The first-year course of study ensures students with varied backgrounds master fundamental basic science content before progressing to complex biomedical problem-solving in organ system units. The second-year courses are fully integrated and continue students’ preparation for the United States Medical Licensing Exam Step 1. Systems-based and symptom-based units are organized around common symptoms and focus on assimilating students’ knowledge of the basic sciences acquired in year one.
In the first half of the year, students begin learning the basic clinical competencies required for working in the clinics – which commences in the second half of the year. During the clinical apprenticeships in the second and third sections, preceptors mentor students, observe their respective levels of patient care and provide direct feedback. The fourth section emphasizes clinical skills practice, allowing students to hone the skills they have absorbed in the clinic. The third and fourth years feature increased exposure to the clinical experience by way of clerkships and sub-internships – along with continued exposure in the basic sciences.
Our Scholarly Pathways program provides students the opportunity to individualize aspects of their education by participating in one of our areas of concentration and by pursuing scholarly projects.
Individualized Study Time
Because students learn in a multitude of ways, the Discovery Curriculum includes dedicated independent study time to allow students to prepare and/or review material in a manner best suited to their respective learning styles.
Vision for the M3-M4 Years in the Discovery Curriculum
As in the traditional curriculum, in the M3 year, students rotate through six clerkships with an option to take a one month elective or vacation. Students have the option to continue with dedicated time for Pathway activities in the M3 year. In the M4 year, students participate in sub- internships (Sub-I), Integrative Selectives and vacation time. In the Discovery Curriculum, as time spent in direct patient care and other clinical exposure increases in the M1-M2 years, core basic science topics will be integrated into the M3-M4 years. This venue will not be one in which to teach topics that have not been covered previously in the curriculum; rather, it will provide an opportunity to revisit core concepts with clinical applications in the context of providing patient care. The clerkship directors and basic science faculty are currently working to determine content and design the delivery system. Multiple formats – such as case-based active learning sessions – will be considered in order to best integrate with each clinical rotation and engage students with different learning styles.