The Patient-Centered Curriculum

  • John Cornelius Penner Georgetown University School of Medicine


It is common to hear of there being two curricula in medical school: the "traditional medical education curriculum" and the "hidden curriculum." However at schools where students can volunteer at student-driven free clinics, there exists a third curriculum, the "patient-centered curriculum," which imparts on students a set of lessons around the patient-physician relationship. This reflection essay examines the benefits of this patient-centered curriculum and discusses the ways in which it shapes a medical student's development into a practicing physician.

Author Biography

John Cornelius Penner, Georgetown University School of Medicine

John Cornelius Penner is a member of Georgetown University School of Medicine Class of 2018. He graduated from Santa Clara University in 2009 with a B.S. in Public Health Sciences and a degree from the Santa Clara University Honors program, writing his senior thesis on "Nutritional Interventions to Combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." John also spent a year working with the California Institute for Medical Research in San Jose, California, during which time he studied the development of and treatment for biofilm infections in Cystic Fibrosis. He is currently one of six coordinators for Georgetown's student-run free clinic, the HOYA Clinic, and is also currently involved in Quality Improvement research with Georgetown's Department of Family Medicine as one of the School of Medicine's Population Health Scholars.


How to Cite
Penner, J. (2015). The Patient-Centered Curriculum. Free Clinic Research Collective, 1, 29-30. Retrieved from