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Program Overview

The first-year curriculum is organized into three Blocks:

Block 1 Gross Anatomy and Embryology/ Histology and Cell Biology/ Foundations of Clinical Medicine

Block 2:  Biochemistry/ Medical Physiology/ Foundations of Clinical Medicine

Block 3:  Neuroscience/ Behavioral Science/ Foundations of Clinical Medicine

Additional course requirements include Biostatistics and Epidemiology, a case-based course in Biomedical Ethics, and History of Medicine

The second-year curriculum, places an emphasis on small-group discussion and problem-based, active learning, with a smaller percentage of class time spent in large lectures. The second year curriculum is horizontally integrated into an organ-system model among the following courses:  Foundations of Clinical Medicine, Pathology/Pathophysiology, Medical Pharmacology and Medical Microbiology.  As in the first year, Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Biomedical Ethics are woven into related coursework.

While immersed in the foundational sciences, all first- and second-year students have the opportunity to work directly with patients in primary care settings, mentored directly by teaching faculty. This one-on-one experience provides students with an early exposure to clinical medicine. Further, in conjunction with small group seminars on campus, students learn basic interviewing, communication skills, and physical examination techniques. As of April, 2014, students now have the opportunity to practice these core skills in our new Clinical Skills Training Center using standardized patients and simulation mannequins. The Center boasts 20 state of the art patient examination rooms and 2 large simulation training classrooms.  All training areas are wired through a central learning management system, so that students and faculty can review patient encounters and improve clinical practice through deliberate reflective activities.

Beginning in July, 2014, the third-year curriculum will include the following educational requirements: Medicine/ Translational Research (8 weeks, previously 12 weeks), Surgery (8 weeks), Pediatrics (6 weeks, previously 8 weeks), Obstetrics and Gynecology (6 weeks), Psychiatry (6 weeks), Clinical Neuroscience (4 weeks), Family Medicine (6 weeks, previously 4 weeks), and an Elective block for career exploration (4 weeks total). The school’s location and large hospital network afford clinical training opportunities in demographically and clinically diverse settings. In addition to Westchester Medical Center, about one-third of the third year class trains at our affiliate hospitals in Manhattan.   Another third spend at least six months training at our affiliate, St. Joseph’s Hospital, in Paterson, New Jersey.

In order to provide fourth year medical students with the best possible foundations for residency training, beginning in July, 2011, the SOM adopted the following requirements for fourth year medical students that include required clerkships in:  Emergency Medicine, Radiology and Laboratory Medicine, Sub-internship (choice of Medicine/ Pediatrics/ Surgery), Critical Care (choice of Medicine/ Pediatrics/ Surgery), and a one-week Transition to Residency course.  In addition, there are 16 weeks of electives rotations, which can be taken at affiliated or non-affiliated training centers. About 10 percent of students enroll in international electives each year.

With the exception of elective coursework, all major courses and clerkships are graded Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail. Passing Step 1 and Step 2 CK and 2CS of the USMLE are all requirements for graduation.

Detailed Course Descriptions

Longitudinal Courses and Themes:

Foundations of Clinical Medicine (Year One and Two)
MEDED 1101 AND 1102-5 units; MEDED 2101 AND 2102-6 units
The Foundations of Clinical Medicine is a longitudinal course that offers students the opportunity to learn basic principles required for the practice of medicine through interactive large and small group seminars, direct patient interaction, one-on-one mentorship by practicing clinicians, and standardized patient/ simulation training sessions.  Topics covered in this course include medical interviewing, the screening physical examination, doctor-patient relationship, clinical reasoning, humanism and professionalism, and health promotion/ disease prevention.  Coursework is delivered by faculty in a variety of manners including: interactive lectures, skill-building small group sessions, clinical reasoning exercises, role-play, and directly supervised patient interaction.  Beginning in April, 2014, students also have the ability to enhance clinical skills using standardized patients—trained actors playing the part of patients—and patient simulators in our new Clinical Skills Training Center.    Another unique feature of this course is the direct mentorship offered to all students though a longitudinal clinical training preceptorship.  Beginning in year one of training, all students are assigned to a primary care physician for the academic year. 

