Pre-Clerkship phase

Learn about the changes made to academic sessions due to COVID-19.

The pre-clerkship phase of the curriculum is aimed at facilitating self-directed learning, early clinical experiences, and opportunities to apply classroom learning within clinics and in the community. To give students an even greater start, we align the pre-clerkship curriculum to best take advantage of cadaver dissection opportunities for additional hands-on experience. 

Beginning in April 2021, we rolled out a new curriculum structure that continues to follow a similar systems-based model that we first implemented in 2018 while creating better opportunity for assessment and remediation, and integrated break periods to facilitate student wellbeing.

Segment 1 and 2 consists of three 12-week course blocks that follow a systems-based model to explore the normal and abnormal structure and function of the human body. Content in each course is delivered via asynchronous lecture, synchronous small-group problem-based and case-based learning, as well as laboratory experiences. 

Students can expect to see the respective disciplines integrated in the following courses:

  • Human Body/Disease Foundations I
    Foundations content and Musculoskeletal, Peripheral Nervous System
  • Human Body/Disease Foundations II
    Cardiopulmonary, Gastrointestinal, Renal and Urinary Systems.
  • Human Body/Disease Foundations III
    Reproductive, Endocrine and Central Nervous System.

Students will experience longitudinal coursework that is complementary to the normal/abnormal structure and function courses. Longitudinal courses expose students to hands-on, real world experiences and opportunities that help develop them into holistic physicians. The following longitudinal course threads span the entirety of each segment and are broken up into 12-week course blocks that align with the Human Body/Disease courses.

  • Clinical Skills
  • Population, Patient, Physician and Professionalism
  • Service Learning
  • Clinical Experiential Clerkship (segment 2 only)

Detailed course descriptions

  • Segment 1

    This segment is centered upon the navigation through normal structure and function of the human body with an integrated anatomic cadaver dissection experience. Our systems-based curriculum presents the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, histology and genetics of each organ system, correlated with anatomic dissection. Clinical education is also correlated with each system, as the physical exam and history exercised and instruction in the clinical skills course align with the system taught in the basic science portion. 

    Course Schedule Overview: Segment 1 "Fundatmentals of a Healthy Patient"

    • Block 1 (July – September)
      • Human Body Foundations I
      • Clinical Skills 1A
      • Population, Patient, Physician, Professionalism 1A
      • Service Learning 1A
    • Block 2 (October – December)
      • Human Body Foundations II
      • Clinical Skills 1B
      • Population, Patient, Physician, Professionalism 1B
      • Service Learning 1B
    • Block 3 (January – March)
      • Human Body Foundations III
      • Clinical Skills 1C
      • Population, Patient, Physician, Professionalism 1C
      • Service Learning 1C
  • Segment 2

    The second segment is concentrated on the abnormal structure and function of the human body and follows a systems-based model. Clinical instruction is centered upon the clinical experiential clerkship course. During which, each student is paired with a preceptor in community practice. This real-patient experience is integrated with further instruction in clinical skills and regional/focused physical exam in the skills center.

    Course Schedule Overview: Segment 2 "Fundamentals of Human Disease"

    • Block 1 (April – June)
      • Human Disease Foundations I
      • Clinical Skills 2A
      • Population, Patient, Physician, Professionalism 2A
      • Service Learning 2A
    • Block 2 (July – September)
      • Human Disease Foundations II
      • Clinical Skills 2B
      • Population, Patient, Physician, Professionalism 2B
      • Service Learning 2B
    • Block 3 (October – December)
      • Human Disease Foundations III
      • Clinical Skills 2C
      • Population, Patient, Physician, Professionalism 2C
      • Service Learning 2C
    • Block 4 (January – March)
      • Dedicated Step 1 Preparation (6-weeks)
      • Electives (4-weeks)
      • Clerkship Preparation (3-weeks)
  • Segment 1 & 2 Elective Courses

    Students in good academic standing may choose to apply to and enroll in up to two electives during each segment. Elective courses run October-March for segment 1 and July-December for segment 2. The following four electives are offered in the pre-clerkship phase:

    • Basic Science and Clinical Research
    • Community Engagement
    • Medical Political Action and Public Health Leadership
    • Medical Education Research
    • Business of Medicine (segment 1 only)