Foundation courses are interdisciplinary and represent approximately 70 percent of the professional curriculum. In Foundation courses I, III, and IV (VTMED 5100, VTMED 5300, VTMED 5400), students work in small groups under the guidance of a faculty tutor. Case-based exercises are used to facilitate the understanding of basic science concepts within the context of clinical medicine. In some courses, three two-hour tutorial sessions are scheduled each week. These are complemented by lectures, laboratories, and discussion sessions or other organized learning opportunities specific to the individual course. Faculty members are available to respond to questions that arise as a result of the case-based exercises.
Tutorial sessions and all other organized learning programs are scheduled primarily during the mornings, thereby reserving time in the afternoon for independent study. By learning in a clinical context, students are better able to integrate material from the basic and clinical sciences and are encouraged to develop an understanding of the clinical reasoning process from the beginning of the curriculum. The tutorial-based educational format creates an atmosphere that requires students to be involved actively in their learning and allows them to develop skills in communication, information retrieval, and analysis.
Note: Courses listed in brackets [ ] are approved courses that are not offered during the 2011–2012 academic year.