MD Program Objectives

Ross University School of Medicine’s medical education program is guided by a set of objectives or competency areas that our students must demonstrate upon graduation. These learning objectives map to our curriculum and institutional values and align with ACGME core competencies.

RUSM Students

Patient Care

Students must demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for competent patient care, and are expected to:

  • Recognize the clinical presentation of the common or life-threatening diseases and injuries and understand the principles of treatment and management.
  • Acquire clinical knowledge (both in-patient and out-patient settings) in the six major disciplines: family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery.
  • Perform routine technical procedures including at a minimum venipuncture, inserting an intravenous catheter, inserting a nasogastric tube, inserting a Foley catheter, suturing lacerations, record an ECG, and certify in ACLS & PALS.
  • Interpret the results of commonly used diagnostic tests and procedures.
  • Construct by clinical reasoning, a differential diagnosis and initial investigations for common clinical conditions.
  • Construct appropriate management strategies (both diagnostic and therapeutic) for patients with common conditions, both acute and chronic, including medical, psychiatric, and surgical conditions, and those requiring short- and long-term rehabilitation and end-of-life care.
  • Recognize patients with immediately life threatening cardiac, pulmonary, neurological, or other conditions regardless of etiology, and institute appropriate initial therapy

Interpersonal Skills and Communication

Students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information, collaboration with patients, their families and health professionals, and equity in delivery of care. 


Students are expected to: 


  • Communicate effectively with patients, families, and the public, as appropriate, across a broad range of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, demonstrating empathy and respect. 
    • Demonstrate effective communication skills and English language proficiency. 
    • Demonstrate proficiency in verbal and nonverbal communication specific to culture, gender, and patient understanding. 
  • Communicate effectively with physicians, other health professionals, and health-related agencies.
    • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with patients, families, colleagues, nurses, and other staff with whom physicians must exchange information in carrying out their responsibilities. 
  • Work effectively as a member or leader of a healthcare team or other professional group; 
  • Maintain comprehensive, timely, and legible medical records, if applicable.


Systems-based Practice

Students must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care.


Students are expected to:


  • Work effectively in various healthcare delivery settings and systems relevant to their clinical specialty.
    • Understand various approaches to the organization, financing, and delivery of health care.
  • Coordinate patient care within the healthcare system relevant to their clinical specialty.
  • Incorporate considerations of cost awareness and risk benefit analysis in patient- and/or population-based care as appropriate.
  • Advocate for quality and optimal patient care systems. 
    • An awareness of the importance of issues relating to proper charting, abandonment, disclosure, standards of care, malpractice, privileges, public reporting requirements, and informal and informed consent.
  • Work in inter-professional teams to enhance patient safety and improve patient care quality. 
    • Understand and respect the roles of other healthcare professionals, and of the need to collaborate with others in caring for individual patients and in promoting the health of defined populations. 
  • Basic understanding of risk management, resource utilization, patient safety, and medical errors.


Personal and Professional Development

Demonstrate the qualities required to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth. 


Students are expected to develop skills and habits to be able to meet the following goals:


  • Develop the ability to use self-awareness of knowledge, skills, and emotional limitations to engage in appropriate help-seeking behaviors.
  • Demonstrate healthy coping mechanisms to respond to stress.
  • Manage conflict between personal and professional responsibilities.
  • Practice flexibility and maturity in adjusting to change with the capacity to alter one's behavior.
  • Demonstrate trustworthiness that makes colleagues feel secure when one is responsible for the care of patients.
  • Provide leadership skills that enhance team functioning, the learning environment, and/or the health care delivery system.
  • Demonstrate self-confidence that puts patients, families, and members of the health care team at ease.
  • Recognize that ambiguity is part of clinical health care and respond by utilizing appropriate resources in dealing with uncertainty.


Practice-based Learning and Improvement

Student must demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate their care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve patient care based on constant self- evaluation and life-long learning. 


Students are expected to develop skills and habits to be able to meet the following goals:


  • Identify strengths, deficiencies, and limits in one's knowledge and expertise.
    • The capacity to recognize and accept limitations in one's knowledge and clinical skills, and a commitment to continuously improve one's knowledge and ability.
  • Set learning and improvement goals.
  • Identify and perform appropriate learning activities.
  • Systematically analyze practice using quality improvement methods and implement changes with the goal of practice improvement.
  • Incorporate formative evaluation feedback into daily practice.
    • Demonstrate steadily improving performance as a result of self-reflection, critical self-appraisal, and openness to feedback.
  • Locate, appraise, and assimilate evidence from scientific studies related to their patients' health problems.
    • Ability to engage in lifelong learning to maintain sufficient familiarity with scientific advances to ensure they are integrated appropriately with patient care.
  • Use information technology to optimize learning.
    • Research and retrieve (from electronic databases or other resources), manage, and utilize biomedical information for solving problems and making decisions that are relevant to the care of individuals.
  • Participate in the education of patients, families, students, residents, and other health professionals.


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