The guiding principles for this curricular phase include content integration; inclusivity of all SOM departments; earlier clinical experience; weekly schedule standardization with incorporated self-directed learning time; customization of experience through intersessions; strengthened Step 1 preparation; and promotion of student well-being.
Successful completion of this curricular phase entails completion of the eight required courses described below, as well as passage of USMLE Step 1.
Human Architecture and Function (HAF) - 8 weeks
HAF establishes a foundation for the I-EXPLORE curriculum teaching students core concepts in anatomy and histology as a scaffold for the clinical and biomedical sciences. It also provides students with an introduction to health systems science, clinical skills, and clinical reasoning in anticipation of more advanced active learning sessions that begin in Molecular and Cellular Medicine.
Molecular and Cellular Medicine (MCM) - 6 weeks
MCM introduces additional life sciences relevant to the practice of medicine, including biochemistry, genetics, physiology, and pharmacology, with clinical correlation throughout. Active learning pedagogies emphasized in MCM continue to be used throughout the remainder of the pre-clerkship curriculum. They include problem-based learning, team-based learning, and peer teaching. The health systems science domains included in this course are scientific analysis, population and public health, and the social and structural determinants of health. Clinical skills and clinical reasoning activities are interwoven to prepare students for the longitudinal clinical experience.
Pathogens and Host Defense (PHD) - 5 weeks
PDH is a clinically framed introduction to the disciplines of medical microbiology, immunology, and general pathology. Health systems science content expands upon scientific analysis, public health, and how structural inequities manifest in health outcomes. Pharmacology, clinical skills, and clinical reasoning continue as integral course components.
Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, and Renal Systems (CPR) - 19 weeks
CPR builds upon the preceding foundational courses to deliver the first systems-based course in I-EXPLORE. CPR demonstrates the relationship between structure, function, and disease in the circulatory, cardiac, pulmonary, and renal systems. The course intertwines genetic, biochemical, physiological, immunological, microbiological, pathological, and pharmacological content in the context of disease, treatment, and prevention. Health systems science continues its longitudinal instruction on scientific analysis, health equity, and social determinants of health, while also introducing quality improvement, patient safety, and clinical informatics. Students continue developing their clinical skills and the longitudinal clinical experience begins.
Identity formation through REflection, Social analysist, Team-ORientation and Enrichment (I-RESTORE, Intersession Course) - 8 weeks
I-RESTORE comprises four one-week sessions occurring at regular intervals in years 1 and 2, and four weeks of selective course work during the eight-week summer block between years 1 and 2. This course focuses on professional identity formation. It provides students opportunities to explore their interests and engage in guided reflection essential to the growth and development of their professional identity using tools derived from the humanities and social sciences. I-RESTORE fosters development of the master adaptive learner who can thrive as a physician, quickly absorb new information, challenge pre-set assumptions, and foster their skillset and personal well-being throughout their career.
Clinical skills introduces students to core concepts and principles of patient care, including patient-centered interviewing, physical diagnosis, medical communication, and clinical reasoning. The curriculum uses a combination of small group activities, clinical simulation, and standardized patient scenarios to teach and practice clinical skills. Professional identity development and teamwork are also fostered by engaging with a consistent cohort of peers.
Longitudinal Clinical Experience (LCE)
The LCE places medical students in an ambulatory clinic setting approximately one afternoon every other week for a one-year period beginning halfway through Year 1 and ending halfway through Year 2. The LCE provides students an opportunity to apply and practice their clinical skills in a patient care setting under the guidance of a supervising physician. Students learn about the ambulatory care environment and health care system during these site visits.
Team INQUIRE (Investigating, Naming, Questioning, Understanding, Integrating, and Reporting in Education)
Team INQUIRE is a problem-based learning program in which students take a lead role in deciding the content and direction of their learning based on a provided clinical case. Small groups of students meet with their Team INQUIRE facilitator in three one-hour sessions per week, identifying learning objectives, researching those objectives, and synthesizing their findings through group discussion. Throughout Team INQUIRE, the facilitator serves as a process expert rather than a content expert, thereby reinforcing the student-led nature of the learning. Team INQUIRE promotes and practices foundational life-long learning skills of self-directed learning, independent study, critical judgment, and critical thinking.
The UCD 43 is a set of chief concerns for which patients commonly seek medical care. Students are exposed to these 43 concerns during team-based learning and small group clinical reasoning sessions in the pre-clerkship and clerkship phases. These sessions are designed for students to practice their clinical reasoning skills and begin to develop diagnostic schema and illness scripts for associated conditions.
Endocrinology, Reproduction and Gastrointestinal Systems (EnRGI) - 16 weeks
EnRGI builds upon the concepts studied in the first year to demonstrate the relationship between structure, function, and disease in the endocrine, reproductive, urologic, and gastrointestinal systems. Through integrative active learning approaches, the course brings together genetic, biochemical, physiological, immunological, microbiological, pathological, and pharmacological content in the context of disease, treatment, and prevention. The health systems science components of this course include change agency, advocacy, policy, and healthcare financing and economics. The longitudinal clinical experience and clinical skills content continue.
Skin and Musculoskeletal Systems (SMS) - 3 weeks
SMS demonstrates the relationship between structure, function, and disease in the musculoskeletal and dermatologic systems. The active learning pedagogies connect genetic, biochemical, physiological, immunological, microbiological, pathological, and pharmacological content in the context of disease, treatment, and prevention. Capstone cases with musculoskeletal or dermatologic manifestations bring together multiple systems. Health systems science focuses on leadership and team science. Clinical skills continues and the longitudinal clinical experience comes to an end.
Brain and Behavior (B&B) - 8 weeks
B&B demonstrates the relationship between neuroanatomy, neuroscience, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, psychiatry, and behavioral science. The active learning and integrative approaches incorporate genetic, biochemical, physiological, immunological, microbiological, pathological, and pharmacological content in the context of disease, treatment, and prevention. Capstone cases emphasizing neurologic, otolaryngologic, or ophthalmologic manifestations bring together multiple systems. Health systems science concludes its development of scientific analysis and team science skills, and clinical skills introduces elements of inpatient work in anticipation of the clerkship phase.
To view the legacy curriculum for pre-clerkship, please click here.