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Medical School Objectives Project (MSOP)

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The Medical School Objectives Project (MSOP) is an AAMC initiative designed to reach general consensus within the medical education community on the skills, attitudes, and knowledge that graduating medical students should possess.

MSOP's goals are to set forth program-level learning objectives that medical school deans and faculties can use as a guide in reviewing their medical student education programs (Phase I); and to suggest strategies that medical school deans and faculties might employ in implementing agreed-upon changes in their education programs (Phase II).

Phase I

In 1998, the AAMC issued Learning Objectives for Medical Student Education: Guidelines for Medical Schools (PDF). This report sets forth 30 program-level learning objectives that represent a consensus within the medical education community on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students should possess prior to graduation from medical school. This report is designed to guide medical schools in developing their own objectives that reflect an understanding of the implications for medical practice and medical education of evolving societal needs, practice patterns, and scientific developments.

Phase II

To assist medical schools in improving their curricula, the AAMC convened expert consultants and panels to address special topics in medicine, and to offer their findings on the learning objectives and educational strategies for all medical students through a series of Contemporary Issues in Medicine reports.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine Reports

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Oral Health Education for Medical and Dental Students (PDF)

With the growing need to address patient care more systemically and holistically to include oral health and the systemic burden from oral diseases and disorders, an expert panel of physician and dental educators have identified shared requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to the recognition, diagnosis, treatment, and referral for oral health appropriate for medical students related to clinical dentistry and that of clinical medicine for dental students.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Education in Safe and Effective Prescribing Practices (PDF)

A panel of academic and industry experts in drug therapy, pharmacology education, and pharmaceutical R&D provide recommendations on what medical students need to learn in order to become knowledgeable, safe, and effective prescribers of medications. This is the PDF version.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: The Prevention and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity, Medical School Objectives Project (PDF)

This report was developed with recommendations regarding the learning objectives and educational experiences needed in medical school curricula to help better address overweight and obesity prevention and treatment. The report also identifies the barriers to implementing effective curricula, implementation strategies, and examples of innovative curricular approaches. This is the PDF version.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Musculoskeletal Medicine Education (PDF)

To properly prepare the physician population, it is imperative that medical schools provide learning experiences that will allow students to gain an appreciation of the importance of these conditions and the challenges inherent in caring for patients who are so afflicted. This publication is only available as a PDF.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Genetics Education (PDF)

Recent events, especially the sequencing of the human genome, have introduced new approaches to diagnosis and therapy, and have broadened the scope of genetics to include common disorders and preventative strategies of public health significance. With the general recognition that genetic medicine will play a much larger—indeed, central—role in the work and knowledge of the practicing physician of the future, the challenge to medical education today is to determine the level of knowledge about genetics that students graduating from medical school need to acquire. This publication is only available as a PDF.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Basic Science and Clinical Research (PDF)

Medical school deans and faculties have an obligation to ensure that their students have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to practice scientifically based medicine throughout their professional careers. This publication is only available as a PDF.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Quality of Care (PDF)

Though quality of care issues are not new to medicine, there is concern that safeguards designed to protect patients need improvement, and that medical school graduates are ill-prepared to address the system shortcomings that put patients at risk in the first place. This publication is only available as a PDF.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Communication in Medicine (PDF)

Effective communication is the linchpin in the relationship between physician and patient, as well as critical in exchanging information with families, colleagues, and related professionals administering care. In order to communicate effectively with patients, physicians will also need to understand how a person's spirituality and culture affect how they perceive health and illness, and particularly their desires regarding end-of-life care. This publication is only available as a PDF.

Contemporary Issues in Medicine: Medical Informatics and Population Health (PDF)

Medical informatics and population health are interrelated topics. Physicians will have to possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to be competent in medical informatics if they wish to incorporate into practice systematic approaches for promoting and maintaining the health of defined populations. For this reason, the reports of the informatics and population health panels are presented together. This publication is only available as a PDF.

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