DGSOM Program Objectives - HEALS Curriculum

The medical school curriculum redesign effort started in the Fall of 2017 with the very fundamental question, “why?” What does DGSOM seek to uniquely do in training future physicians? The answer – “Empower students to become physicians committed to excellence and leaders in innovation, research, health, education, advocacy, and humanistic care." The new HEALS curriculum began a phased implementation in August 2021.

Patient Care

Provide patient-centered care that is compassionate, humanistic, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

  • Gather and interpret pertinent data about patients and their conditions by taking focused and comprehensive histories and physical examinations, and by reviewing results of diagnostic tests.
  • Formulate appropriate differential diagnoses based on the clinical data that has been gathered.
  • Develop comprehensive patient care plans based on scientific evidence and patient preferences.
  • Perform basic procedural skills with proficiency.

Medical Knowledge

Demonstrate a strong foundation of medical knowledge plus an ability to acquire new concepts and apply them to the care of patients.

  • Gather relevant biomedical information and assess its applicability to the care of diverse patient populations.
  • Demonstrate skill in physical diagnosis and clinical reasoning in the treatment of common diseases and conditions.
  • Integrate biomedical, clinical, social and behavioral sciences into the care of individuals and populations.

Interpersonal Communication Skills

Demonstrate skills to exchange information effectively and work collaboratively with patients, patients’ families, and professional colleagues.

  • Organize patient information and communicate it efficiently through presentations to other healthcare providers, adapting content to clinical settings.
  • Give and receive patient handoffs in an organized fashion during transitions in patient care.
  • Convey relevant information effectively to patients and patients’ family members from diverse social and cultural backgrounds.
  • Communicate successfully with colleagues from multiple disciplines, including healthcare professionals and trainees, while caring for patients.
  • Maintain accurate and timely medical records, including the resolution of conflicting or incorrect information, to promote patient care.

Ethics, Professionalism, AND Professional Identity

Demonstrate adherence to the highest standards of professional responsibility and sensitivity to the diverse needs of patients, their families, and society.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to serving patients and society with empathy, compassion, kindness and deep respect for diverse backgrounds and values.
  • Show a commitment to improving human health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness.
  • Demonstrate humility in all interactions during the practice of medicine and advancement of scientific knowledge, accepting the limits of one’s own knowledge and abilities while embracing opportunities to learn from others.
  • Act with honor, honesty, and altruism in all professional interactions while being guided by duty, integrity, social justice, and a concern for the common good.
  • Show a capacity to persevere towards long-term goals, motivated by a strong sense of purpose and a desire to embrace life-long learning.
  • Demonstrate responsibility and accountability to patients, society, and the profession.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to the provision or withholding of care, confidentiality, informed consent, conflict of interest, and business practices, including compliance with relevant laws, policies, and regulations.

Practice-based Learning AND Improvement

Demonstrate honest self-reflection and the ability to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence in a continuous effort to improve clinical practice.

  • Demonstrate self-directed learning to identify and redress gaps in knowledge and practice.
  • Show an ability to appraise scientific and clinical data and incorporate these into patient care.
  • Be receptive and responsive to feedback while also providing constructive, professional feedback to others.

System-based Practice

Demonstrate awareness of, and responsiveness to, the context of health care systems, including an ability to effectively call on system resources to provide optimal care.

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of healthcare systems, including how patients interact with healthcare providers in hospitals and clinics and medical insurance administrators.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of safety-net providers and their role in patient care.
  • Be able to identify, evaluate and address instances of inefficient or low-quality care.

Leadership And Inter-Professional Teamwork

Demonstrate an ability to work as part of an inter-professional team to optimize safe and effective patient care.

  • Engage effectively with other health professionals to establish and maintain an environment of mutual respect, dignity, diversity, ethical integrity, and trust.
  • Be able to address health care needs through the practice of patient- and population-
  • centered care that is safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills that enhance scientific learning and/or health care delivery locally, nationally, and globally.

Curiosity, Inquiry, And Critical Thinking

Demonstrate an ability to apply analytical thinking, discerning inquiry, and creative problem-solving to identify and fill gaps in scientific and clinical evidence-based knowledge that impacts patient care.

  • Demonstrate clinical reasoning to develop sound and effective strategies for patient care.
  • Demonstrate the application of advances in biomedical science to knowledge gaps in clinical practice.
  • Engage in scholarly inquiry to advance medical and scientific knowledge.
  • Recognize that ambiguity is a part of scientific discovery and clinical health care, and show an ability to weigh uncertainty when making decisions.

Social Justice And Advocacy

Demonstrate awareness and understanding of social justice issues in health care while always maintaining a patient-centered mindset to advocate at all levels on behalf of patients.

  • Articulate the role of the physician in promoting health and well-being for diverse patients and populations.
  • Articulate the nature and causes of health disparities, both locally and globally.
  • Explain the relationship between social determinants of health and the incidence of illness among individuals and underserved communities.
  • Demonstrate advocacy for patients, communities, and society to address and reduce health disparities.