MD Curriculum

Phase 1 (Years 1 and 2)

The first phase of training occurs in the first two years of medical school and focuses on developing foundational science knowledge and its integration with clinical skills. Phase 1 courses are designed to advance competency in medical knowledge with an emphasis on the basic sciences to form a foundation for clinical competency.

PHASE 1 YEAR 1PHASE 1 YEAR 2
Transitions IFoundations of Clinical Practice Year 2
Foundations of Clinical Practice Year 1Cardiovascular & Hematology
Human StructureRenal & Respiratory
Molecules to Cells & TissuesGastrointestinal & Nutrition
Fundamentals of Health & DiseaseMusculoskeletal & Dermatology
Host DefenseEndocrine & Reproductive Biology
Neuroscience & Behavior

August 2016 – May 2017

August 2017 – May 2018

Year One Courses

Students begin to appreciate their role as health care professionals by learning skills and attributes necessary to begin patient care as a novice member of a health care team. Course objectives:

  • Examine personal values and biases as well as professional goals and responsibilities. (P1)
  • Explore and apply ethical and legal principles that guide the practice of medicine. (P3)
  • Explain how both individual and systemic barriers contribute to disparities in healthcare delivery. (SBP3)
  • Explain the importance of and describe physician responsibility for patient safety. (SBP5)
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of members of the healthcare team. (SBP6)
  • Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration skills in a team environment. (ISC1)
  • Identify one’s communication style and describe elements of and barriers to effective communication. (ISC3)
  • Describe strength and credibility of medical information sources. (PBLI3)
  • Apply principles of evidence-based medicine and biostatistics to form answerable clinical questions, analyze study design, interpret study findings, and evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic options. (MK5)

Students advance their clinical skills, knowledge and communication skills to acknowledge the social context of health and disease. Course objectives:

  • Demonstrate the essentials of taking a comprehensive patient history and perform a complete physical examination. (PC2)
  • Perform a problem-focused physical exam incorporating specific skills such as the appropriate use of an ophthalmoscope and otoscope and demonstrating the proper approach to specialized exams. (PC2)
  • Review a patient’s previous medical records to gather information as an adjunct to the data gathered in the clinical encounter. (PC2)
  • Begin to interpret diagnostic tests using foundational science knowledge. (PC4)
  • Within the context of patient encounters and patient care, analyze how an individual’s values, life circumstances, and familial and cultural influences can motivate his or her behavior, health care utilization, and interpretations of health care information and decision-making. (SBP3)
  • Students will be able to describe the impact of local, state, and federal policies and resources on individual and community health outcomes. (SPB4)
  • Analyze the organization, financing including principles of cost-effective care, and delivery of health care. (SPB4)
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the roles and responsibilities of the different members of the healthcare team. (SPB6)
  • Construct collaborative patient-centered decisions with other health professionals. (ISC1)
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills that permit an accurate and respectful gathering of information from patients. (ISC2)
  • Identify and demonstrate techniques for modifying communication that is sensitive to the differences, values, and needs of others, with attention to the context and purpose of the conversation. (ISC3)
  • Recognize techniques that contribute to shared decision making between physicians, patients and/or families. (ISC4)
  • Perform a basic oral presentation of patient history, physical exam, and problem summary for patient encounters. (ISC5)
  • Prepare a basic written documentation of patient history, physical exam, and problem summary for patient encounters. (ISC5)
  • Recognize the utility, benefits and limitations of an electronic health record. (ISC5)
  • Apply basic principles of evidence-based medicine: formulating a clinical question; searching and retrieving medical information from various evidence-based sources. (PBLI3)
  • Identify ethical issues and acknowledge their own moral value and the impact of this on patient care. (P1)
  • Identify unethical and unprofessional behaviors in others and begins to address these behaviors through conflict resolution or formal organizational/institutional channels (P4)
  • Recognize professional behavior and perform in a manner that is consistent with the medical profession’s accepted standards. (P2)
  • Students will be able to adhere to ethical and legal principles that govern medical practice and medical documentation including patient confidentiality. (P4)

Students’ knowledge of the functional and developmental relationship between anatomical structures, organs and organ systems enable them to explain the anatomic (microscopic and macroscopic) basis of common clinical conditions, injuries, diseases and functional deficits. Course objectives:

  • Describe the embryology of organ systems and the developmental abnormalities that lead to common congenital defects. (MK1)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the structural and functional organization of the adult human body and its variations as visualized by direct dissection of human cadavers and by medical imaging techniques. (MK1)
  • Identify the histology and electron microscopic morphology of tissues and organs through the use of light and electron microscopy and discuss the functional aspects of the identified tissues. (MK1)
  • Demonstrate professionalism through respect for the donor, the medical education process, and their peers. (P2)
  • Identify gaps in their understanding of the developmental, histologic, and gross anatomic structure of the human body; locate, analyze and appraise information to overcome their knowledge deficits; and integrate new information to broaden their foundation of medical knowledge. (PBLI1)

