide the student with a solid grounding in the basic and clinical sciences. These two years are each divided into a series of systems-based courses: "Introduction to Medicine", "Blood", "Digestive System & Nutrition", "Emergency Care", "Endocrine & Metabolism", "Heart & Circulation", "Immunology & Microbiology", "Musculoskeletal System", "Respiration & Airways", "Neurosciences, Eye & Ear", "Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences", "Reproduction", and "Urinary System". Within each course, various subject areas are presented which integrate the basic and clinical sciences. Additional courses include "Medical Ethics & Humanities", "Epidemiology", "Population Health", "Health Care Systems and Key Topics in Family Medicine".

Students participate in early patient contact that emphasizes a patient-centred approach to medicine, during the Clinical Methods in both Year 1 and Year 2. At the end of first year, all medical students participate in Rural & Regional Discovery to gain clinical experience and exposure to rural and regional medicine in a southwestern Ontario community hospital or clinic. This experience enhances the understanding of the communities where patients live.

The weekly timetable often is structured around a case which is introduced at the beginning of each week or subject block. The case provides the stimulus for instruction, and is designed to highlight a number of objectives of the MD program. Throughout the week, the student is exposed to a variety of teaching methods including: small group tutorials, problem based learning, lectures and large group discussions, self-instructional materials, and laboratories. Time is also provided in the curriculum for students to explore career opportunities.

Year 1 Courses:

Medicine 5115 (weight 1.0), Introduction to Medicine
Medicine 5116 (weight 1.0), Infection & Immunity
Medicine 5117Q/R/S/T (weight 0.25), Skin
Medicine 5119 (weight 1.0), Respiration & Airways
Medicine 5120 (weight 1.0), Heart & Circulation
Medicine 5121 (weight 1.0), Blood
Medicine 5139 (weight 1.0), Patient Centered Clinical Methods I
Medicine 5104 (weight 1.0), Genitourinary System
Medicine 5105Q/R/S/T (weight 0.25), Population Health
Medicine 5107A/B (weight 0.5), Epidemiology

Year 2 Courses:

Medicine 5202 (weight 1.0), Endocrine and Metabolism
Medicine 5203 (weight 1.0), Digestive System & Nutrition
Medicine 5205 (weight 1.0), Reproduction
Medicine 5218 (weight 1.0), Musculoskeletal System
Medicine 5206 (weight 1.0), Neurosciences, Eye, & Ear
Medicine 5207 (weight 1.0), Psychiatry & the Behavioural Sciences
Medicine 5208Q/R/S/T (weight 0.25), Emergency Care
Medicine 5246 (weight 1.5), Patient Centered Clinical Methods II
Medicine 5209Q/R/S/T (weight 0.25), Health Care Systems
Medicine 5210Q/R/S/T (weight 0.25) Key Topics in Family Medicine

Year 1 and 2 Course:

Medicine 5130A/B (weight 0.5), Medical Ethics & Humanities
Medicine 5140 (weight 1.0) Professional Portfolio

Years Three and Four
The third and fourth years of medicine include a 52-week integrated Clerkship (Medicine 5475), Clinical Science Electives (Medicine 5401), and Integration, Consolidation & Enrichment (Medicine 5402).

During the third-year Clerkship, the student becomes an active member of clinical care teams in the following medical disciplines: family medicine, medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. Under the supervision of faculty and more senior house staff, clerks are given graded responsibility in the diagnosis, investigation, and management of patients in hospital, clinic, and outpatient settings. All students in third year are also required to complete a community Clinical Clerkship rotation for a minimum of four weeks. For those students with a particular interest in community medicine, a regional clerkship stream is available. Each year a section of students will complete the majority of the clerkship year in some of the SWOMEN locations.

The Southwestern Ontario Medicine Education Network (SWOMEN) includes faculty located in over 45 communities in the region from Tobermory to Leamington. Students learn clinical skills in various geographic sites. The objective is to ensure that Western students at all levels gain an understanding and experience of the practice of Medicine from both a rural/regional and a tertiary care/urban perspective.

Beginning in Year 4, Clinical Science Electives are arranged entirely by the student in any area of medicine, at Schulich or in other centres. After completion of the Clinical Electives, students return to Schulich in January for Integration, Consolidation & Enrichment which includes a menu of advanced level learning opportunities in basic and clinical sciences. This permits students to further integrate the basic and clinical aspects of medicine in light of their clinical experience.

Rural/Regional Medicine Program
Despite rapid advances in medicine and unprecedented health care restructuring, providing accessible high quality rural health care remains a major challenge in Southwestern Ontario, many other parts of Canada, and around the world.

Schulich Undergraduate Medicine integrates rural and community medicine throughout the years of the medical program. At the end of their first year, all medical students participate in Discovery Week which provides an opportunity for clinical experience and exposure to rural and regional medicine in a Southwestern Ontario community. All students in third year are also required to complete a community Clinical Clerkship rotation for a minimum of four weeks outside of London or Windsor. Regional community clerkship rotations help students develop an understanding of non-tertiary care medicine. An in-depth understanding of rural regional medicine can be obtained through the regional clerkship stream. Some fourth-year students also complete two-month electives in a variety of near and distant rural/regional communities.

The rural/regional training track encompasses a variety of optional experiences for students who wish to have a comprehensive community-oriented medical education. In addition to curriculum requirements, students in this training track have opportunities to participate in more rural/regional experiences.

Medical Electives Overseas
Is a special program of study in a third world country, available as a clinical science elective in Year 4. An application form must be completed and a personal interview arranged. Assistance with funding is available for those students who are selected. Because communication and administrative problems may arise, applicants are advised to begin planning for a third world elective two years in advance. For information contact the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education.

Research Opportunities
Two programs are available for medical students to pursue research interests under the supervision of a faculty member. The Summer Research Training Program is available to first- and second-year students who apply during their first year. Under this program students participate in a research project during the summer months. Students may also pursue a research project through the Schulich Research Opportunities Program. During this program students undertake a research project during the summer and/or academic year.

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