For students committed to pursuing careers in primary care medicine, the program offers an enriched curriculum that parallels the regular medical curriculum at the College of Medicine – Phoenix. Five themes comprise the core of the program's experience for students. These themes are Scholarship, Health Policy and Population Health, Leadership, Information Mastery and Clinical Practice.
- Scholarship: Every student at the college designs and successfully completes a Scholarly Project. Primary Care Scholars Program students will work closely with their mentors and the Scholarly Project office throughout the four years of their primary care scholarly project. During their fourth year, the students will submit a final poster and thesis summarizing their primary care project. Each student will present the poster at the annual Student Research Symposium. The program's students also provide an oral slide presentation in front of program faculty. Students will be encouraged to submit projects for presentation at national meetings such as the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine annual conference.
- Health Policy and Population Health: Students will attend talks by public health and population health specialists on topics related to health care policy and the impact of these policies on patient care. Students also learn about ways physicians may engage in advocacy and may pursue specific public health issues of interest to them, including health services and health outcomes research projects. Those students interested in public health and policy may delve more deeply into these issues by pursuing a master’s degree in public health.
- Leadership: Students are expected to assume a leadership role in their future endeavors, whether as a community practitioner or in the realm of research and academic medicine. Leadership preparation starts early in the program when students help plan and coordinate the annual Primary Care Week activities. Additionally, students will participate in the establishment of a new chapter of Primary Care Progress, a nationally recognized network that is committed to strengthening the community of people at the heart of primary care through leadership development, advocacy and community at medical schools nationwide. Fourth-year students further develop these skills by taking the “Preparation for Teaching and Leadership in Residency” elective.
- Information Mastery: Information Mastery is the application of the principles of evidence-based medicine concepts and techniques to the day-to-day practice of medical care. It allows future physicians to maximize the value of their services by paying close attention to the costs, benefits and harms of their interventions as they relate to the patient, family and the entire community. The program pursues a core mission to change the way people think about health, how they deliver health care and ultimately care for themselves. Primary Care Scholars Program students will complete the Information Mastery curriculum by the end of the program. Students will have many opportunities to apply and teach the principles of Information Mastery over the course of their four-year medical education at the college.
- Clinical Practice: The program is designed to prepare the next generation of primary care physicians to meet the rising health needs of local and global communities. The program will provide longitudinal experiences in primary care by pairing each student with a primary care physician mentor for both the Capstones and Community Clinical Experience Courses, a component of the curriculum spanning the first two years of medical school. Through various preceptorship and shadowing experiences, students will have multiple opportunities to observe and work with primary care clinicians. Through these experiences, students will learn core principles of patient-centered care, continuity, health care disparities, team-based care, health policy and quality improvement.