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ASMPH sept a
Curriculum Brief
            The Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health aims to train the best and brightest students to become future physician-leaders. It seeks to educate physicians who will be outstanding clinicians and, beyond that, be the leaders who will influence how health in the Philippines (and in the world) is accessed and delivered.

            The Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) offers a program of learning that is responsive to current medical, moral, social, societal and national needs.  We aim to prepare our graduate for his/her eventual role as the Doctor of the Future. It is a program oriented towards excellence in the fields of medicine and management, held together by Ignatian principles of formation, moral, social and national responsibility. The ASMPH physician will serve not only as experts in Medicine but will serve as integral members and key players in society. 

It is a seamless program designed to work in perfect congruence from the students’ first curricular exposure in the pre-professional years in the Health Sciences program of the School of Science and Engineering as well as students from other undergraduate programs, in particular the B.S. Biology and B.S. Psychology programs of the Ateneo de Manila’s Loyola Schools. Other equally acceptable and recommended routes to enter the Professional Phase of the ASMPH are through graduates of various BS and AB degrees in the disciplines of Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, Physics, Medical Technology, Zoology, Economics, Interdisciplinary Studies, among others, from all other schools and universities. 

The ASMPH campus is located in Ortigas, within the compound where its training hospital, The Medical City, is. The professional years (or medicine proper years) in the ASMPH will be structured around the required core and integral training in both fields of Medicine and Management.

            There are two guiding principles around which the ASMPH medicine and management curriculum are designed.

The first is Integration of learning in all its aspects, corollary to our goal of training the Doctor of the Future. In pursuit of this, the modules are designed and timed to spiral to provide the evolving educational and training needs of the students as they progress through the course. The strategy of spiral learning ensures that foundational and basic principles taught are reiterated, expanded and further elucidated with cases and examples in all year levels to ensure the students’ full capture and grasp of the fundamental principles. The image of a spiral is used to describe that the learning expands but always returns as well to the core knowledge of theories that students must master.

 Learning experiences are student-centered and coordinated to reinforce knowledge and continually prepare the student for higher-order learning. To facilitate learning, a multitude of well-studied and globally accepted strategies are to be employed, including strategies in small- and large-group learning, problem-based learning, evidence-based medicine and advanced information technology.

The second principle ASMPH adheres to is relevance in learning. All modules are designed to provide relevant learning experiences not only from the standpoint of the doctor but the community leader as well. Learning experiences will not be limited to the classroom, the hospital and the computer, but will include public and private sector health agency exposure and extensive private sector and community public health work. The courses are designed to allow flexibility for electives such that the student will have the opportunity to follow the track of his/her choosing, be it a choice among the medical specialties, or one among the management specialties.

The professional years in the ASMPH are designed to provide reinforcement to previous learning; that is, new knowledge draws from the old, allowing relevant learning to take place from year to year. The fund of knowledge as well as the level of difficulty of courses increases as the student participates through the course.

The first professional year (first year medicine proper) sets the requisite foundational scientific knowledge needed to become an outstanding clinician. The program of learning consists of integrated modular courses organized around the basic medical sciences of Anatomy (Gross and Microscopic), Biochemistry and Physiology logically integrated by organ system of the normal human body. Enriching this learning will be an introduction and overview of key management principles relating to organizations and its various functions. These introductory courses will not only set the tone for the learning of the basics but will also ensure that students’ appreciation of the fundamental principles of the normal human body are fortified by parallelisms in organizations which are environments where individuals move in and exist. A key learning strategy is a deliberate effort to infuse formation activities which are integrated into the learning of the basics through the provision of individual mentors for each student. We hope that through this intensive coaching and mentoring, students may be able to go through the learning process with a kindred spirit and possible role model that can help him/her process, reflect and appreciate all of the inputs and learning that is provided through various means.  The social and community relevance of the modular material is integral to the cohesiveness of the course, and is unique to the ASMPH.

Year two is comprised of integrated modular courses organized around the medical science subjects of Pharmacology, Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology. The focus for the second year will be on illnesses and diseases in the human body. In order that such fundamental learning are better appreciated from the larger context of populations and society, management principles in the area of resource management, pharmacoeconomics, the culture of organizations and power and politics in organizations will also be taught again in the context of various disease states. An illustrative example will be a discussion on the organization and setting up of a diagnostic facility as an enterprise, spanning the entire range from identifying appropriate diagnostic tests, understanding how these are done and appreciating organizational components and issues related to the setting up or operations of this facility. 

Years Three and Four are the clinical years, comprised of spiraled, vertically- and horizontally-integrated organ system training with modules spanning the human body, with integrated management and formative hours woven in, where appropriate. The relevance of the subject areas revolving around the social determinants of health such as Leadership, Ethics, Sociology, Legal Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, Public Health and Management when seamed into the medical curriculum cannot be overemphasized. It is during these years that all of the functional disciplines required for the degree of Master in Management will be taught in a more focused way. This is a most appropriate time because by then, the students will not only have matured sufficiently age wise but will also have been exposed to various organizations and integrated concepts in management as applied to health and medicine. 

Year Five is clinical internship, designed to culminate clinical training with a course integrating the previous learning of the previous four years into a cohesive whole. Since ASMPH students will only receive their diploma after this internship year, the rotation of students to the different clinical departments, while guided by parameters determined by the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges will also be scheduled in such a way that students will definitely be given time to review for the medical licensure examinations.   Regular review sessions will be provided to students to ensure that their performance in the boards will be exemplary.

At the end of the five year professional phase (or medicine proper years plus internship), the ASMPH doctor will then be awarded a dual degree of Doctor of Medicine and Master in Management – truly the Doctor of the Future, equipped with outstanding clinical skills and the capacity and appreciation for systems thinking as applied not only to the human body but also to organizations, societies and populations. 

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