Biomedical Ethics (Years One and Two) 
ETHICS 1101 AND 1102-1 unit; ETHICS 2101 AND 2102-1 unit
New York Medical College has a comprehensive program in ethics education. Ethics begins in year one with an introduction to ethical principles, focusing on an examination of the moral bases of decision-making and self-understanding in medicine.  As students mature, small group sessions review case studies with increasing complexity under the guidance of trained faculty experts. 

Biostatistics and Epidemiology (Years One and Two)
BIOEPI 1101-1 unit; BIOEPI 2101 AND 2102-1 unit
This introductory course for medical students introduces students to the common vocabulary utilized in research and evidence-based practice, and teaches students how to critically appraise medical literature.  Students are introduced to the concepts of measurements of frequency and association, interpreting screening tests, evaluating guidelines and evidence, explaining levels of risk to patients, conducting observational and experimental research studies as well as reviewing and evaluating medical and medical marketing literature.  Emphasis is placed on clinical problem-solving and evidence-based practice.  Every effort is made to directly apply the material in this course into foundational science coursework and clerkships. 

Medical Humanities
The college is proud to offer students coursework in the Medical Humanities to help enhance a students’ ability to listen, communicate and interpret, and develop critical and reflective thinking skills.  We believe that these skills are essential to the practice of medicine and help to promote the development of compassionate, sensitive caregivers.  Programs in this area include:  The History of Medicine Course (required for year one medical students), The Intersection of Religion in Medicine elective, a Medicine in Film Series, and a Medicine in History Series, where students travel to local museums to discuss medical artifacts and historic exhibits with clinical experts.

Foundational Science Courses:

Year One

Block One:  Gross Anatomy and Embryology/ Histology and Cell Biology/ Foundations of Clinical Medicine/ Medical Ethics

Gross Anatomy & Embryology 
GROSAN 1101- 10 units

Among the requisites for modern practice of medicine is a broad based knowledge of human anatomy.  This course is designed to provide medical student’s with clinically oriented learning experiences to help understand structural and functional relations of organs and systems.  Through large group instruction, small group discussion and experiences of a variety of diagnostic imaging platforms, the gross structure and embryology of the human is explored.  Students participate in a comprehensive cadaveric dissection, in which each student participates in the dissection of an entire human body.  

Histology and Cell Biology 
HISTOL 1101-6 units
The course in histology allows first-year students to explore the microscopic anatomy of the human body. Lectures correlate morphology and function at the molecular, cellular, tissue and organ levels, and relate cell biology and histology to disease processes. Complementing lectures are small group interactive learning modules that allow students to explore content areas more deeply while viewing prepared slides of tissues and organs microscopically. Modules are equipped to allow students and instructors to scan a section and demonstrate pertinent details to two or four students, or to the entire group with a camera-mounted microscope connected to a monitor or LCD projector. Further demonstration of light or electron micrographs of structures related to the topics being studied can be visualized on-line and using virtual microscopy.   

Block Two:  Biochemistry/ Medical Physiology/ Foundations of Clinical Medicine/ Medical Ethics

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
BIOCHEM 1101-7 units
Biochemistry involves learning about the structures and reactions of the cellular and tissue components and provides the basis for understanding physiological and pathological conditions encountered in clinical medicine. The subject matter includes the metabolism of major body constituents, enzymatic and hormonal control mechanisms, nucleic acids and protein synthesis, genetics, and nutrition. Material is taught using a combination of lecture and small group activities and includes small group review and critical analysis of relevant scientific literature. 

Medical Physiology 
PHYSIO 1101-7 units
Medical Physiology provides a fundamental knowledge of physiological processes and their relationships to body function and disease states. As a supplement to lectures, laboratories and conferences, small group tutorials are used to expose students to the scientific basis of physiological concepts and to foster cooperation between students and faculty.  At the end of each major section of the course, clinical information is used to integrate physiological principles with medicine in special small group Clinical Correlation sessions co-taught by primary care clinicians and faculty from the department of physiology.

