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Learning Objectives & Correlated Institution Objectives


The overarching knowledge, skill and behavior competencies you are expected to achieve during the three years of the FDC are the following:


 Learning Objectives


Know and use the language of physical examination techniques, findings and structures.

Relate the physical examination to normal anatomy and physiology.

Relate the physical examination to abnormal and anatomy and pathophysiology.

Know variations in physical exam techniques for use with children and elderly.

Know and use the language of medical interviewing and communications techniques, focusing on the techniques of open-ended inquiry and an empathic, humanistic approach.

State the goals of the doctor-patient encounter: establishing rapport, data acquisition, educating and enlisting the patient.

Identify the key components of the patient data base gathered in the encounter: patient identification, chief complaint, history of present illness, past medical history, medications, allergies, habits and hazards, social history, family history, review of systems, and physical exam findings.

Identify the key components of the history and physical write-up, SOAP note and oral presentation.


Perform basic physical examination techniques on adults and children in the following:

    • General Assessment (Vital Signs)
    • Extremities and Back
    • Cardiovascular
    • Chest and Lungs
    • Abdomen
    • Head and Neck
    • Skin, Hair and Nails
    • Eyes/Ears
    • Neurologic and Mental Status

Perform sensitive/invasive physical examination techniques on adults in the following areas:

    • Gynecologic and Breast
    • Urologic and Prostate
    • Recognize some abnormal physical exam findings.

Obtain an accurate medical history that covers all essential aspects of the history, including issues related to age, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Practice basic open-ended inquiry: Invitation, Listening and Short Summaries (ILS)

Practice communicating empathy to your patients, identifying their ideas, values and feelings.

Practice alternating between a patient-centered (ILS) and doctor-centered interview process when appropriate.

Practice skills for enlisting patients in behavior modification.

Communicate with patients that present more challenging interview issues.

Reason deductively in solving clinical problems.

Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with patients, patients’ families, colleagues, and others with whom physicians must exchange information in carrying out their responsibilities.


Practice compassionate treatment of patients, and respect for their privacy and dignity.

Uphold and promote the ideals of medical professionalism, understanding it as the basis of medicine’s contract with society and recognizing the fundamental principles of primacy of patient welfare, patient autonomy and social justice.

Understand and respect the roles of other health care professionals and the need to collaborate with others in caring for individual patients and in promoting the health of defined populations.

Recognize and accept limitations in one’s knowledge and clinical skills, and a commitment to continuously improve one’s knowledge and ability.

Recognize the importance of cultural, ethnic, racial and religious diversity and its impact on society, health care delivery, and the workplace.


 Correlated Institutional Objectives

Medical Knowledge

1-2: Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the manner in which people of diverse cultures and belief systems perceive health and illness and respond to various symptoms, diseases, and treatments. This includes considering the individual patient’s education, financial resources, and alternative or complementary medical practices as well as the effect of social needs and socioeconomic factors on patient care.

Patient Care

2-1: Students will accurately perform and document complete and focused histories and physical examinations that are based on the pathophysiology of presenting complaints and that address relevant psychosocial and family issues.

2-2: Students will identify and prioritize patients’ problems, formulate appropriate differential diagnoses, and develop appropriate plans for treatment and/or management in both the outpatient and inpatient settings.

2-5: Students will perform complete and focused case presentations that are accurate and well-organized; prepare and maintain complete, accurate, well-organized medical records.

2-6: Students will inform patients and their families about health and illness in a way that is clear and appropriate to their needs, including counseling on prevention and psychosocial issues.

2-7: Students will demonstrate an understanding of and respect for cultural differences in communication with and management of patients. Students will demonstrate an understanding of prevention, acute, chronic, continuing, rehabilitative, and end-of-life care and apply these to patient care.

Interpersonal and Communications

3-1: Students will communicate effectively, both orally and in writing with patients, patients’ families, colleagues, and others with whom physicians must exchange information in carrying out their responsibilities.

3-2: Students will skillfully discuss sensitive issues with patients and their families in an effective, compassionate, non-judgmental manner.

3-3: Students will demonstrate a commitment and skill in teaching to and learning from students, colleagues, and other members of the health professions and patients.

3-4: Students will demonstrate compassionate treatment of patients and respect for their privacy and dignity.


4-1: Students will act in an ethically responsible manner, displaying integrity, honesty, and appropriate boundaries with patients, patients’ representatives, and fellow health care professionals.

4-3: Students will demonstrate a balance of their own needs and values with their professional responsibilities towards patients.

4-4: Students will recognize the limit of their own knowledge, skills, and behavior through self-reflection and seek to overcome those limits.

4-5: Students will recognize and appropriately address gender and cultural biases in themselves and others.