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Medical Education
Bridges Curriculum

Foundational Sciences

The Foundational Sciences element of the Bridges Curriculum is the curricular structure in which students will come to understand and apply the sciences that are basic to the 21st century practice of medicine.

This element will hold a central place in both the Foundations 1 and Foundations 2 phases of the Bridges Curriculum.

In Bridges, “foundational sciences” denotes the core scientific information and principles that all 21st century physicians will draw upon to provide the highest quality care for patients and to advance health care for future generations. The core scientific information and principles are distributed through a range of six domains of science that contribute to the health and disease of individuals and populations.

The foundational sciences can also be characterized as the enduring sciences that have long been core to the physician curriculum (e.g., anatomy, biochemistry, epidemiology, pathology, physiology, psychology, etc.) and the emerging sciences (e.g., clinical informatics, change management, continuous quality improvement, metacognition, public and global health, systems engineering) that have more recently been recognized to be crucial for the care of patients within complex health care systems and advances in the health of populations, all upon the background of the breath-taking rate of increase in information and digital technology.

Foundational Sciences Element Components

  1. Presentation of core elements of foundational biomedical, systems, and social and behavioral sciences within a familiar human disease-based context in an introductory block.
  2. Integrate all scientific domains throughout each block, in a proportion appropriate for the major causes of morbidity and mortality or health promotion relevant to that topic area.
  3. Use patient-centered, holistic cases for large and small group activities in the courses.
  4. Distribute scientific content in a manner that allows for spiral learning throughout Foundations 1 and 2 and ensuring that the inquiry cases embedded in courses are aligned with the courses' core foundational concepts.
  5. Distribute scientific content in a manner to ensure that CMC content is aligned with the core foundational concepts associated with the courses in which they are imbedded; foster integration to ensure that emerging sciences, taught in CMC might be applied & revisited in cases in FS1 & FS2 blocks.