The pre-clerkship phase is comprised of Module I – Core Concepts in Basic Science and Module II –Organ-Based Concepts in Medicine. The pre-clerkship phase includes:
- laboratory sessions
- weekly problem-based learning small group sessions
- case-based learning sessions
- self-directed learning
- clinical experiences
- standardized patient encounters
In addition, patient presentations are included in most courses and help to illustrate the clinical importance of basic sciences throughout the curriculum. All lectures not involving patients are podcast for real-time use and/or later study.
The Foundations of Clinical Medicine, a longitudinal doctoring course, spans the first two years. Instruction integrates simulation, standardized patient encounters, and real-life experiences. The course also delivers education related to interprofessional collaboration and culturally responsive medicine.
The pre-clerkship phase ends with a Basic Science Review Course and completion of the USMLE Step I Examination.
Year 1 Curriculum
Core Concepts in the Basic Sciences
Module I is an integrated, interdisciplinary presentation of core elements of the basic sciences needed for medical education. The four courses of Module I cover some of the disciplines that make up pre-clinical medical education, the remainder being covered in Module II and Foundations of Clinical Medicine. To emphasize the interdependence of the different disciplines, these four courses are presented with significant overlap. When possible, related topics in different courses are presented in the same week. Although courses in Module II will concentrate on specific organ systems, those of Module I are focused on core concepts of the basic sciences (biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, histology, anatomy, embryology, pharmacology, pathology, and immunology) that apply to all organ systems. Problem-based learning in small groups, mentored by faculty of basic science and clinical departments, is an important feature of Module I.
Course 1 - Histology and Cellular Structure and Function: Physiological & Pharmacological Processes
This course is focused on the microscopic anatomy (histology) of epithelium, connective tissue, blood and blood vessels, muscle, and nerves and presents basic concepts of histology and cellular and subcellular structure and function, biological membranes, cell physiology, the cell cycle, signal transduction, and pharmacological processes. This course includes lectures as well as problem-based small group learning. Clinical relevance and self-directed learning are emphasized.
Course 2 - Biochemistry and Medical Genetics: Physiological and Pharmacological Processes
This course presents the core elements of biochemistry, molecular biology, human genetics, embryology, and developmental biology in lectures, small-group case discussions and other teaching modalities. Clinical relevance and self-directed learning are emphasized.
Course 3 - Embryology and Dimensional Organization of the Human Body: Physiological and Pharmacological Processes
This course is focused on the embryological development of the organs followed by the macroscopic examination (Gross Anatomy) and dissection of the body wall and cavities (thorax, abdomen, and pelvis) on cadavers. The gross structure of the body is correlated with cross-sectional, radiographic, and clinical material. Clinical relevance and self-directed learning are emphasized.
Course 4 - Immunology: Mechanisms of Disease and Host Defenses: Physiological and Pharmacological Processes
This course is designed to present basic concepts of immunology (acquired and innate) and pathology, including mechanisms of cellular damage and tissue responses to injury. Module I culminate in a week of Course 4 lectures exploring neoplastic transformation, pathology, and treatment of cancer as a model of the disease process, putting together knowledge gained throughout the semester.
Introduction to Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
The aim of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases course is to introduce fundamental and advanced principles and applications relevant to clinical infectious diseases for second year medical students. The course content covers key aspects of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoan pathogens as they pertain to infectious diseases of humans. The course will provide the conceptual framework for understanding the mechanisms by which pathogenic microorganisms cause human disease. Upon successful completion of the Microbiology and Infectious Disease course, medical students will have a comprehensive foundation of knowledge and critical thinking skills in Medical Microbiology and will be able to understand and discuss the clinical cases in Infectious Diseases that they will encounter in their third and fourth years.
Musculoskeletal Course Description. This course provides an in depth examination of the musculoskeletal system, correlating basic and clinical sciences and includes the diagnosis and treatment of disease in this system. An integrated curriculum includes Anatomy, Embryology, Histology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Radiology, Rheumatology and Orthopedic surgery. Regions examined include the back, upper extremity, and lower extremity.
Head and Neck
Course provides an in-depth examination fo the head and neck region including the diagnosis and treatment of disease in these areas.
This course helps in understanding the characteristics of neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology and neurophysiology. This course helps in understanding the factors and processes associated with injury to and repair/regeneration of the nervous system. This course helps in understanding the principles of commonly used diagnostic studies for the assessment of the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Foundations of Clinical Medicine
The Foundations of Clinical Medicine course is a longitudinal two-year course that runs simultaneously with Module I and Module II during the MSI and MSII years. This course emphasizes a humanistic approach to medical care and is designed to equip students with the basic clinical skills required of any excellent physician, regardless of their specialty. During the Foundations course, students will focus on important aspects of the doctor-patient relationship including communication skills, physical examination, and physical diagnosis. Other important features relevant to the care of patients are also underscored including professionalism, medical ethics, evidence-based medicine, and health care in society. Students are introduced to aspects of the relationship of physicians to patients. Topics include professionalism, humanism/empathy, stress management, family systems and disease prevention, problems of aging, cultural diversity, growth development, and epidemiology. Physician-patient communication is taught in small groups and in simulated doctor-patient medical history interviews and examinations.
