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Foundations of Physician Responsibility

Foundations of Physician Responsibility (FPR) is a longitudinal course that spans the Foundations of Medical Knowledge (FMK) phase and complements the six foundational science courses. FPR’s highly integrated curriculum was designed to promote a holistic approach to the study and practice of medicine.

FPR is a “doctoring” course that encompasses four core responsibilities necessary for physicians: responsibility for self-development, responsibility for the care of patients and families, responsibility for team collaboration, and responsibility for engaging in and improving the healthcare system.

These four core responsibilities form the basis of all the teaching and learning experiences within FPR.

The Foundations of Physician Responsibility

The Learning Communities serve as the academic component of The Colleges within FPR. Through facilitated discussion and small-group activities, you will focus on personal and professional development of the Self, while building trusting relationships with College Mentors and peers in longitudinal communities.

The Patient Care experiences introduce you, in your first year of medical school, to clinical medicine and prepare you for success in the core clerkships. You gain the knowledge and skills essential for interviewing patients, performing a comprehensive physical examination, and integrating basic science material into clinical reasoning.

The Vanderbilt Interprofessional Health Education Collaborative, or VIPHEC, provides opportunities for you to learn and work with students and faculty from five other health professions in order to gain the knowledge, skills, and values to collaborate effectively in team-based, interprofessional models of care.

Learning about the elements of the American Medical Association’s Health Systems Science (HSS) model provides you with the foundational knowledge of the healthcare system and the challenges that face it. Through FPR: Systems, you will be equipped to provide systems-minded patient care and also identify and design solutions to issues that plague healthcare systems at the micro and macro levels.


In addition to the four core responsibilities of the FPR curriculum, Health Equity and Biomedical and Health Informatics/Artificial Intelligence (AI) serve as two essential cross-cutting principles. These concepts are woven seamlessly throughout the entire FPR curriculum, ensuring that future physicians are equipped to address disparities in healthcare access and leverage information technology to enhance patient care and outcomes.

FPR Program Leadership


Charlotte M. Brown, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


Heather A. Ridinger, MD, MHPE
Associate Professor of Medicine
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

FPR Administration


Jared Austin, MS
Senior Program Manager
Vanderbilt University Longitudinal Elements Team

For more information on FPR at Vanderbilt please email us at