Clinical Foundations of Medicine

An exciting feature of the Genes to Society curriculum is the pairing of Anatomy and clinical skills training in the Clinical Foundations of Medicine (CFM) at the beginning of the students' med school experience. In CFM, the students work in small groups with classmates and their College's advisor to learn how to interview and examine patients in addition to being introduced to professional norms in clinical settings.

Course Goals

The Clinical Foundations of Medicine (CFM) course enables students to:

  • Build confidence and skill in listening to patients and guiding them as they share their story and medical history with the students,
  • Perform physical exam maneuvers and learn their significance and
  • Record one's findings and communicate them to colleagues.

Class time in CFM is largely allocated to small-group learning, with each group composed of five students and their College advisor. Each session includes demonstrations and/or practice opportunities with personalized feedback to each student. Because of an intensive team-based approach, attendance is required for every small-group session.

Course Structure

  • Every student is assigned to a Preceptor Group (five students + Preceptor) that meets for three hours weekly on a Monday or Wednesday.
  • Independent, individualized learning activities are scheduled for many Thursday afternoons, with the majority of these sessions requiring about one hour of a student’s time.

These activities include:

  • Simulated practice interviews using role play and standardized patients.
  • Interviews with Johns Hopkins volunteer outpatients and inpatients.
  • Personalized feedback from peers and Preceptor, including an individual meeting with the Preceptor for video review and feedback of each student's interview.
  • Physical exam Teaching Associates provide personalized coaching in follow-up sessions for each student to reinforce examination skills taught in Preceptor Groups.

Course Director

Mitchell Alan Goldstein, M.D., M.B.A.

  • Director, Child Protection Team, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics


Susan Pulley
Academic Program Administrator
Email: [email protected] 

Time Commitment and Course Length

The course runs for 16 weeks.