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M.D. Program

M.D. Program

Curriculum overview

Educational mission

The educational mission of UC Davis School of Medicine is to train competent and compassionate physicians who will address the health care needs of individuals, families, and communities through collaborative approaches to patient-centered care.  

The educational program guides students toward mastery of six major competencies.

Curriculum Content and Design
The curriculum for the M.D. degree is a four-year program that provides comprehensive preparation for graduate medical training in any specialty.  

Key Features:


  • Instructional framework and assessment methods are linked with graduation competencies, educational program objectives, and course objectives

Graduation Competencies and Educational Program Objectives 


  • An integrative block curriculum weaves content in the basic sciences and clinical medicine around multi-disciplinary themes and common clinical presentations
  • The longitudinal doctoring curriculum promotes stage-appropriate development of clinical and professional skills while integrating core principles of patient-centered care, behavioral medicine, population medicine, ethics, and socio-economics


  • Excellent basic science and clinical faculty are dedicated to student-centered teaching
  • Rich mixture of stimulating teaching methods and technologies promote learning through discovery and collaboration
  • Emphasis on self-directed and interactive small-group learning, frequent formative feedback, and self assessment
  • Standardized patients and simulation technologies used extensively for learning and assessment


  • Opportunities for career exploration, research, and community service
  • Elective credit offered for participation in student-run, community clinics

The curriculum for the M.D. degree provides flexibility for and encourages coordination with other advanced degree programs (M.D./Ph.D., M.S., M.A., M.B.A., and M.P.H.). 

To view information on the LCME accreditation process, please click here.

Phases of the Curriculum

First and Second Year Curriculum

The pre-clerkship curriculum is organized around five sequentially-taught blocks to promote integration of basic sciences and clinical medicine.  Five blocks of basic science and pathophysiology courses are grouped by complementary objectives, disciplines, and themes.  The longitudinal Doctoring curriculum focusing on clinical skills, clinical reasoning, epidemiology, social-behavioral medicine, and biomedical ethics is woven throughout the five blocks and integrated with concurrent courses.  The longitudinal pathology and pharmacology curricula are similarly integrated with concurrent courses, beginning with the second block. 

Third Year Curriculum

Six required clerkship rotations in Surgery, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Primary Care provide comprehensive training in the major clinical disciplines.  The longitudinal Doctoring curriculum runs concurrently with the clerkships and focuses on advanced interviewing techniques, clinical reasoning, clinical epidemiology, evidence-based medicine, and jurisprudence. 

Fourth Year Curriculum

The fourth year curriculum will provide you with breadth and depth of learning experiences while helping you attain competencies at an advanced level (sub-internship) in the domains of patient care, knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, system-based practice, life-long learning, and practice-based learning. The faculty expects that your program will be academically broad and vigorous, with courses and clerkships selected to prepare you for the supervised practice of medicine in any field. There is flexibility within the schedule to provide diverse opportunities for in-depth exploration of areas of interest to you while helping you to select and prepare for the residency of your choice.