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Program Objectives

Undergraduate Medical Education Competencies

The objective of Queen’s University College of Medicine, through its curriculum, is to instill in students the knowledge, skills, behaviors and attitudes that will lead to their becoming capable, compassionate and inquisitive physicians. Graduates understand, value, and apply the scientific method in the solutions to clinical problems. They integrate clinical, biomedical, and behavioral knowledge to promote the health and well-being of patients and communities. They value lifelong learning and locate, evaluate critically, and integrate new scientific and clinical findings that advance the practice of medicine. They provide highly competent and compassionate patient-centered care while demonstrating the highest level of professionalism and sensitivity to the diverse personal and cultural contexts in which medical care is delivered. These goals are also embraced by our graduate and specialty training programs that are designed to educate medical specialists and researchers in the biomedical and clinical sciences to become well-prepared to advance the frontiers of research, clinical practice, and education. 

Medical Knowledge

Students must demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving medical, clinical, epidemiological, and socio-behavioral sciences, in Basic Sciences in Medical Education, and apply this knowledge to patient care:

  • Describe the normal structure and function (morphology and physiology) of the human body and of its major organ systems across the life span.

  • Describe how molecular, biochemical, cellular, and genetics mechanisms affect human development and maintain the body’s homeostasis across the life span.

  • Describe the scientific principles underlying diagnostic methods, including laboratory and radiologic testing, and the treatment approaches (pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic) that may be applied to major diseases and conditions.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of physical and functional principles of normal and altered treatment approaches applied to these conditions.

  • Explain how social determinants, health behaviors, and preventative measures affect disease, illness, and health in individuals and across populations regionally, nationally, and globally.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the scientific method in establishing correlation between health and disease, the utility of diagnostic modalities, and the efficacy of basic and clinical scientific knowledge.

  • Demonstrate an investigatory and analytical thinking approach in clinical situations.

Patient Care

Students must provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and for the promotion of health:

  • Obtain essential, accurate, and age-appropriate information about patients.

  • Formulate an accurate and comprehensive differential diagnosis that synthesizes relevant patient data.

  • Develop an appropriate evaluation and management plan utilizing patient information and preferences, evidence-based medicine, and clinical judgment.

  • Provide care that is responsive to the personhood of the patient, inclusive of culture, ethnicity, spirituality, gender, age, disabilities, and other aspects of personal and/or health beliefs, practices, and decisions.

  • Counsel and educate patients and their families appropriately using accurate and current information.

  • Partner with patients to prevent health problems and to improve health status.

  • Perform competently all medical and invasive procedures considered essential for the area of practice with appropriate supervision.

  • Work as members of inter-professional health care teams to provide effective, safe, quality, and patient-focused care.

  • Make informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence, and clinical judgment.

  • Use information technology to support patient care decisions and patient education.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that facilitate effective interactions with patients, their families, and other health professionals:

  • Communicate effectively with the patient, the patient’s family, colleagues, and other health care professionals through the use of active listening and appropriate verbal, non-verbal, and written skills.

  • Communicate effectively and responsively with colleagues within one’s profession or specialty, other health professionals and inter-professional teams, and health-related agencies in order to support and facilitate the maintenance of health and the treatment of disease in individual patients and populations.

  • Foster therapeutic and ethically sound relationships with patients through respect, empathy, and support emotions.

  • Demonstrate effective collaboration skills as a member of a team, including learning teams and health-care professionals.

  • Demonstrate effective teaching of peers and other health professionals.

  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate respectfully and effectively about the essential elements of obtaining patient informed consent.

  • Demonstrate effective teaching of peers and other health professionals.

  • Demonstrate the ability to recognize, manage, and communicate about patient emotions.


Students must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles. Specifically:

  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity, respect and compassion in all interactions with patients, peers, faculty, staff and other health-care professionals in all settings.

  • Demonstrate ethical, patient-centered decision-making and respect for the confidentiality, privacy of patient information in all settings (clinical, academic, electronic, or web-based).

  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to the personhood of the patient inclusive of diverse culture, ethnicity, spirituality, gender, age, disabilities, family-context and other aspects of personal and health beliefs, practices and decisions.

  • Demonstrate responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of care, confidentiality, informed consent, and business practices, including compliance with relevant laws, policies, and regulations.

  • Maintain appropriate professional boundaries and use appropriate and respectful language.

  • Identify and propose solutions for common and important moral, ethical, and legal problems of medical practice.

Practice-Based and Lifelong Learning

Students must investigate and access their academic and clinical performance, and develop skills for lifelong learning and personal improvement in order to improve patient care. Specifically:

  • Demonstrate accountability for academic, patient care and professional responsibilities, and a commitment to continuous professional development.

  • Acknowledge personal limitations and mistakes openly and honestly, and critically evaluate mistakes to promote professional development.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to personal health and well-being, and recognize and address personal attributes, attitudes and behaviors that may adversely influence one’s effectiveness as a physician.

  • Define professional impairment and describe the role and responsibility of health care professionals in addressing impairment and unprofessional behavior in colleagues and in the profession.

  • Analyze practice experience and perform practice-based improvement activities using systematic methodology.

  • Locate, appraise and assimilate evidence from scientific studies related to their patient’s health problems.

  • Apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical studies and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.

Systems-Based Practice

Students must demonstrate an awareness of, and responsiveness toward, the larger context and system of health care, including the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care:

  • Work effectively in various health care delivery settings and systems, including those with low resources.

  • Coordinate patient care within the health care system.

  • Incorporate considerations of cost awareness and risk-benefit analysis in patient and/or population-based care.

  • Obtain and use information about their own population of patients and the larger population from which their patients are drawn.

  • Advocate for quality patient care and optimal patient care systems.

  • Participate in identifying system errors and implementing potential systems solutions.

  • Participate in the education of their patients regarding their health care.

  • Know how types of medical practice and delivery systems differ from one another.

  • Understand the importance of providing cost effective health care that does not compromise quality.

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