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The undergraduate curriculum at the Dalhousie Medical School has been undergoing a renewal process that began in 2009. Graduates of the program develop competence in four principal and interdependent areas of achievement: as professionals, as community contributors, as life-long learners and as skilled physicians.

The pre-clerkship years use classroom, case-based learning, clinical skills and electives to develop the foundational knowledge, skills and professional behaviours in this curriculum. The core clerkship in the third year offers a range of experiences including a six-week rotation in family medicine. The final year permits students to complete their learning objectives through electives. 


The College of Family Physicians of Canada has invested heavily in a revision of our approach to training. It was clear that the development of new family physicians had to change to best serve our patients and our communities. The new curriculum is therefore designed to be more accountable to the changing expectations our society has of us. It will now focus on ensuring that our trainees will be able to practice as effective, compassionate physicians. Programs will be based on helping our future family doctors achieve competency, and not just acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes.

The training will be comprehensive, covering all the abilities required by full service family doctors. It will be continuous and centred in family medicine, delivered mainly in primary care contexts instead of other speciality rotations (alternative consultant rotations). The curriculum will also be flexible and learner centred. Instead of having to be completed in a prescribed period of time, it will be variable and paced to the needs of the learner. More information on the concept of Competency is in the definition section, or you can visit the CFPC website linked below.


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