The History of Medicine
MEDED 1103-1 unit
As healthcare is fundamentally a social activity that takes place in the context of its time and place, this course introduces students to the history of medicine from the ancient world to modern times.  The course structure and content allows students to examine the interplay of time, gender, culture, religion and science over time.

Block Three: Neuroscience/ Behavioral Science/ Foundations of Clinical Medicine/ Medical Ethics

NEURSC 1101-7 units
This course presents the fundamental concepts in neurologic physiology and anatomy to students.  It is taught in an interdisciplinary context by the faculty of several different departments, including faculty from the Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, Neurology, Pharmacology, Neurosurgery and Radiology. Lecturers from the clinical departments introduce topics and treatment of neural disorders. Laboratory instructions in small groups allow students to appreciate different brain regions and their functions.  Small group case sessions allow students to think critically about the course material using clinical cases and questions that foster clinical reasoning and problem solving.

Behavioral Science 
BEHSCI 1101-5 units
Presented concurrently with the neuroscience course, behavioral science presents a clinically-oriented overview of psychopathology, the neurophysiologic basis of human behavior, the human life cycle (incorporating prenatal development through senescence), sociocultural determinants of behavior, human sexual behavior, doctor-patient relationships, and healthcare delivery.  Morning lectures cover a wide range of material in the behavioral sciences and psychiatry, and afternoons are largely devoted to clinical interactions with patients in a variety of clinical training facilities.    

Year Two

PATHMED 2101-10 units AND 2102-14 units
The year-long Pathology/Pathophysiology course for 2nd year medical students is a multi-disciplinary teaching effort coordinated by the Department of Pathology in collaboration with the Departments of Internal Medicine, Medical Genetics, Family & Community Medicine, Neurology, Surgery and Dermatology.  Serving as a bridge between the basic sciences and clinical medicine, this 2 semester course, which is horizontally and vertically aligned/ integrated within the curriculum, is designed to foster (1) critical thinking in the approach to the diagnosis and treatment of disease and (2) the continued development of life-long learning skills necessary for a career in Medicine.  This is accomplished through a teaching program that consists of several integrated components, including lectures, scheduled self-study periods, computer-based learning materials, and engaged or active learning experiences in intermediate and small-sized group settings.   

Medical Microbiology 
MICROB 2101-7 units
The medical microbiology course is designed to provide the student with insight into the fundamentals of microbiology and immunology with emphasis on their relationship to human biology and disease. Coursework is scheduled so that the topics carefully align with relevant material in both Pathology/Pathophysiology and Medical Pharmacology.  The orientation of the course is toward an understanding of the biology of pathogenic microorganisms. The principles of microbial pathogenicity are therefore presented from the perspective of the agents and the several strategies they utilize to colonize successfully and to establish infection. The subjects covered are the basic properties of microorganisms, their physiology and genetics, the mode of action of antibiotic and chemotherapeutic agents at the cellular level, and the biologic and immunologic responses of the host to infections. Emphasis is placed on emerging and re-emerging diseases and global health issues. Integration of lectures, laboratory work, visual aids, self-study, group discussions and clinical correlations help students learn the concepts and techniques essential to diagnose, treat and prevent infectious disease.

Medical Pharmacology 
PHARMMD 2101-3.5 units AND 2102-3.5 units
The Medical Pharmacology course stresses key principles of pharmacological science (pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicity) while describing the chemistry, mechanism of action, clinical uses, adverse effects, drugs of abuse and toxic agents. The primary goals are to provide future physicians with a strong foundation in pharmacological knowledge that will allow them to: obtain optimal benefit from their clinical years of instruction; build pharmacological expertise throughout their careers; and critically evaluate the merits of new and old drugs in the future.

Second Year Comprehensive Clinical Examination and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
All second year students are required to take and pass both a comprehensive standardized patient clinical examination and OSCE to ensure basic clinical competency for promotion into clinical clerkships. The examination affords a standardized method to assess students’ skills in both the cognitive and non-cognitive areas of medicine including patient-physician interaction, clinical reasoning, and diagnostic skills. Through the use of standardized patient checklists and digital video recordings of their encounters, students will be able to review their performances interacting with patients in order to identify strengths as well as deficiencies.

