This is what I would tell my students on the first day:
<i>Thanks for coming out this morning. Today, we are starting the _________ component of your medical training. This class will help you understand the fundamental principles you will need to practice medicine in many fields. This is, by no means, an exhaustive coverage of every single (disease, drug, etc.); some self-study will be required. Nonetheless, our teaching staff will focus on helping you build a strong, easily accessible core of knowledge in this subject that will carry you through your clinical clerkships and well into your career. You are future physicians, and so we will focus on what is most relevant to the practice of medicine.
A few logistical details about this course: there are __ exams that will cover information from each block. Each exam will have a small number of questions drawing from the most important principles of the previous block to help you prepare for the USMLE Step One. Don’t worry though: these questions will be quite straightforward, if not the first time, definitely by the time you see them again on the following exam. I (or my fellow course director) will be attending each lecture and asking questions of the speakers along with you, and we will be writing all of the exam questions based on the lecture material (to guarantee fairness and relevance). You may pick up a copy of the exam and answer key from our department’s office at a designated time after all students have completed the exam and the challenge session has finished.
Please speak with me about any problems, questions, or requests you might have. We will be providing lecture audio/video (if the school provides the equipment), but I think you will find that our lecturers are quite engaging and eager to answer questions and help you understand the material to a greater degree than if you just read the material from your textbook or someone’s notes. Our job is not only to train you to develop a broad and powerful base of knowledge, but also to inspire you to develop interests in these fields. There’s nothing worse than having a bad professor kill your interest in a subject, and that’s the last thing we’d want to do. If you ever feel like we’re going in that direction, contact me, STAT!
Again, thank you for listening. Without further ado, let’s begin.</i>