University of Missouri School of Medicine MU Health School of Medicine

Able to deliver effective patient-centered care

The goal for graduates at the University of Missouri School of Medicine is for them to become physicians able to deliver effective patient-centered care.

Our graduates are able to deliver care that improves the health of individuals and communities. Effective patient-centered care:

  • Respects individual perspectives, beliefs, values and cultures.
  • Shares timely, complete, accurate and understandable information to inform health choices.
  • Engages each person as he/she prefers, understanding that care choices belong to that individual.
  • Partners in decision-making and the delivery of care.

Our goal is to train learners in an environment where improving care is a routine part of providing care. Our learning experiences model commitment to the patient as the first priority and always includes respect for patient’s needs and preferences. 

Learning Strategies

The graphic below illustrates programs and learning experiences students participate in during medical school which help them become proficient in delivering effective patient-centered care. For comprehensive policies, resources and curriculum at the MU School of Medicine, download the Student Handbook here.


Image Map

To ensure proficiency in this key characteristic for our graduates, the MU School of Medicine practices patient-based learning (also known as problem-based learning), or PBL.Our medical school has achieved unmatched results in PBL, a style of medical education that our faculty uses to instill our graduates with the concept of providing effective patient-centered care. Learning methods are based on real-patient scenarios, situated in actual clinical contexts to foster skills in self-directed and lifelong learning.

Our Contribution

Introduced more than twenty years ago at MU, PBL allows students to work through real clinical cases to foster skills individually and in interdisciplinary teams. While we were not the first medical school to use PBL, we became a national leader in the integration of basic science, clinical science and the humanistic qualities of medicine into PBL cases. Since the implementation of a PBL-based curriculum, MU’s medical school has substantially reduced lectures in favor of patient-based learning. The PBL-based curriculum has resulted in greater success in our student’s national licensing exam scores (see clinical knowledge and science knowledge). Learn more.


MU Published Research

The list of articles below includes research and curricula reviews conducted by MU faculty about interprofessional training, and quality and patient safety in medical education.

1) Ulbrich S., Campbell J., Dyer C., Gregory G., Hudson S. (2013). Interprofessional education on health literacy: Session development, implementation, and evaluation. Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education. 19(1): 3–7.

2) Vyas D., McCulloh R., Dyer C., Gregory G., Higbee D. (2012). An interprofessional course using human patient simulation to teach patient safety and teamwork skills. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. 76 (4): 1-9.

3) Headrick L., Barton A.J., Ogrinc G., et al. (2012). Results of an effort to integrate quality and safety into medical and nursing school curricula and foster joint learning. Health Aff (Milwood). 31: 2669-2680.

4) Headrick, L., Shalaby, M, Baum, K.D., Fitzsimmons, A.B., Hoffman, K.D., Höglund, P., et al. (2011). Exemplary care and learning sites: linking the continual improvement of learning and the continual improvement of care. Academic Medicine. 86(11): e6–7.

5) Hall, L., Scott, S.D., Cox, K.R., et al. (2010). Effectiveness of patient safety training in equipping medical students to recognize safety hazards and propose robust interventions. Quality & Safety in Health Care. 19: 3-8.

6) Cox, K., Scott, S., Hall, L., Aud, M., Headrick, L., Madsen, R. (2009). Uncovering differences among health professions trainees exposed to an interprofessional patient safety curriculum. Quality Management in Health Care. 18(3): 182-193.

7) Hall, L., Headrick, L., Cox, K.R., Deane, K., Gay, J.W., Brandt, J. (2009). Linking health professional learners and health care workers on action-based improvement teams. Quality Management in Health Care. 18:194–201.

8) Madigosky, W., Headrick, L., Nelson, K., Cox, K., Anderson, T. (2006). Changing and Sustaining Medical Students' Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes about Patient Safety and Medical Fallibility. Academic Medicine. 81(1): 94-101.

9) Jensen, A., Sanders, C., Doty, J., Higbee, D., Rawlings, A. (2014). Characterizing Information Decay in Patient Handoffs. Journal of Surgical Education. 71(4): 480-85.

10) Hoffman, K., Hosokawa, M., Blake, Jr., R., Headrick, L. (2006). Problem-Based Learning Outcomes: Ten Years of Experience at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Academic Medicine. 81(7): 617-25.

11) Hoffman, K., Griggs, M., Donaldson, J., Rentfro, A., Lu, Wei-Hsin. (2014). Through patient eyes: Can third-year medical students deliver the care patients expect? Medical Teacher. 1-9.

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