Year Three

Year three of training consists of required Clinical Clerkships in: Medicine IMED 3101 and Translational Research IDISC 6111, Surgery SURG 3101, Pediatrics PED 3101, Obstetrics and Gynecology OBGYN 3101, Psychiatry PSYC 3101, Neurology NEURO 3101, Family Medicine FMED 3101and a new elective program (as of July, 2014). The goal of third year clerkship experiences is to provide students with opportunities to develop their skills in the evaluation and care of patients. Students are assigned by lottery system for their clerkship placements.

Prior to beginning his/ her clerkships, all medical students are required to participate in a Transition to Clerkship Course MEDED 3101.  This course facilitates the transition into the clinical realm with simulation-based procedural skills training, communication skills training with standardized patients, and small and large group didactic sessions to review critical concepts in Professionalism, Patient Safety, and Medical Errors.

During Clerkships, students function as members of the clinical team with attending physicians, residents, interns, nurses, and allied health professionals. Through a combination of supervised patient care, conferences, lectures, individual feedback and teaching rounds, students apply the knowledge and skills they acquired in their first and second year courses, students broaden their knowledge of the clinical manifestations of disease processes, and continue to develop their interviewing and physical examination techniques and their communication skills. They begin to assume responsibility, under supervision, for the evaluation and treatment of patients.

The rich variety of clinical sites from community hospitals and clinics, large and small urban medical centers to tertiary care trauma and transplant centers provide students with the opportunity to work with a diverse group of patients from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and to further appreciate the impact of a patient’s personal social history on the physician-patient relationship and on the health behavior and health status of the patient.

Third Year Comprehensive Clinical Examination

OSCE 3101 
During year three, all students are required to take a comprehensive, multi-station, standardized patient clinical examination. The purpose of this examination is to assess students’ skills in both the cognitive and non-cognitive areas of medicine including patient-physician interaction, clinical reasoning, and diagnostic skills. It also serves as marker for success on Step 2CS.  Through the use of standardized patient checklists and digital video recordings of their encounters, students will be able to review their performances interacting with patients in order to identify strengths as well as deficiencies.

A passing score on this examination is required for graduation.  The examination is administered prior to the fourth year to permit students with unsatisfactory performance time to remediate their deficiency. The Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, in consultation with the Clinical Skills Subcommittee of the Year Three and Four Curriculum Committee, will assign remediation to students, or will refer the situation to the Promotions Committee for review.  If a student fails his/her remediation, the student will be referred to the Student Academic Performance Review Committee. 

Year Four

The year four educational program consists of the following required clinical experiences: a sub-internship in medicine, pediatrics or surgery (4 weeks), radiology and diagnostic medicine (4 weeks-RADIOL 4510), a critical care rotation in medicine, pediatrics or surgery (4 weeks), emergency medicine (EMED 4101) and an additional 16 weeks of electives. All students also participate in a one week transition to residency course after Match Day. Students plan their elective program with the advice of a faculty advisor and a member of the Dean’s office. 

The aim of the required rotations are to provide supervised experiences at a level above that of a third-year clerk and comparable in most aspects to that of an intern, but with closer supervision and similar volume of patients.   In order to provide students with the best opportunities for success during fourth year rotations, all students are also required to participate in an on-line para-curricular program, hosted at NYMC, regardless of their assigned clinical site.  Students complete self-assessment exercises and create an independent learning plan under faculty guidance to identify his/her own learning goals, methods to achieve these goals, and reflect on their progress as coursework progresses.

Another unique program requirement is the Transition to Residency Course MEDED 4301.  This course interactive “capstone” course facilitates the transition from medical school into specialized residency programs.  Students are organized into specialty tracts and engage in simulation-based procedural skills and team training, case-based problem solving sessions, and group didactic sessions to review strategies to enhance professional development and preparedness for residency training.