Medical College of Wisconsin Medical School Medical School

MCWfusion Curriculum Phase 1: Integrated Science

Medical students in classroom

Phase 1 Overview

Phase 1 of the MCWfusion Curriculum features integration of foundational science and early clinical learning.

Phase 1 duration:

  • MCW-Milwaukee campus: 18 months
  • Regional campuses (MCW-Central Wisconsin and MCW-Green Bay): 15 months

Key features include:

Phase 1 Calendars (MCW-Milwaukee and Regional Campuses)

MCWfusion Curriculum | Calendar Phase 1

Phase 1 Courses

Integrated Science Blocks

Phase 1 includes 10 Integrated Science Blocks that are organ systems-based and utilize an inquiry-based curriculum with in-person case-based learning.

Early Clinical Courses

The Early Clinical Learning consists of four courses: Launch, Climb 1, Climb 2, and Soar. These courses provide students with early clinical experiences with an assigned preceptor to practice their clinical skills. Early clinical course schedules on MCW's regional campuses may vary.

The Good Doctor

This is a longitudinal professional development course that includes Learning Communities to facilitate coaching and support.

Scholarly Pathways

Scholarly Pathways is a two-year required component of the curriculum offering individualized training. Students on the regional campuses participate in the Physician in the Community Pathway.


Individual Professional Development (IPD) and time for Step 1 study.

Phase 1 Sample Integrated Science Week

MCWfusion Curriculum | Integrated Science Sample Week Phase 1

Students should anticipate being on campus for in-person sessions approximately 60% of time during the weeks of the Integrated Science blocks.

Wednesday morning small group sessions (Patient-Based Discussions (PBDs) and Learning Communities) will be in-person throughout Phase 1.

The Early Clinical Launch course schedule is shown in the sample Integrated Science week above. During Climb 1, Climb 2 and Soar, two afternoons per week will consist of classroom sessions and time in clinic and may be scheduled during Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. The early clinical sessions are required as they give students an opportunity to practice skills with standardized patients and receive feedback. At the end of each Early Clinical course, the students will complete an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).

Pathways core sessions will occur once per month, on Thursday afternoons, either during Spiral Week or during Integrated Science blocks. Thursday afternoons not scheduled for Pathways core sessions should be used for Pathways individualized learning activities.

It is estimated that half of student learning time during Phase 1 will take place via lectures (synchronous or asynchronous) and half through active learning in small or large groups and during individualized sessions. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory is the grading scale for all Phase 1 courses.

Phase 1 Sample Spiral Week

MCWfusion Curriculum | Sample Spiral Week Phase 1

A Spiral Week structure will be utilized to promote integration, connections, and excellence throughout all phases of the MCWfusion Curriculum.

Learn more about spiral weeks