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Innovation in Clinical Education at Vanderbilt

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The Vanderbilt School of Medicine aspires to produce graduates who will become compassionate physicians, scientists, and leaders. To enhance the natural talents of each student and assure that all graduates possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes for success, the School has organized training to direct students toward expected competencies.  The competencies are organized around clinical presenting problems of patients. Student fulfillment of these competencies will be assessed by faculty and resident observations, meetings with master teachers, student reflections, and standardized patient examinations.

The Master Clinical Teachers have worked with the Dean’s Office and Course Directors to establish a list of priority 25 presenting problems that comprise the Vanderbilt Core Clinical Curriculum (VC3). A set of learning objectives exists for each presenting problem. By relating clinical experience to learning to objectives, learners will be better able to monitor progress toward becoming a competent physician. The Vanderbilt School of Medicine is particularly poised to help students achieve their goals by way of our collegial environment, digital information resources and robust clinical experiences for students, tracking mechanisms in our electronic medical record, simulation through the Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (CELA), and by mentoring through the Master Clinical Teacher (MCT) program.

The 25 topics are not all a student must learn, but do represent problems that everyone should know. The support that students receive by way of tracking tools, reading resources, mentorship, and self management work in the VC3 program will help steer students toward mastery of clinical problems they encounter. The program will be continually upgraded and improved to help students succeed toward their goals


Reporter News: "Informatics drives innovative School of Medicine program" (September 2009)