Pre-clerkship Period (“First One and One-half Years”):
The first year begins with Cells to Society – an innovative educational experience designed to present first year students with an integrative approach to clinical medicine. “Cells to Society” focuses on and connects the patient to all other aspects of the Foundations of Medicine curriculum. The three-day experience is structured around one disease process and guides first years in investigating the disease’s cellular and societal dimensions. Students discover how the care of the patient raises questions in multiple domains in addition to clinical medicine. “Cells to Society” is followed by Foundations of Medicine and Cells, Tissues and Mechanisms of Disease. These include foundational elements of human behavior, the doctor/patient relationship, decision sciences, and principles of biochemistry, genetics, histology, physiology, anatomy, general pathology, general pharmacology, and epidemiology.
Students then move to the Integrated Organ Systems: Microbes and the Immune System; Musculoskeletal and Integument; Gastrointestinal; Mind, Brain and Behavior; Renal; Cardiovascular; Pulmonary; Endocrine/Reproductive, and Hematology. Each system integrates core science (e.g., anatomy, histology, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology) with clinical skills ranging from physical examination to addressing cultural and social issues, including public health policy.
The Clinical Performance Development (CPD) experience runs concurrently with and is fully integrated into each course and organ system. CPD-1 consists of clinical case studies which students solve in small group tutorials led by physicians. Students also work on a one-to-one basis with physicians to develop their skills in taking medical histories and conducting physical exams. Students work in the Medical Simulation Center, with standardized patients, and with patients from University Hospital. Clinical Performance Development is continuous through the Clerkship and Elective time. These are called CPD-2 and CPD-3 respectively and continue the clinical skills development of medical students. CPD also has a developmental assessment program throughout medical school designed to ensure that students are developing their clinical skills appropriately and have achieved a level appropriate for success on the USMLE-2CS and transition to post-graduate training.
The Social Issues in Medicine/Exploratory experience also runs concurrently with and is fully integrated into each system. SIM helps students recognize and analyze the interrelationships between socio-cultural environments and the occurrence, prevention, and treatment of disease. Students identify and nurture values that characterize a professional and humanistic practice of medicine and an ethic of service.