Students’ knowledge of fundamental concepts in molecular, cell and tissue biology and in clinical genetics will enable them to explain the molecular, biochemical and cellular underpinnings of health and various disease states. Course objectives:

  • Describe the subcellular structure of mammalian cells, the function of the different subcellular organelles, including cell membranes and associated proteins, and their relevance to human health and disease. (MK1)
  • Describe how cells divide, differentiate, control their shapes and activities to produce basic tissue types and explain how their microscopic characteristics produce the functions of these tissues and their specialized subtypes. (MK1)
  • Describe the molecular and cellular events of human development from fertilization through formation of the notochord and body plan, including the molecular basis of various developmental abnormalities and methods for their detection. (MK1)
  • Use knowledge of protein structure, folding and assembly, including the role of co-factors, to explain how altered protein structure can have pathological consequences. (MK1)
  • Describe how protein function is regulated and how dysregulation contributes to human disease. (MK1)
  • Describe the organization, function, maintenance, and regulation of the human genome; explain how these processes or their dysfunction contribute to health and disease at the individual, family and population levels, and apply genetic methods for calculating/assessing risk of disease occurrence. (MK1)
  • Describe how the evolving insight into the molecular basis of disease affects ethical considerations in the diagnosis and treatment of disease (P3).
  • Describe how the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, nucleotides, and proteins generate the energy and intermediates necessary for cell and organ homeostasis and how dysregulation of these processes (inborn and acquired) contributes to human disease. (MK1)
  • Distinguish the various mechanisms of cell-to-cell communication and describe how dysfunction in these processes contributes to human disease. (MK1)
  • Describe the genetic, molecular and cellular events and the environmental factors linked to the initiation, progression, and metastasis of cancers and describe how these elements may impact risk assessment and point to targets for therapeutic intervention, prevention, and/or risk reduction for particular types of cancer. (MK1)
  • Identify gaps in their understanding of cell and molecular biology; locate, analyze and appraise information required to fill those gaps; and integrate new information to extend medical knowledge. (PBLI1)
  • Behave in a professional manner by demonstrating compassion, honesty, integrity, respect, responsibility, and self-discipline in relationships with all individuals, regardless of gender, age, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, native language or role. (P2)
  • Modify communications demonstrating sensitivity to differences, values, and needs of others, with attention to one’s personal communication style and the context and purpose of the conversation. (ISC3)
  • Share information accurately in academic and clinical settings both in oral presentations and written documentation including in the medical record. (ISC5)

Students’ knowledge of physiological, pathophysiological and pharmacological principals enable them to describe maintenance of normal physiologic functions and discuss disease states and drug treatments in terms of altered cellular and tissue function. Course objectives:

  • Explain the fundamental physiological functions of the cardiovascular, pulmonary and renal systems and explain their roles in contributing to homeostasis of the body, including neurohumoral control mechanisms. (MK1)
  • Explain fundamental mechanisms of cellular and tissue responses to injury and disease. (MK3)
  • Describe how the physical environment influences health and disease. (MK2)
  • Explain the general pathophysiology of neoplastic tumors, including the progression of tumor growth, clinical consequences, and the mode of action of representative antineoplastic therapies. (MK3)
  • Describe basic pharmacokinetic principles of drug absorption, distribution, biotransformation and excretion and utilize this knowledge to explain pharmacodynamic actions, and interactions of commonly prescribed drugs. (MK4)
  • Identify gaps in personal knowledge when presented with new clinical scenarios and integrate basic science principles to explain and interpret the clinical features of the case. (PBLI2)
  • Given a specific disease state, explain how alterations of tissue structure and function contribute to the clinical consequences of the disease and describe appropriate therapeutic approaches. (MK4)
  • Given a clinical problem, generate a personal learning objective to address a gap in knowledge, use multiple resources to address the question, and use principles of evidence-based medicine to assess the quality of resources and interpret the information. (PBLI3)
  • Modify communications demonstrating sensitivity to differences, values, and needs of others, with attention to one’s personal communication style and the context and purpose of the conversation or presentation. (ISC3)
  • Share information accurately in academic and clinical settings both in oral presentations and written documentation including in the medical record. (ISC5)

Students’ knowledge of the immune system and the pathogenesis of infectious organisms enable them to formulate appropriate diagnostic and interventional strategies for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and immune-mediated pathologies. Course objectives:

