The SOM embarked on a redesign of the M.D. Program Curriculum in 2019 to implement a fully vertically and horizontally integrated curriculum that promotes critical thinking and self-directed learning and reflects contemporary issues facing physicians today. The redesigned curriculum was developed to train competent, compassionate, anti-racist physician leaders dedicated to the health and well-being of all patients and populations.
The curriculum is organized into three distinct phases: Phase 1 – Foundational Science, Phase 2 - Core Clerkship, and Phase 3 - Advanced Practice. Relevant curricular themes are interwoven throughout the M.D. Program to ensure that medical students are exposed to critical topics in health care and to create opportunities for progressive foundational learning. Examples of prioritized thematic curricula include Health Systems Science, Medical Imaging, Nutrition, Racism and Bias in Medicine, and Women's Health.
Phase One/ Foundational Science Phase:
Phase One of the M.D. Program is organized into six courses, each of which integrate foundational, clinical and health system sciences. Topics related to the history of medicine are also incorporated into coursework, allowing physicians in training to examine the interplay of time, gender, culture, religion and science over time. Early clinical experiences are provided at our state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Center.
Phase Two/ Core Clerkship Phase:
Phase Two of the curriculum begins with a Transition to Clerkship course, a skill-building program that helps medical students consolidate their clinical skills, preparing them to succeed during the Core Clerkship phase of the curriculum. Required clerkship rotations during Phase 2 include: Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychiatry, Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, and Family Medicine. In addition, students have two-week elective blocks to support their career exploration and a “Flex” block to use for additional career exploration or to support trainee well-being. A one-week Transition to Advanced Practice course launches Phase 3. This course prepares students for both the increasing responsibility Phase 3 of the curriculum and provides dedicated time to support students as they prepare residency applications.
Phase Three/ Advanced Practice Phase:
Phase Three of the curriculum is organized into specialty tracks, allowing students to align their schedules with their career trajectories and ensure maximum preparation for residency training. General requirements of this phase include a subinternship, advanced clinical courses aligned with the student’s specialty track, and several elective blocks to pursue areas of individual interest. Additionally, all students are enrolled in a Transition to Residency capstone course. This course provides students with enhanced and focused skill-building opportunities individualized to the specialty in which they will be pursuing residency training.
For more information, see SOM academic catalog.
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