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Our Curriculum

The aim of the McMaster Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Program is to provide students with a general professional education as physicians. The Program enables students to build upon previous education and experience, using available learning resources and opportunities. The competencies achieved by graduates will qualify them to proceed to further postgraduate training.

Like most medical programs, the McMaster UGME Program is divided into Pre-Clinical and Clinical phases. Pre-Clinical spans the first 15 months of the UGME Program. The Pre-Cl​inical program uses problem-based, self-directed approaches and incorporates early patient exposure. In Pre-Cl​inical, the focus is on learning core medical science concepts and professional competencies to prepare students for the Clinical program and beyond. The Medical Foundation (MF) tutorials, and large group sessions present the major concept themes in the curriculum integrating the basic medical sciences. Anatomy and clinical skills sessions complement the MF material.

The tutorial group of 6-8 students is the key setting in which students will contribute to each other's education under the guidance of a tutor. Students take responsibility for their own learning and time is allowed for independent, self-directed learning There is a continuing assessment process including assessment by tutors, peers and self, as well as program-related assessment exercises. Much of the curriculum is mounted electronically on medportal, the MD Program’s electronic platform.

The 63-week Clinical program consists of rotations in medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, family medicine, anesthesia, psychiatry, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and emergency medicine. There is also elective time, one half of which must be spent in clinical activity. The compulsory components of the Clerkship are carried out in teaching practices and in all the teaching hospitals in the regions of each campus: Waterloo, Niagara and Hamilton. As well, many clinical placements occur in the communities associated with the Rural Ontario Medical Program.

Compass

The COMPASS curriculum aims to ensure that our graduates have a good working understanding of biological, psychological and social mechansims and processes, as well as their impact on health and disease.

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Pre-Clinical

Focus is on learning core medical science concepts and professional competencies to prepare students for the Clinical program and beyond.

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Clinical

The 63-week Clerkship program consists of rotations in medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, family medicine, anesthesia, psychiatry, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and emergency medicine

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Electives

Electives are the epitome of student-centred learning: they provide the student with the opportunity to identify his or her own learning deficits and then develop curricular elements to best fill those deficits.

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Concept Integration and Review (CIR)

An opportunity to review and synthesize important concepts before taking the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Exam.

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Professional Competencies

An integral part of the COMPASS curriculum at McMaster - competent medical practice involves an integration of knowledge and practical skill.

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