University of Virginia School of Medicine
Fundamental Objectives for
Undergraduate Medical Education

The Curriculum Committee adapted a set of fundamental objectives for the undergraduate medical education based on findings of the 1998 University of Virginia School of Medicine Task Force on Medical School Objectives. These are presented in outline form.

The competencies required of the contemporary physician include in outline form:

  1. The development and practice of a set of personal and professional attributes that enable the independent performance of the responsibilities of a physician and the ability to adapt to the evolving practice of medicine. These include an attitude of:
    a) Humanism, compassion and empathy,
    b) Collegiality and interdisciplinary collaboration,
    c) Continuing and lifelong self education,
    d) Awareness of a Personal response to one's personal and profession limits,
    e) Community and social service,
    f) Ethical personal and professional conduct,
    g) Legal standards and conduct,
    h) Economic awareness in clinical practice;

  2. Competence in the human sciences:
    a) in the understanding of current clinically relevant medical science
    b) in scientific principles as they apply to the analysis and further expansion of medical knowledge.

  3. The ability to engage and involve any patient in a relationship for the purpose of clinical problem solving and care throughout the duration of the relationship,

  4. Eliciting a clinical history,

  5. Performing a physical examination,

  6. Generating and refining a prioritized differential diagnosis for a clinical finding or set of findings,

  7. Developing and refining a plan of care for both the prevention and treatment of illness and the relief of symptoms and suffering,

  8. Developing a prognosis for an individual, family or population based upon health risk or diagnosis, with and without intervention, and planning appropriate follow-up,

  9. Selecting and interpreting clinical tests for the purpose of health screening and prevention, diagnosis, prognosis or intervention,

  10. Organizing, recording, presenting, researching, critiquing and managing clinical information,

  11. Selecting and performing procedural skills related to physical examination, clinical testing and therapeutic intervention, and

  12. Knowledge of the social, economic, ethical, legal and historical context within which medicine is practiced.