The M.D. program at McMaster is a three year intensive program, which uses a problem based approach to learning that should apply throughout the physician's career. The components have been organized in sequential units with early exposure to patients and case management. Flexibility is ensured to allow for the variety of student backgrounds and career goals.
To achieve the objectives of the undergraduate medical program, students are introduced to patients within the first level of the curriculum. In this way, students understand the relevance of what they are learning, maintain a high degree of motivation, and begin to understand the importance of responsible professional attitudes.
The students are presented with a series of health care problems, requiring for their solution, the understanding of underlying physical, biological, and behavioural principles, the appropriate collection of data and the critical appraisal of evidence. In each problem area, the student may select the most appropriate issues to ensure the understanding and application of the fundamental concepts. This flexibility provides an opportunity for early consideration of individual interests and goals. The faculty functions as learning resources or guides. Learning by a process of inquiry is stressed.