At the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, we graduate the complete physician—one who excels in the basic sciences, delivers outstanding clinical care, discovers and shares new knowledge, and works to improve systems of healthcare delivery.
- Our curriculum builds the practice of medicine on a foundation of basic science.
- We develop outstanding clinical skills through experiential learning that spans all four years of training. Geisel students are trained in compassionate, patient- and family-centered care that addresses the “whole” patient.
- Community service is an integral part of the medical student experience and our students participate in a remarkable array of opportunities to serve our communities.
- Health care delivery science is integral to our curriculum and is taught throughout the first two years of the curriculum.
- Our students learn in and are part of a strong, supportive community.
Recent Curriculum Enhancements
At Geisel, we strive to incorporate student and faculty feedback in crafting a medical education experience for you to achieve your ultimate goals. Here are some of the recent developments in our curriculum.
- Point-of-care ultrasound is becoming a fact-of-life in many clinical settings and across several specialties. Recently, we have expanded on our successful pilot projects with new equipment and new programs that will help fill this needed training. We introduce the concepts and basic principles of ultrasound early in the curriculum and use it to study “living anatomy” and physiology, affording students the opportunity to practice procedures under ultrasound guidance. This augments our established elective experiences both in the preclinical as well as the clinical curriculum.
- Our first-year clinical skills course, On Doctoring, now employs simulated clinical experience for year 1 students to enhance the learning, observation, and feedback to students. We piloted this program over a year and are excited to now offer it for all year 1 students. The simulated clinics start in September of year 1 and run until April, and are held at the state-of-the-art Patient Safety Training Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. In April of year 1, students are paired with a clinical preceptor and stay with that preceptor through the end of year 2. This enhanced program allows for graduated development of clinical skills, decreases student travel time, ensures all students achieve basic competency, and transitions students to longitudinal clinical settings in year 1.
- We have expanded on the very popular second-year Patients & Populations course that does a “deep dive” into timely issues of great importance in healthcare. Working in teams, students delve into aspects of these topics ranging from hard data to the social context while exploring the effect on the healthcare system and on patients. Ultimately, this course is designed to give students the analytical tools to become effective change agents and to improve the systems in which they work. An important feature of this course is that it is highly flexible, responding to student interests and to the “hot topics” of the day. For example, the course recently explored the national opiate crisis, the ethics of international medical research, and the ongoing “vaccine wars.”
- We have also enhanced coverage of nutrition in our curriculum beyond the classic nutritional deficiencies, weight management, and wound healing. Nutrition is now covered through a highly-integrated approach ranging from assessing nutritional status to nutritional counseling, including the challenge of motivating change in individual behavior. We also provide opportunities for students to analyze issues such as psychosocial (e.g., the effect of advertising), societal (e.g., food availability/deserts) and public policy (local, national and international) issues.
While these represent noticeable enhancements in the curriculum, we continuously review and update it in order to improve the student experience and respond to student needs. For example, we have adjusted the schedule of some of the first-year winter term courses at the recommendation of first-year students. Additionally, we are expanding the current interprofessional education opportunities with nursing and physician assistant students, because our students find them valuable and recognize the increasing importance of team skills in the current healthcare setting.