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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 Systems

Host Defense, Pathobiology and Pharmacology
 Integrated Endocrinology, Nutrition, Reproduction and Genetics
Doctoring 1


Foundations (Block 1)

The basic science portion of Foundations includes courses in Molecular Medicine, Cell and Tissue Biology, 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 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. The Professionalism, Ethics and Cultural Enrichment (TEAM-PEACE) longitudinal curriculum starts in this block.   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.

Mechanisms and Disease (Block 2)

Mechanisms and Disease 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 Endocrinology/Nutrition/Reproduction/Genetics (ENRG) thread covers basic and clinical endocrinology, nutrition, reproduction and genetics. 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. The TEAM-PEACE workshops, 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 1 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.