MD Program

Educational Program Objectives


The Zucker School of Medicine’s curriculum is based on six core competencies: the six ACGME competencies.

The faculty, through careful deliberation, established educational program objectives (EPOs) based on these six core competencies to frame the overall integrated four-year science and clinical curriculum. To measure the students’ achievement of the educational program objectives, the School uses a series of summative assessments.

For information on course specific learning objectives, required clinical skills and assessment methods, please visit this page for more information.

Preamble: For each of the following content areas, students will be able to demonstrate understanding, explain to others, and apply knowledge to patient care, whether real or simulated.

  1. Molecular, biochemical, and physiologic mechanisms as well as the body’s structural/functional relationship to explain how the body maintains homeostasis.
  2. Genetic and environmental (e.g. lifestyle, infectious, and nutritional) causes of disease and their impact on how illness changes over the lifespan of the individual.
  3. How the diversity of disease presentation varies depending on, but not limited to factors such as, gender, race, genetics, age, culture and duration of illnesses.
  4. How the scientific method is used to determine the cause, presentation, and spread of disease, and how to design and test the effectiveness of disease interventions.
  5. Scientific basis, interpretation, reliability, and validity of common diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.
  6. Indications and contraindications of common diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for both individuals and populations.
  7. Principles of disease prevention and health promotion and wellness.
  8. Factors that contribute to health equity, including the social determinants of health.
  1. Gathers a medical history.
  2. Performs physical examination, inclusive of mental status exam and point of care imaging.
  3. Performs basic clinical procedures.
  4. Recommends, justifies, and interprets common diagnostic and screening tests.
  5. Prioritizes and explains a differential diagnosis following a clinical encounter.
  6. Documents a clinical encounter in the patient record.
  7. Formulates and implements a patient care plan, inclusive of prevention.
  8. Provides an oral presentation of a clinical encounter.
  9. Recognizes a patient requiring urgent or emergent care, and initiates evaluation and management.
  10. Composes orders/prescriptions safely.
  11. Appreciates the importance of rendering patient care within a team structure.
  12. Gives or receives a patient handover to transition care responsibility.
  13. Recognizes potential cognitive bias in clinical decision making (e.g., premature closure) and reformulates when new information emerges.
  14. Demonstrates culturally competent and humanistic care.
  15. Attends to the whole health of the individual.
  1. Builds rapport with patients and their families.
  2. Demonstrates empathy with patients and their families and caregivers.
  3. Elicits the patient’s and/or caregiver’s narrative and perspective in all phases of care.
  4. Engages patients and caregivers in shared decision making.
  5. Collaborates with other members of the healthcare team.
  6. Utilizes evidence-based techniques (e.g., motivational interviewing) to promote behavioral change.
  7. Educates peers and other healthcare providers.

Preamble: The transformation of a student from person to professional requires personal growth over time, introspection, and formation of a professional identify. In becoming a physician, a person accepts the responsibility of maintaining the highest degrees of professionalism in all aspects of life. These objectives are to be applied across all contexts, including public, private, and all virtual platforms.

  1. Demonstrates respect for patients' dignity, individuality, and privacy.
  2. Demonstrates honesty and integrity and maintains confidentiality.
  3. Applies ethical principles to resolve common ethical dilemmas.
  4. Examines individual decisions from the perspectives of both a patient advocate and a just steward of society's resources.
  5. Recognizes, accepts, and addresses one’s own learning needs and limitations, and appropriately seeks guidance and supervision.
  6. Accepts responsibility for, reports appropriately, and addresses medical errors.
  7. Balances concern for self, including personal wellness, with the needs of patients, society, and the profession.
  8. Performs the administrative responsibilities of being a physician (e.g., completes assigned tasks in a timely manner, follows school and university policies and procedures, arrives to scheduled classes and submits assignments in a timely manner, maintains etiquette in communication)
  9. Recognizes and addresses the threats to medical professionalism posed by conflicts of interest inherent in various financial, governmental, and organizational arrangements.
  10. Maintains composure especially under stressful or difficult situations.
  1. Formulates answerable questions and then locates, appraises, and applies best available evidence from scientific studies to patients’ health problems.
  2. Values narrative, formative, summative, and reflective assessments and incorporates them into a plan for lifelong learning and continual professional improvement.
  3. Seeks and readily accepts feedback from others and integrates constructive criticism/feedback effectively.
  4. Provides feedback to promote quality improvement among peers, colleagues, supervisors, clinical systems and the curriculum at large.
  5. Appreciates how to use and apply data and benchmarks to identify patient needs and to improve patient care.
  1. Considers cost and effectiveness appropriately in individual patient care decisions.
  2. Utilizes performance improvement methods for the purpose of quality improvement.
  3. Works effectively in interprofessional teams.
  4. Identifies, compares, and contrasts various approaches to the organization, financing, and delivery of health care.
  5. Identifies the factors contributing to medical errors and adverse events from a systems perspective and propose appropriate corrective actions.
  6. Advocates for patients within the healthcare system to achieve the patient’s and family’s care goals.
  7. Identifies systems processes which contribute to burnout and prevent students from optimizing wellness and works with the system to devise solutions for these issues.