  • Explain the development, structure, function and regulation of the immune system at molecular and cellular levels, and differentiate between the innate and adaptive mechanisms of host defense against microbial pathogens. (MK1)
  • Describe the structure, physiology, genetics, pathogenesis and epidemiology of the major classes of infectious organisms associated with human diseases. (MK2)
  • Differentiate among the major pathogens associated with gastrointestinal, respiratory, CNS, skin and soft tissue, bone, circulatory, and urogenital infections, and illustrate how host defense mechanisms, diagnostic strategies, and therapeutic approaches differ between organ systems. (MK3)
  • Describe the key characteristics of primary and acquired immunodeficiencies, analyze their clinical consequences, and define infectious organisms associated with these disorders. (MK2)
  • Illustrate the basic principles of immunization. (MK4)
  • Explain the mechanisms of action of the major classes of antibiotics, anti-virals, anti-fungals, and anti-parasitic agents, including their use against specific pathogens, their effect on normal flora, adverse reactions, and the problem of drug resistance. (MK4)
  • Identify and explain the pathophysiology of allergies and other hypersensitivities, autoimmunity, transplantation, and immune responses to cancer. (MK2)
  • Categorize methods to prevent the spread of contagious organisms, including universal precautions, sterile techniques, sterilization, and disinfection, and apply these methods to the prevention of foodborne diseases and nosocomial infections. (MK4)
  • Explain how issues of geography, economics, culture, and public health affect patterns of infectious diseases epidemiology and approaches to disease prevention. (SBP3)
  • Identify gaps in your understanding of Host Defense, identify and evaluate resources to help close these gaps, and articulate the information to your peers. (PBLI2)
  • Behave in a professional manner and carry out any responsibilities in Host Defense with the highest levels of integrity. (P2)

Students’ knowledge of the physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology of the brain and the nervous system and their knowledge of mind-body interactions enable them to describe the major diseases of these systems, including their signs and symptoms, behavioral patterns, histopathologic and clinical laboratory characteristics, and rationale for current therapeutic interventions. Course objectives:

  • Describe the gross, histologic, and cellular structure of the central and peripheral nervous system. (MK1)
  • Describe the anatomic connectivity and physiologic processes underlying the major functional systems (motor, sensory, homeostatic, and higher cortical functions) of the nervous system. (MK1)
  • Localize lesions of the peripheral and central nervous system by recognizing patterns of neurologic deficits from the patient history and neurologic exam (MK2)
  • Recognize the clinical presentations of major diseases of the nervous system and describe how the neurologic exam, mental status exam, and common diagnostic tests and procedures are used to develop a differential diagnosis for diseases of the nervous system. (MK3)
  • Describe the pharmacological therapies (including drug class, mechanism of action, adverse effects, contraindications, drug-drug interactions, and pharmacokinetics), surgical approaches, and prosthetic devices for the treatment and management of common nervous system disorders. (MK4)
  • Describe how sensory, cognitive and environmental factors interact in the experience of neurologic and psychiatric symptoms, and how psychosocial and behavioral interventions can be used to promote health and treat disease. (MK7)
  • Describe the neurologic and psychiatric symptoms associated with drugs of abuse, the underlying mechanisms of dependence, withdrawal, and addiction, and treatment strategies. (MK2)
  • Describe the normal development of the nervous system, structural and clinical manifestations of common congenital anomalies, and the impact of genetic and environmental factors on fetal development and behavior in the pediatric and adult population. (MK1)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in self-directed and life-long learning skills through the gathering,
  • analysis, synthesis, evaluation and communication to peers of new information that the student self-identifies as necessary to understand more completely the causes, effects and treatments of neurological problems (PBLI3)
  • Behave in a professional manner by demonstrating compassion, honesty, integrity, respect, responsibility, and self-discipline in relationships with all individuals, regardless of gender, age, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, native language or role. (P2)
  • Modify communications demonstrating sensitivity to differences, values, and needs of others, with attention to one’s personal communication style and the context and purpose of the conversation (ISC3)

Year Two Courses

Students advance their clinical skills, knowledge and communication skills acknowledging the social context of health and disease.

Students’ knowledge of the physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology of the cardiovascular and hematologic systems enable them to describe the major diseases of these systems, including their signs and symptoms, histopathologic and clinical laboratory characteristics, and rationale for current therapeutic interventions.

Students’ knowledge of the physiology, pharmacology and pathophysiology of the respiratory and renal systems enable them to describe the major diseases of these systems, including their signs and symptoms, histopathologic and clinical laboratory characteristics, and rationale for current therapeutic interventions.

Students’ knowledge of the physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology of the gastrointestinal system enable them to describe the major diseases of this system, including their signs and symptoms, histopathologic and clinical laboratory characteristics, and rationale for current therapeutic interventions including the application of principles of nutrition and their role in health and disease.

Students’ knowledge of the physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology of dermatologic and musculoskeletal systems enable them to describe the major diseases of these systems, including their signs and symptoms, histopathologic and clinical laboratory characteristics, and rationale for current therapeutic interventions.

Students’ knowledge of the physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology of the endocrine and reproductive systems enable them to describe the major diseases of these systems, including their signs and symptoms, histopathologic and clinical laboratory characteristics, and rationale for current therapeutic interventions.

Phase I CourseTotal Credit HoursMaximum Contact Hours
Transitions I352
Foundations of Clinical Practice I10204
Human Structure8160
Molecules to Cells and Tissues8160
Fundamentals of Health and Disease6120
Host Defense6120
Neuroscience and Behavior6120
Foundations of Clinical Practice II7144
Cardiovascular and Hematology6120
Renal and Respiratory6120
Gastrointestinal and Nutrition6120
Musculoskeletal and Dermatology240
Endocrine and Reproductive Biology480