The curriculum continues to evolve in response to
new opportunities, developments in pedagogy, increases in medical
knowledge, and to changing requirements of governments, society and
accreditation bodies. The curriculum will almost certainly continue to
be modified and enriched over the course of the next four years.
Systems-based and integrated instruction in
years 1 and 2, in a coordinated series of units.
An opportunity, through Physician
Apprenticeship, to explore issues related to professional socialization and
to the "physician as healer and professional" in a safe and supportive
environment over the entire four-year program.
Opportunity for small group activities in
labs and discussion groups.
Independent learning activities, supported
by computer-assisted instruction.
Formative and summative assessments
throughout many units.
Early exposure to patients in ambulatory
and in-patient settings in the pre-clerkship rotations in the Introduction
to Clinical Medicine (ICM) component.
An emphasis on all aspects of the clinical
method, starting in the first year with observation and listening skills,
communication and physical examination skills in the second year and moving
on to clinical reasoning, diagnostics, prognostics and therapeutics during
the second and third years.
Completion of all core clerkship rotations
before students are required to make key decisions on residency selection.
A mandatory clinical rotation in a rural
site, including an opportunity for selected students to participate in an
integrated clerkship in Gatineau (French program).
An opportunity for research activity.
Elective opportunities, on a solid basis of
Active student involvement in curriculum
evaluation and development.
In 2006, the overall educational program objectives for the MDCM program were reviewed and updated by the curriculum committee. They were based on two fundamental premises to ensure career-long excellence in whole-person care:
(1) The basic sciences and scientific methodology are fundamental pillars of medical knowledge and
(2) A physician fulfills two roles in service to the patient and society: that of a professional and of a healer, also termed Physicianship.
The objectives were organized by general competencies and principles deemed essential for Canadian physicians as elucidated by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (CanMEDS 2005), and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CanMEDS FM).
In 2010 the Curriculum Committee formally specified that by the completion of the program, all students will be competent to address the clinical presentations outlined by the Medical Council of Canada in their Objectives for the Qualifying Examination. Additionally in 2010, the Educational Design Group of the Strategic Planning Exercise of the Faculty of Medicine recommended curricular changes to address rapid evolution in scientific knowledge, delivery of health care, and medical pedagogy. It was thus opportune for the Curriculum Committee to review and revise our curricular objectives.
Our curricular objectives continue to be based on the two fundamental principles and organized by CanMEDS competencies. Each competency is broken down into knowledge, skills and attitude. Wherever possible, each objective is expressed as a measurable outcome, and are thus more explicit than previous.
At completion of the program, McGill MDCM graduates are expected to be able to function responsibly, in a supervised clinical setting, at the level of an “undifferentiated” physician.
Students should achieve these objectives by the time they complete fourth year. Although they build on knowledge, skills and attitudes gained in the Basis of Medicine, Introduction to Clinical Medicine and the Physicianship courses students have completed to date, it is during clerkship that students will have the opportunity to fully develop these abilities and then demonstrate their achievements of these objectives.