MCS 1--Foundations of Medical Practice
For first-year medical students

Course Goals
The primary purpose of the Foundations of Medical Practice Course (Foundations), is to provide students with an introduction to the compassionate and clinical practice of medicine while beginning to shape their developing professional identities. This year-long coures aims to teach students to become complete doctors who treat complete people, rather than just treating illnesses. All course activities are designed to help students achieve one or more of the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of how emotions, attitudes and behaviors affect patient care.
  • Work effectively as a member of a team by demonstrating respect, leadership and compassion in all interactions.
  • Obtain a comprehensive health history, including attentiveness to the patientís illness experience, and perform a complete physical exam.
  • Utilize an evidence based approach to exploring clinical questions, evaluate critically the medical literature, and effectively communicate research findings to patients and other health professionals.
  • Decide on an ethical course of action taking into account the values, preferences and goals of patients and families, consistent with patient centered care.
Course Activities
The course is composed of many different activities including lectures, demonstrations, small group activities, written reflections, and patient experiences both with standardized patients within the Clinical Skills Center and actual patients at assigned clinical sites. Course contents come from the fields of behavioral science, humanities, history, ethics, law, economics, biostatistics, epidemiology, nutrition, preventive medicine, geriatrics, disabilities and public health. Faculty members include practicing care-givers at the hospital as well as members of the Center's faculty.

2011-2012 Schedule
Date Topic Faculty Course Theme
2/7 Compassion and the Art of Healing Stephen Post & Maria Basile Professional Identity
2/14 The Clinician as Researcher: Human Subjects & Research Ethics Stephen Post Professional Identity
2/21 Professionalism, Virtues & Bioethics Jack Coulehan Professional Identity
2/28 Basics of Clinical Ethics Van McCrary Professional Identity
3/6 Sharing and Withholding Information Peter Williams Building Relationships
3/13 Health Care Decisions: Analysis & Ethics Dylan Smith Giving & Receiving Information
3/20 Informed Consent in Clinical Practice & Research Van McCrary Giving & Receiving Information
4/13 Justice: Is There a Right to Health Care? Lecture Only Andrew Flescher Giving & Receiving Information
4/17 Advance Directives Van McCrary & Carla Keirns Giving & Receiving Information
4/24 Ethics in Progressive Dementia Stephen Post Building Relationships
5/1 Giving Bad News Jack Coulehan Giving & Receiving Information
5/8 Spirituality & Patientís Coping with Illness Mike Vetrano Building Relationships
5/15 AA and Mutual Aide: The Helper Therapy Principle Stephen Post Giving and Receiving Information
5/22 Basics of US Law and Medical Negligence Van McCrary Professional Identity
5/29 Final Session - Group Farewell

3/1 9:30-11:30 Physiology of the Doctor Patient Relationship Stephanie Brown
4/13 9:30-11:00 Health Care System & Health Care Financing
Lecture Only
Van McCrary
4/16 1:00-2:00 Organ Donation Conference
Extra credit for 12-1, and 2-3pm attendance
Andrew Flescher
5/17 1:00-2:00 Hospice and Palliative Care Jack Coulehan
5/17 2:00-3:00 Pain Basics for the Emerging Clinician Lynn Hallarman
5/24 1:00-3:00 Wit Carla Keirns, Stephen Post, Iris Granek