Preclerkship Curriculum


The foundational 21-month first and second year pre-clerkship curriculum allows students to spend the majority of their time developing critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills. Through problem-based and self-directed learning students learn to apply their knowledge to clinical case experiences. This will be accomplished through:

  • Problem-based learning in which students work in small groups (7-8 students with a faculty facilitator) to identify learning objectives, research the relevant topics, and discuss their findings with peers in order to resolve a clinical case.
  • Self-directed learning: Students can use a variety of resources and activities to support their individualized learning, including quizzes, online materials with embedded assessment permitting them to identify their learning gaps, and review and retrieve material as necessary.
  • Team-based learning with peers and students from other disciplines requiring advanced preparation for discussion and interactions during class, at clinical sites, and in community activities.
  • Interactive learning with state-of-the-art plastinates, with high fidelity mannequins and standardized patients.

Because students complete their pre-clerkship course work in 21 months, they have the opportunity and time to pursue research, take electives, engage in community service learning and/or study for the USMLE STEP 1 exam before the start of their third year.

Curriculum Schematic

Year 1 Modules:

  • Introduction to Medicine: Science, Culture and Language (3 weeks)
  • Molecules to Medicine (9 weeks)
  • Attack and Defense (9 weeks)
  • Cardiovascular and Respiratory (8 weeks)
  • Renal and Male Reproduction (6 weeks)

Year 2 Modules:

  • Musculoskeletal and Dermatology (6 weeks)
  • Mind, Brain, and Behavior (9 weeks)
  • Digestive Health and Nutrition (7 weeks)
  • Endocrine and Female Reproduction (7 weeks)

Longitudinal Modules:

Students engage in learning activities in the following modules throughout years 1 & 2 of the curriculum:

  • Clinical Skills
  • Health Systems Science
  • Language of Medicine