Medicine, Patients, and Society I

Welcome to Medicine, Patients, and Society I (MPS I), your first clinical course at Weill Cornell Medical College. The knowledge and skills you will acquire in this course will form the foundation of your clinical practice and are important building blocks in the development of your professional identity.

The year-long, one-day-a-week course is structured in several segments. In the fall, we begin the segment of the course called Medical Encounter. Our focus here is on the physician-patient relationship. We explore such topics as communication, professionalism, the medical history, clinical reasoning, the patient's perspective, medicine and culture, the social history, health care disparities, patient education and adherence. In your Skills Groups, you will practice portions of the medical interview, and you will begin talking to patients in your office preceptor sessions. By December, you will be able to take a complete medical history of a patient, and you will learn how to document your findings in a write-up. You will also learn how to take basic vital signs, become BCLS certified, and learn how to act as a first responder in a crisis. Other topics covered include a survey of the history of medicine, global health, and complementary medicine.

In January, we begin the Biostatistics/Epidemiology module, under the direction of Madelon Finkel, Ph.D. Here you will learn about research design, data analysis, and the basic tools of how to design, read, and evaluate studies. You will also learn about the prevalence and incidence of disease and the impact that disease can have on populations. Using skills learned from Biostatistics/Epidemiology, you enter the Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) segment, also directed by Dr. Finkel, where you learn how to search and interpret the medical literature to answer questions about specific clinical scenarios.

Next comes the segment entitled Life Cycle. This segment provides a survey of issues related to different periods in the development of the individual person, from birth through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Coupled with this segment is our Nutrition segment, under the direction of Jonathan Waitman, M.D., where you learn about nutritional and metabolic concerns through the life cycle. During this time, you also will begin another semester at a new office preceptor location.

We close the course with a return to the Medical Encounter, where we examine some more advanced topics in clinical care. Smoking cessation, physicians and human rights, an introduction to health care economics, breaking bad news, mistakes in medicine, and your first formal medical ethics session round out the course. A more in-depth study of medical ethics occurs in your MPS II course. By the end of the course, you will be able to achieve all of the course objectives.

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