NYMC > School of Medicine (SOM) > SOM Academics > Undergraduate Medical Education (M.D. Program) > Curriculum


The curriculum in the M.D. program is designed to prepare physicians to practice medicine ethically and compassionately in a diverse world where technological advances and evolving regulatory issues present continual challenges and opportunities. Offering a breadth of foundational science and clinical training, the curriculum provides students a logical four-year progression of skills and knowledge. A year-to-year summary of the curriculum follows. 

First-year curriculum 

The core first-year curriculum is organized into three blocks:

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

Second-year curriculum

The second-year curriculum follows an organ-system model that places an emphasis on small-group discussion and problem-based, active learning, with less class time spent in large lectures. Required courses are:

Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Biomedical Ethics remain integrated into related coursework. 

Complementing their classroom learning, all first- and second-year students learn and practice basic interviewing, communication skills and physical examination techniques in NYMC’s Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, as well as work directly with actual patients in primary care settings with faculty providing direct mentorship. Through these hands-on experiences, students learn “on the job” and put theory into practice. 

Third-year curriculum 

Third-year students spend a great deal of time in clinical training opportunities throughout the region, including sites affiliated with Westchester Medical Center Health Network (insert hyperlink: https://www.wmchealth.org/) and NYC Health + Hospitals

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 goal of third year clerkships is to provide students with opportunities to develop his/her skills in the evaluation and care of patients. Students also participate in a unique Translational Research program during the Transition to Clerkship (TTC) course, where critical analysis of the literature is emphasized. Clerkship placements are done by lottery in the spring of year two.

Taking a generalist approach, students undertake required clerkship rotations in the following disciplines:

  • Medicine (6 weeks)
  • Surgery (6 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (6 weeks)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (6 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • Neurology (4 weeks)
  • Family Medicine (4 weeks)

Third-year students also have five 2-week elective rotations to explore a variety of career options.

Fourth-year curriculum

The fourth-year curriculum is organized into specialty tracks to allow students to align their program of study with an area of specialty interest. General requirements for fourth year students include 33 total curriculum weeks encompassing a required Sub-Internship rotation (4 weeks), an Advanced Clinical Elective, such as Emergency Medicine, Critical Care or Radiology/ Diagnostic Medicine (4 weeks), and a one-week Transition to Residency course. In addition, there are 24 weeks of elective rotations (see fourth-year electives), which can be taken at affiliated or non-affiliated training centers.