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M.D. Program

M.D. Program

Pre-Clerkship curriculum

Year 1

The first year curriculum begins in the first week of August and extends through May.  It consists of two blocks composed of basic science and pathophysiology courses and a longitudinal Doctoring course.

Foundations (Block 1) Mechanisms & Disease (Block 2)

Foundations of Human
Structure and Function

Molecules to Organ

Integrated Nutrition, Endocrinology,
Genetics and Reproduction

Pathology and Pharmacology
Microbiology and Immunology

Doctoring 1


Foundations (Block 1)

The basic science portion of Foundations includes courses in Molecular Medicine, Cell and Tissue Biology, Gross Anatomy/Embryology/Radiology, Human Physiology, and Public Health - Preventative Medicine. The major organizing theme of the basic science courses is structure-function along the continuum of hierarchical biologic structure from molecule to cell, tissue, and major organ system.

The three year Doctoring curriculum begins with Doctoring 1, which is presented concurrently with the other courses. Students are introduced to core concepts and principles of physical diagnosis and medical interviewing in small groups, with cases designed to build core clinical reasoning skills using standardized patients, models and manikin simulations.   The Professionalism, Ethics and Cultural Enrichment (TEAM-PEACE) longitudinal curriculum starts in this block.  Students are also assigned to preceptorships where they learn clinical evaluation and reporting skills by interacting with patients, clinicians, and staff.

Mechanisms and Disease (Block 2)

Mechanisms and Disease is organized in two sections, each of which is composed of several integrated courses.  The first part of the block covers general pathology, nutrition, basic and clinical endocrinology, genetics, and reproduction.  The second part covers immunology and microbiology.  The pharmacology course runs throughout the block and is integrated with concurrent courses. 

The Doctoring 1 course continues its emphasis on basic clinical skills training and provides an introduction to behavioral medicine.  Small group cases with standardized patients and problem-based learning cases are integrated with concurrent courses. The TEAM-PEACE workshops and preceptorships continue.

Assessment and Feedback (Blocks 1 and 2)

Periodic quizzes and review sessions are used in the basic science courses to help students monitor their progress in achieving course objectives.  Midterms and final exams provide summative assessment.  Some courses use NBME customized exams to help students prepare for the USMLE Step 1 format.  The Doctoring course uses a competency-based framework to design evaluation tools to assess first year milestones (small group evaluation, objective structured clinical exams).

The first year ends with a five week unscheduled block that may be used for vacation, remediation, electives, research, and international experiences.