Formative/Summative Integrated Activities

Integration has been accepted as an important educational strategy in medical education. In the process of curriculum review and renewal, the need to increase integration in the biomedical sciences courses was identified. To meet this requirement and strengthen other competencies, a series of activities and exercises was implemented.

Formative/Summative Integrated Activities are characterized by these principles:

  1. Are student centered
  2. Promote self-learning
  3. Facilitate integration (both vertical and horizontal using a multidisciplinary approach)
  4. Provide early exposure to clinical scenarios and experiences
  5. Integrate technology in the learning process
  6. Utilize diverse evaluation and assessment strategies
  7. Reinforce values, attitudes and social responsibility in the practice of medicine
  8. Include community-based medical education
  9. Incorporate information literacy and evidence-based medicine.

Using a small group work format, these activities encourage students to analyze, discuss, and propose solutions to health problems, integrating knowledge and skills from previous and current courses. In addition, elements of clinical clerkships are presented to strengthen vertical integration. Topics selected for these activities reflect current topics in medical education or global public health issues.

Service Learning

Service learning is an academic experience conducted in the community. Students participate in an organized community intervention to provide health services that meet identified community needs. Students have the opportunity to be part of a transdisciplinary healthcare team, thus gaining further understanding of community health, service structure and demand, patient behaviors, and fostering civic responsibility. Activities are conducted in partnership with primary care clinics, school health programs and Federally Sponsored community health centers.

Research and Information Literacy

Contemporary trends in medical education present many challenges to medical schools, such as preparing students to be independent learners and to be “information literate.” Students also must be introduced to epidemiology; biostatistics; evidence-based medicine; and basic, clinical, and translational research. To answer these challenges, the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine instituted several strategies relative to research and information literacy, consolidated as a curricular emphasis. Through their four years of study, students design and complete a research project dealing with a public health research question.

A comprehensive assessment process, including faculty and student satisfaction surveys, graduate questionnaires, academic progress analyses, and an inventory of student research participation allow assessment of expected outcomes.

Since 2000 all of the enrolled students have been participated in these initiatives. Satisfaction with the model and student research production has grown each year. Graduate questionnaires have evidenced significant change in the awareness of axis contents for the profession.


Medical scholars, leaders, physicians, patients and medical schools themselves have identified the need to reinforce and assure professionalism within the medical field, promoting just and humane values and actions within the profession.

San Juan Bautista School of Medicine has developed a four-year long axis of professionalism to address this need. This axis has different elements and strengths to be developed and implemented sequentially. In addition to the formal professionalism courses in the first and second years, this axis is a continuum throughout the third and fourth years.

During the clinical years, the professionalism axis is further developed through several teaching and learning strategies, including, for example:

  • Physician as role model
  • Hands-on experiences with patients and families
  • Case studies
  • Literature review
  • Self-learning activities
  • Health coworkers group interaction

All the above-mentioned strategies aim to reinforce values, attitudes and social responsibility within the practice of medicine.

The current approach to the assessment of professionalism in students’ is based on the following competencies: altruism, duty, responsibility, excellence, respect for others, honor and integrity.