To function effectively as physicians Yale medical students must acquire a basic understanding, theoretical as well as factual, of the physical, psychological, economic and cultural matters that affect the care of patients. Knowledge consists not only of that information alone however, but also includes a critical understanding of how that information is obtained, expanded and renewed.
Knowledge must also include the ability to augment itself through a lifetime of learning and scholarship. Yale medical students must couple this self-renewing capacity with an ability to evaluate new information critically and contribute to the discovery of new medical knowledge by engaging in an independent research project culminating in a medical thesis.
The medical school will ensure that all graduating students demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the faculty, the following:
- An understanding of normal structure of the human body at the whole-body, organ, tissue, cell and molecular level.
- An understanding of normal physiological functions at the whole-body, integrated system, organ, tissue, cell and molecular level.
- Understanding of the normal anatomic and physiologic changes that occur over the human life cycle.
- An understanding of the genetic and biochemical basis of cellular function.
- An understanding of normal psychological development.
- An understanding of the multiple causes of illness, including genetic, nutritional, developmental, metabolic, toxic, environmental, microbiological, inflammatory, neoplastic, degenerative, psychological, social, traumatic and stress-related.
- An understanding of abnormal structure/function relationships in humans.
- An understanding of basic epidemiologic principles and the use of statistics in describing illness within defined populations.
- An understanding of the major challenges, both present and future, to the health of communities and nations, as well as a familiarity with the prevention and treatment strategies needed to address these challenges.
- Knowledge of the clinical, laboratory, diagnostic imaging and pathologic manifestations of disease and proficiency in interpreting each type of information. Depth of understanding should be sufficient to allow for creation of appropriate differential diagnoses in clinical medicine and establishment of additional investigative strategies, when needed.
- A critical understanding of the principles of both curative and palliative therapeutics. This includes objectives of treatment, assessment of efficacy and risks, and awareness of the common use of alternative and complementary treatments.
- Knowledge of the strategies needed to promote health and prevent illness.
- Knowledge of health care systems in the United States and other countries, and familiarity with health care management strategies to develop systems (both large scale and small) that maximize medical effectiveness, reduce medical error, efficiently utilize scarce resources, and to correct inequities in health and access to health care.
- Awareness of the necessity for scientific method, and knowledge of its application, for the discovery of new medical knowledge.