Foundations of Health Care Delivery (FHD) is a longitudinal four-year course which embeds students into care delivery systems to:

  • Prepare professionals with systems level skills necessary to provide care that is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable

  • Integrate health systems science with clinical care 
  • Cultivate respectful professionals

The vision of the course is to offer students a longitudinal experience in which they learn about the systems of health care as well as foundational skills that help them better understand how health systems function, while at the same time gaining important skills to function in and eventually modify those systems. 

Curriculum Overview

Years 1 & 2 (Foundations of Medical Knowledge & Foundations of Clinical Care Phases)

From the first weeks of medical school, students are immersed in one to two years of longitudinal clinic-based learning, supplemented by classroom and small-group seminars on high-yield topics:

Year 1- FHD 1 (FMK Phase):
Your Clinic & Team
The Patient Within Care
Medication Reconciliation
Patient Education & Health Coaching
Social Determinants of Health/Advocacy
Community Resources Site Visit

Year 2- FHD 1 (FCC Phase):
Transitions of Care
High Value Care
Settings of Care
Social Determinants of Health/Advocacy


Years 3 & 4 (Immersion Phase)

Students will complete largely self-directed modules on advanced topics in health care delivery and improvement including:


Advanced Communication
Health literacy
Cultural competence
Giving bad news
Disclosing errors
End of life discussions
Technology in communications
Professional accountability

Quality Improvement & Patient Safety
IHI model for improvement
Clinical microsystem analysis
Building a QI team
Student-led PDSA cycles
Sustaining clinical change


Interprofessional Education
Professional culture
Scopes of practice
Effective team building
Interprofessional care plans
Team communication
Conflict resolution


Advanced Population Health
Health Care Policy
Health Care Economics
Public Health & Prevention

VUSM Academic Calendars 

VUSM Course Catalog