University of Nebraska Medical Center

Program Objectives

The objectives of our medical degree program are to prepare you for success in primary care or specialty fields. Throughout the course of your four years, you will learn to master the following concepts and skills:

Medical Knowledge 

1.0 Students will apply and recall knowledge of human structure, function, development, pathophysiology, and psychosocial development.

1.1 Students will identify and describe the normal structure and function of the body and each of its major organ systems.

1.2 Students will identify and describe the molecular, biochemical, cellular, dietary and microbiologic mechanisms important to maintaining the body’s homeostasis.

1.3. Students will identify and describe the altered structure and function (pathology and pathophysiology including molecular basis) of the body and its major organ systems seen in various diseases and conditions.

1.4. Students will explain and differentiate the causes of disease (genetic, developmental, metabolic, toxic, microbiologic, nutritional, autoimmune, neoplastic, degenerative, behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and traumatic, how they affect the body (pathogenesis) and appropriate therapies.

1.5. Students will interpret diagnostic tests as they relate to common clinical, laboratory, radiologic, and pathologic findings in disease states.

1.6. Students will evaluate the rigor of evidence, applicability of research outcomes, and scientific findings in advancing medical knowledge and patient care.

1.7. Students will describe the epidemiology of common illnesses within defined populations, and explain the systematic approaches used to reduce the incidence and prevalence of these illnesses.

Patient Care & Clinical Skills

2.0 Students will demonstrate and use their knowledge, procedural and cognitive skills in the diagnosis, management, and prevention of health problems encountered in patient care.

2.1. Students will demonstrate the ability to obtain an accurate and thorough medical history covering all essential aspects of the history, including but not limited to issues related to age, gender, and socio-economic status.

2.2. Students will demonstrate competence in a complete and organ system-specific examination, including a mental status examination.

2.3. Students will demonstrate competence in technical procedures appropriate for their level of training.

2.4. Students will demonstrate the ability to interpret results of commonly used diagnostic procedures.

2.5. Students will develop appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic management strategies for patients with common issues arising from both acute and chronic care needs.

2.6. Students will utilize technology to complement and enhance the practice of medicine and the delivery of health care services.

Practice-Based Learning & Improvement

3.0 Students will identify gaps in understanding, recognize personal limitations, and demonstrate habits of self-directed learning to acquire or improve knowledge and skills.

3.1. Students will determine personal learning objectives and implement strategies for achieving them.

3.2. Students will reflect on patient care activities and assess personal performance to improve future patient encounters.

3.3. Students will provide formative feedback to peers, lecturers, preceptors, courses and clerkships.

3.4. Students will accept and integrate formative and summative feedback for the purpose of continuous professional development.

3.5. Students will apply the scientific method to basic and translational research scenarios.

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

4.0 Students will employ effective listening, verbal, and written communication skills with patients, family members, colleagues, and other health professionals to promote optimal health outcomes.

4.1. Students will demonstrate effective oral and written communication and listening skills with patients, families, colleagues, and others with whom physicians must exchange information.

4.2. Students will demonstrate the ability to adapt communications to a variety of professional settings and roles.

4.3. Students will demonstrate the ability to deliver and prioritize concise and accurate summaries of patient assessments to all members of the health care team.

4.4. Students will demonstrate the ability to document appropriate confidential records of clinical encounters using standard terminology and formats.


5.0 Students will employ and exemplify altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for others into all aspects of their professional lives.

5.1. Students will exhibit compassionate treatment of patients, and exhibit respect for their privacy and dignity.

5.2. Students will demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to, including but not limited to, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disabilities of patients, patients’ families, faculty, residents, other health care professionals, and peers.

5.3. Students will apply knowledge of the theories and principles governing ethical decision-making.

5.4. Students will demonstrate responsibilities of a medical professional by completing written, oral, and assessment requirements in a timely manner; completing administrative requirements in a timely manner; and being punctual to required activities.

5.5. Students will exhibit attitudes and behaviors that contribute to a positive and professional learning environment by contributing during learning activities; providing respectful communication (written and oral) and formative feedback to others; and dressing appropriately for activities.

5.6 Students will recognize and reflect on the past and current prevalence of racism, bigotry, and bias in medical care, access, and exposure of minoritized and marginalized people to harmful treatment, experiences, environments, and toxins and how this relates to health, disease incidence, prevalence, treatment, outcome, and prevention.

Systems of Health Care

6.0 Students will analyze health care delivery settings and systems in order to advocate for patients, identify opportunities for quality improvement, and optimize patient safety through open communication of errors.

6.1. Students will describe the burdens of medical error and the process of decreasing errors.

6.2. Students will advocate for the interests of their patients and society for the improvement of the health care system.

6.3. Students will identify systems failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement.

6.4. Students will utilize the principles of cost-effective patient care.

6.5. Students will identify current health care policy and practices and compare them with relevant best practices as opportunities for improvement.

Interprofessional Collaboration

7.0 Students will prepare to function effectively in teams and within organizations, applying community and other resources to medical problems for individual patients and groups.

7.1. Students will recognize and exhibit respect for the roles of other health care professionals.

7.2. Students will work effectively as part of the health care team to achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

7.3. Students will identify ancillary resources external to the immediate health care team.

Personal & Professional Development

8.0 Students will develop skills and exhibit qualities necessary to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth.

8.1. Students will evaluate and address personal limitations, attributes, and/or behaviors that might impact effectiveness as a physician.

8.2. Students will describe and show signs of healthy coping mechanisms to respond to fatigue and stress when it exists.

8.3. Students will identify and address conflicts between personal and professional responsibilities when it exists

  • Approved by the Curriculum Committee, April 22, 2014
  • Revised and approved at the Curriculum Committee Retreat, May 28, 2014
  • Learning objective 6 was revised and approved by the Curriculum Committee, April 21, 2015
  • Learning objectives 1.6, 6.5 and 7.3 were revised and approved by the Curriculum Committee, January 24, 2017
  • Learning objectives 1.2 and 1.4 were revised and approved by the Curriculum Committee, February 25, 2020
  • Approved by the Curriculum Committee, June 28, 2021
  • Approved by the Curriculum Committee, January 25, 2022