Curriculum on Medical Ignorance

Advances in medicine are taking place at a staggering rate, and what was considered basic science only yesterday is now part of everyday clinical practice. To enrich medical student education beyond classroom lectures and ward and clinic clerkships, and to foster a closer relationship with faculty mentors, the College of Medicine sponsors a long-standing Medical Student Research Program (MSRP) and an innovative Curriculum on Medical Ignorance (CMI). Student research fellows gain familiarity with biologic horizons in both basic and clinical science, acquire a broad grasp of research skills, learn to communicate ideas better, refine clinical problem identification and solving, meet distinguished visiting physicians and scientists, and work closely with faculty and other students at various levels in diverse laboratory and patient care settings both at The University of Arizona and other institutions throughout the world.


Gain understanding of the shifting domains of ignorance, uncertainty, and the unknown: philosophical and psychological foundations and approaches to learning, questioning, and creating "knowledge"; history and development of selected ideas and methods in basic and clinical medical science; mastery by in-depth multi-dimensional exploration of selected timely medical topics.

Improve skills to recognize and deal productively with ignorance, uncertainty, and the unknown: questioning critically and creatively focusing on raising, listening to, analyzing, prioritizing, and answering questions from different points of view; communicating clearly in different media with various audiences; collaborating effectively with different people and other resources.

Reinforce positive attitudes and values of curiosity, optimism, humility, self-confidence, and skepticism.


Summer Institute on Medical Ignorance
Full-time Basic and Clinical Research
Seminars and Clinics on Medical Ignorance
Freshman Colloquium and Workshops on Introduction to Medical and
Other Ignorance
Questions and Questioning Exercises
Creative Thinking Exercises
Final Oral and Written Reports on
Selected Topics in Medical Ignorance 
Weekly Ignorance Logs
Ignorance Field Trips
Monthly Pondering Rounds
Ignorance Ward and Grand Rounds
Ignorance Conferences
Visiting Professors of Medical Ignorance
La Residencia del Incógnito