Teaching methods vary according to content of the courses. During the first two years, the topics of biomedical and behavioral sciences are covered through lectures, reading assignments, computer simulations, clinical correlation, small group discussions, review sessions, and laboratory exercises. Since 1992, an innovative Problem Based Learning Program has been implemented. This program facilitates the integration of basic science, ethical issues, and behavioral sciences concepts, principles and facts by means of the analysis of clinical cases. Basic clinical knowledge and skills are introduced during the second year in courses such as Fundamentals of Clinical Diagnosis and Basic Clinical Clerkship. Recently a Standardized Patient Program has been REPLACEed into the four year program. The use of Standardized Patient’s facilitate the teaching and evaluation of basic and advanced clinical skills. It is expected that the student active participation in the learning process will motivate them to develop life-long learning techniques.
The elective course component provides the student with the opportunity to develop further along the lines of his/her individual interests. There are a wide variety of educational experiences to select from and to suit the needs of the students according to their background, ability, and career objectives. Some elective courses may be pursued in mainland accredited institutions.
The School shares with the Puerto Rico Department of Health the responsibility for developing an adequate and comprehensive health care service. In accordance with this, all core courses emphasize the preventive aspects of medicine and present the health programs available and needed in the community in the specific area or subject matter under discussion. They also stress the biopsychosocial aspects of illness vs. disease, the concept of the patient as a whole, and the core knowledge and skills necessary to perform as primary physicians in a community setting.