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.
The basic science portion of Block 1 includes courses in Molecular Biology, Microscopic Anatomy, Genetics, Gross Anatomy/Embryology/Radiology, and Human Physiology. The major organizing theme is structure-function along the continuum of hierarchical biologic structure from molecule to cell, tissue and major organ systems.
The three year Doctoring curriculum begins with Doctoring 1, which is presented concurrently with the other courses. The focus of Doctoring 1 in the first block is interviewing and physical examination training using standardized patients and models, correlated with concurrent gross anatomy and physiology by organ system. Cases are used in the problem-based learning approach to correlate basic science courses with concepts in clinical medicine. The course provides an introduction to epidemiology and biostatistics through didactic and small group sessions. Behavioral medicine, cross-cultural medicine, and ethics are woven into cases, workshops, and didactic presentations. Students are required to attend preceptorships in the community and participate in home visits.
Assessment and Feedback
Periodic quizzes and review sessions are used in the basic science courses throughout the block for formative assessment, and all courses administer comprehensive summative final examinations in December.
Block two includes two major threads, each of which is composed of several integrated courses. The Immunology / Microbiology / Pharmacology / Pathology thread presents an introduction to host defense, infection, basic pharmacologic principles, and general pathologic processes. The Metabolism/Endocrinology/Nutrition/Reproduction (MERN) thread covers essential concepts in metabolism, basic and clinical nutrition, reproductive medicine, and clinical endocrinology. The general pathology course also includes male-female GU and endocrine pathology, and the pharmacology course covers antibiotics and endocrine pharmacology, with the goal of integration with concurrent courses.
The Doctoring 1 course continues its emphasis on basic clinical skills training with a focus on interviewing skills. The course provides an introduction to behavioral medicine through lectures and team-based learning exercises. Cases are used in the problem-based learning approach for basic-science-clinical correlation. Preceptorships and home visits continue.
Assessment and Feedback
Periodic quizzes and review sessions provide formative feedback, and final examinations are used for summative assessment. The Doctoring 2 course includes an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) using standardized patients at the end of the course series.
The first year ends with a six week unscheduled block that may be used for vacation, remediation, electives, research, and international experiences.