Council on Curriculum

Competency-Based Curriculum Guide


This guide was prepared to assist faculty and students focusing on the competencies determined necessary for graduating students to be judged safe physicians. Administration, faculty, and students determined this guide was needed and provided input to the contents. The information was adapted with permission from An Educational Blueprint for the Brown University School of Medicine, second edition, August 1994 by Stephen R. Smith, M.D. and Barbara Fuller. It contains the general expectations for medical students, providing direction for their educational experience. The specifics of each student’s curriculum may vary, but the faculty has agreed that all students will demonstrate competency in these areas prior to graduation.

The faculty of the School of Medicine believes that students learn best by experience. Relevant learning experiences repeated and reinforced with close guidance by faculty and peers is the tenet this school was founded on. This explains the title Competency-Based Curriculum Guide. This guide differs from the Curriculum Books of the past.

This guide takes a more general approach outlining expected general competencies. Specific facts will predictably change and are not contained in this guide. Thus it will have a greater longevity and will be revised as needed, every four to six years. The guide outlines six areas of competency that the faculty has determined to be essential for graduating students to be judged safe physicians. Learning objectives for Years 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 are listed first, and specific competencies are then described in each of the six general areas, which align with the six Accreditation for Graduate Medical Education competencies.


UMKC Six Competencies and Learning Objectives

Overview of the Competency-Based Curriculum

The curriculum in the combined Baccalaureate/M.D. program of the UMKC School of Medicine uses relevant clinical experiences repeated throughout the curriculum with close supervision by a physician mentor (docent). Most students are accepted directly out of high school for the 6-year program. A small number of students are accepted in Year 3 after receiving an undergraduate degree. For the first two years, approximately 75 percent of the curriculum is devoted to arts and science courses and 25 percent to introductory clinical medicine*. During the last four years, approximately 75percent of the time is devoted to clinical medicine and 25 percent to arts and sciences. Students interact with patients throughout all six years in inpatient and outpatient settings so that the excitement of clinical medicine can continually motivate and challenge them.

An important component of the student’s clinical education occurs in ambulatory care settings. Throughout the last four years of the program, students spend a half-day each week with their docent and student partner in a continuing care clinic for general medicine outpatients. The goals of this experience are to promote an understanding of the course of chronic illness and to enable students to experience the rewards and challenges of an ongoing doctor/patient relationship.

Faculty members supervise students’ experiences on required clinical rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, surgery, psychiatry and emergency medicine. Through supervised experiences on docent rotation, continuing care clinic and the above clinical rotations, students develop the clinical competencies described in this guide. Electives give students opportunities to develop additional or more advanced competencies.

*Courses will be determined by the requirements for the student’s chosen degree.