SIU School of Medicine

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Office of Education and Curriculum


Curriculum Guidelines

These Guidelines represent the school’s blueprint of educational concepts which are to provide guidance in curriculum development.  There shall be a competency-based curriculum which shall prevail throughout the medical school.

  1. Students should be encouraged to become self-directed, lifelong learners.

    Medical school should model the behavior expected of the trained physician.  The student should be encouraged to take responsibility for their continuing educational development.

  2. Students should be exposed to a variety of clinical settings throughout their entire undergraduate education and should be expected to show progressive development of skills and professional behaviors.

    Students will be assigned to a variety of clinical preceptors throughout their undergraduate career. In these settings they will develop their clinical skills, their socialization into the profession, their appreciation of the roles of a diversity of health care professionals, their understanding of the economics of health care delivery, and the nature of the physician-patient relationship. Students will be expected to show developing levels of patient care and responsibility as they move toward their residency training. 

  3. Learning of basic and clinical sciences shall be integrated.

    The basic sciences shall extend beyond the “classic eight” (Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Behavioral Sciences, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology) to include Ethics, Humanities, Epidemiology, Nutrition, and Biostatistics.  Wherever possible the basic sciences should be learned and evaluated in the context of solving patient problems.

  4. Active learning in small group settings should be encouraged.

    Wherever possible, learning should occur in small groups with active participation by all members. Not only is this deemed to be educationally effective, but it will also develop those interpersonal skills necessary to function as members of multidisciplinary teams in health care delivery.

  5. The curriculum shall develop the flexibility necessary for students to function in the rapidly evolving health care delivery system, and in a variety of roles such as individual patient care, community health, and preventive medicine.

    Students should develop the skills to respond to evolving societal needs, practice patterns and scientific developments.

  6. All curricular events should be evaluated; such evaluations should be diverse in style and performance-based.

    Given the variety of skills, knowledge and attributes expected of our graduates, we anticipate that they will be evaluated in a diversity of ways, including self-evaluation.  All such evaluations should be performance-based (defined as assessing the application of knowledge and skills in settings approximating actual clinical situations).

  7. The following content areas should receive emphasis in the curriculum: history and physical examination skills, medical practice management, health policies, evidence based medicine, resource acquisition and medical informatics, and opportunities to explore diverse career choices. 

    Where appropriate, management of the curriculum should be by interdisciplinary teams which cross geographical and calendar barriers.



Endorsed by Educational Policy Committee
November 1998

Re-endorsed by Educational Policy Council
October 2002