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Mission-Driven MD Program (2023)

Program Overview

The mission-driven medical doctor (MD) program emphasizes community, relationships, and collaboration.

The program is organized into three phases and focuses on five content pillars: 

  • foundational sciences 
  • clinical sciences 
  • health systems sciences 
  • health humanities sciences 
  • professional identity formation 
Mission-Driven MD Program Pillars
Mission-Driven Program Pillars

Phase One (Year One)

Student led clinic
Students will receive extensive clinical experience in student-led clinics

Houses:  In year one, students will be put into one of six houses. Students will spend all four years in their House, collaborating and building strong relationships with students, faculty, and community health workers. 

Student-Led Clinics: Clinical work begins in year one. Students will spend one to two half days per week in student-led clinics. As students’ skills grow, they will assume more complex roles.

Essentials Courses: Learning of foundational sciences is organized into organ-system courses. Problem-based learning is practiced throughout, and students will learn based on patient cases.

Doctoring Courses: Learning clinical sciences (diagnostics, patient history, conducting a physical, etc.) is aligned with essentials courses and occurs within houses in the classroom and student-led clinics.

SCoPE (Skills, Community, and Professional Exploration) is a six-week intro course every new MD student will be enrolled in. Students will learn basic clinical skills, how to talk to patients, and where to go for help during the next four years. 

Phase Two (Year Two)

Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships:  Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LICs) are similar to block rotations but allow students to experience a larger scope of specialties. Students will care for patients, build relationships with preceptors/evaluators, and obtain clinical competencies across many disciplines. 

Team-Based Learning: Students will use team-based learning three to four times monthly. This will enhance the learning and retention of core sciences.

Note: Houses, student-led clinics and doctoring courses will continue.

Phase Three (Years Three-Four)

Advanced Integrated Science Selectives:  To prepare for residency, students must take at least two Advanced Integrated Science Selectives. These selectives provide in-depth education on specific interests and practices. Various selectives will be provided to meet students' diverse career interests. 

Student-Led Councils: Councils organize advanced learning opportunities for students to grow their knowledge/skills. Council activities will serve interests like research, advocacy, and population health. Councils help take service learning beyond classrooms and student-led clinics. They help students grow in the areas that interest them most.

Note: Houses, student-led clinics, and doctoring courses will continue. 

Roles and Assessment

To build compassionate and competent physicians, six roles will guide student learning and professional identity formation (PIF).

  1. Clinician
  2. Collaborator
  3. Health Advocate
  4. Scientist
  5. Seeker
  6. Communicator

These roles help organize the competencies expected of graduates.

Formative and summative assessments will be used throughout all four years. Formative assessments occur during learning to help identify gaps in knowledge and build a growth mindset. Summative assessments are score-based and provide evidence of competence and achievement.

MD Program Objectives
Mission-Driven Program Objectives

Medical Education Mission Statement

Medical Education Building 2025
New Medical Education Building Coming in 2025

The Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah serves all people and communities of Utah and the Mountain West by intentionally supporting and improving individual and community health outcomes and quality of life. This is achieved through excellence in equitable patient care, education, and research by:

  • Purposefully educating physicians, scientists, and health care professionals to ensure compassionate, equitable, patient-centered care to all, prioritizing communities of greatest need.
  • Serving rural and underserved communities by prioritizing and acting to address social determinants of health to decrease health disparities among all people.
  • Engaging in scholarly research to advance knowledge, innovation, well-being, and health equity for all people.
  • Fostering a culture of respect, community, and nondiscrimination through strategic recruitment, retention, and recognition of efforts among students, trainees, staff, faculty, and community partners.