Year 2 Curriculum
Neurology and Behavioral Sciences
This course helps in understanding the commonly studies psychiatric theories regarding adult psychological development, learning, and understand the factors and processes leading to the development of psychiatric disorders. This course helps in understanding the principles of common methods used for the assessment of psychiatric disorders. This course also describes the common medications and other therapeutic modalities used in the treatment of disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems, use of anesthetics as well as indications for their use, mechanisms of action and adverse effects.
Blood and Lymph
Basic concepts in hematology and the lymphoid system, with emphasis on neoplastic disorders, are presented. Biochemical, histologic, and pathophysiologic aspects of the hematopoietic and lymphatic systems are covered. Basic diagnosis and epidemiology of the more common cancers and their treatments are presented. The format is lectures, histology labs and web-based case studies for self-directed learning.
This course addresses the cardiovascular system in health and disease. The course includes anatomy, histology, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, cardiology, and surgical aspects of the circulatory system. Gross anatomy and histology labs, small group learning sessions, and case presentations are used.
This five week course offers an integrative curriculum covering renal/male genitourinary system structure-function relationships. Emphasis is placed on the molecular, cellular, and organ basis of normal function followed in turn by the study of pathophysiological and pathological processes leading to dysfunction. In addition to the vertical integration of functional systems, emphasis will also be placed on longitudinal analysis of renal/male genitourinary function and dysfunction in the context of sociological/psychological factors impacting in disease treatment/prevention.
This course addresses the respiratory system in health and disease. The course covers the anatomical, histological, pulmonary, medical, physiological, pharmacological, pathological, radiological, and surgical aspects of the respiratory system. Gross and histology labs, small group learning sessions, and case presentations are also included.
Gastrointestinal System and Liver
This course presents basic concepts in gastrointestinal (GI) and liver anatomy, physiology and pathology. In addition, the course familiarizes the students with the major GI/liver diseases and presents the various pharmacological interventions used to treat these diseases. This course is composed of lectures, laboratories and self-directed study.
Endocrine, Reproductive, and Genitourinary Systems
This course integrates an introduction to the physiology and diseases of the endocrine system, female reproductive systems, the breast, and the female genitourinary system. Topics covered within endocrinology will include hypothalamicpituitary regulation of the thyroid, adrenal glands, and gonads; growth hormone and its disorders; obesity; thyroid function and diseases; adrenal function and diseases; the function of the endocrine pancreas and diabetes; parathyroid function, calcium metabolism, and calcium disorders; and the histology and pathology of the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, and endocrine pancreas. Topics covered within the reproductive system will include: normal reproductive function; female reproductive pathology; infertility, contraception, and menopause; female reproductive system embryology and anatomy; normal pregnancy and parturition, prenatal care, placental function, and the management of labor. Topics covered under the female genitourinary system will include: pelvic anatomy, the pelvic exam, vaginal disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases. Topics related to the beast will include: normal anatomy and histology, breast pathology, and breast cancer. Additional topics will include the pharmacology of key drugs used in treating endocrine and reproductive disorders and selected sessions on the radiology and surgery of these systems. Module III topics will include: human sexuality, sexual abuse, teen pregnancy, and more.
The Integrative Course is taught in the MSI year (Part A) and MSII year (Parts B, C, and D). The course consists of clinical presentation-based small-groups. Within each group students and their faculty preceptor work through complex cases emphasizing clinical problem solving across multiple organ systems simultaneously. Each case is followed by reviews of basic science and clinical topics relevant to issues raised in the case. These reviews are prepared and presented by the students in the group and serve to integrate basic science with clinical knowledge in preparation for Step 1 and the third year clinical clerkships.
Foundations of Clinical Medicine
Students are introduced to aspects of the relationship of physicians to patients. Topics include professionalism, humanism/empathy, stress management, family systems and disease prevention, problems of aging, cultural diversity, growth development, and epidemiology. Physician-patient communication is taught in small groups and in simulated doctor-patient medical history interviews and examinations.
Basic Sciences Review
This required course is for focused learning by students for completing the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE), Step 1, which is administered at the conclusion of the course. A workshop on test-preparation and test-taking skills is presented early in this course; the remaining time is principally independent study.
- Module 1
- Foundations of Microbiology
- Musculoskeletal System
- Head & Neck
- Neurology & Behavioral Sciences
- Blood & Lymph
- Renal - Nephrology
- Gastrointestinal & Liver
- Endocrine - Reproductive - GU
- Integrative Processes I & II