Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431


Medical students receive instruction across four threads. Click on title below for details.

A clinical and translational research thread was identified and initiated here at the College in 2011, in order to systematically introduce medical students to related scientific and ethical principles within the integrated curriculum. Based on the Liaison Committee on Medical Education ED-17-A requirement [The curriculum of a medical education program must introduce medical students to the basic scientific and ethical principles of clinical and translational research; including the ways in which such research is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients, and applied to patient care], this thread includes the overall objectives of understanding:  1) The bidirectional relationship between scientific findings and patient care; 2) Ethical issues related to research, and 3) Variations in study designs and statistical analyses, and how to critically appraise methods in scientific articles, including interpretation of outcomes to guide clinical decision making.

Thread Director: Michele Pergadia, Ph.D.
In alignment with the Association of American Medical Colleges, we define cultural competence in health care as “combining the tenets of patient/family-centered care with an understanding of the social and cultural influences that affect the quality of medical services and treatment”. The goals of our cultural competency curriculum are for students to: 1) demonstrate an understanding of how patients’ cultures and belief systems impact their experience of health and illness as well as their interaction with the health care system; and 2) demonstrate the capacity to provide patient/family-centered care to individuals from backgrounds different than his/her own in a respectful, compassionate and professional manner.

Thread Director: Julie C. Servoss, M.D., M.P.H.
It is of utmost importance that our students be ethically competent as well as medically competent. The goal of the ethics thread integrated throughout our curriculum is to teach students to recognize, analyze, manage, and prevent ethical issues in clinical settings; support students’ emotional wellbeing when faced with ethical dilemmas; and promote the exploration of personal values and the formation of students’ professional identities.

Thread Director: Elizabeth Gunderson, M.D.
The Geriatrics curricular thread is designed to provide students with an understanding of the key aspects of caring for the rapidly growing older population. The average life expectancy in the U.S. is now approaching 80. Because older people use a disproportionate amount of health services, virtually all physicians will care for older patients. Geriatrics, like pediatrics, requires special knowledge and skills to provide appropriate and high quality care to a patient population with unique needs. Based on the competencies in Geriatric Medicine recommended by the Association of American Medical Colleges and ten core principles, the Geriatrics thread prepares students to: 1) Identify how approaches to assessment, diagnosis, and management differ in patients over the age of 75; 2) Recognize and manage common geriatric syndromes, such as delirium, falls, and polypharmacy; 3) Work with an inter-professional team to address the medical, functional, and psychosocial aspects of care; 4) Practice person-centered care and involve patients in ongoing advance care planning discussions, including decisions about palliative and end-of-life care.

Thread Directors: Joseph G. Ouslander, M.D., and Mandi Sehgal, M.D.

Last Modified 11/8/16