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Professional Competencies

The Professional Competencies curriculum is interwoven throughout the 3-year program. This component of the curriculum enables the student to pull together the complexities of clinical practice: ethics, communication skills, self-reflection, health systems, interprofessional teamwork ... the layers of meaning and being that well-rounded doctors of tomorrow must possess. Clinical skills will be introduced early and often, a hallmark of McMaster's patient-centred curriculum. Patient partners and more hands-on clinics - as well as enhanced resources in the clinical learning centre - round out the offerings.

This curriculum is anchored by a weekly tutorial session led by an MD and non-MD team of facilitators who will remain with their group throughout pre-clerkship.

In addition to this, the Professional Competencies stream will be purposefully ​integrated with the Medical and Integration Foundations tutorial sessions, Clinical Skills, and Clerkship.  In the proposed renewed curriculum, students will approach their first Professional Competencies discussion with a stronger grounding in the professional expectations of a physician.  As they progress through their first year, students will notice congruency between the theoretical discussions that that are having in Professional Competencies groups and the simulated practice they undertake in Clinical Skills labs. 

Key Domains

The Professional Competencies stream is a competency-based, longitudinal curriculum with a focus in seven key domains:

  • Effective Communication

  • Medical Decision-Making

  • Moral Reasoning and Ethical Judgement

  • Health Equity and Determinants of Health

  • Professionalism and Self-Awareness

  • Social, Cultural and Humanistic Dimensions of Health

  • Interprofessional Education

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