Academics » MD Program » Curriculum » Structure and Schedule

Structure and Schedule

The Fundamentals of Medicine phase begins August of the first year, and runs through mid-December of the second year, with vacation time for the first summer. In January and February of the second year, students will study for board exams. Starting in Fall 2018 with the class of 2022, the Fundamental of Medicine phase will be extended and run through January of the second year; these students will study for board exams in February and March.

The Fundamentals of Clinical Practice phase, which includes clinical rotations, electives, and a month-long Foundations of Clinical Practice course begins in March of the second year and continues through the third year. Starting with the class of 2022, the Foundations of Clinical Practice course will begin in April.

The Transitions to Advanced Clinical Practice phase begins July of the fourth year, culminating with a month-long capstone experience. One-week intersessions are spaced throughout the curriculum sequence to allow for consolidation of learning and to ensure all students have mastered the learning objectives.

New Curriculum Structure, Class of 2022 and Beyond

MD Curriculum Overview - Class of 2022

Curriculum Structure​ ​for​ ​Class of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021

Curriculum Structure​ ​for​ ​Class of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021

Fundamentals of Medicine Schedule

An average day begins at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. and has scheduled activities until 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. with a break for lunch. Approximately once a month, students will also have a physical diagnosis session from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Each week will include three half days set aside for independent study and self-directed learning.

Approximately, one half day a week will rotate among Clinical Skills and Reasoning (CSR) small-group activities, Professional Development (PD) small groups, and half-day continuity clinics as part of the Clinical Apprenticeship Program (CAP) morning each week will include small-group Clinical Integration Sessions that will integrate and reinforce basic science, clinical science, and public health content. Beginning with the class of 2022 the CSR and PD activities described above will be part of the new Practice of Medicine courses.

Additionally, the class of 2022 will enroll in the Patients, Populations and Systems courses which will meet approximately 2 hours per week that will facilitate students’ ability to integrate basic sciences, clinical care, and population health with health policy, public health and systems-based practice in order to promote the health of patients and communities as well as to improve the conditions and systems that impact them.


Grades and Exams in the Fundamentals of Medicine

  • In the Fundamentals of Medicine phase, students will be awarded a grade of Honors, Pass, Conditional, or Fail.
  • Exams and some quizzes during each block or course will be taken on iPads, with the number of tests based on the block length. Some blocks also include performance-based exams designed to assess clinical skills. Note, starting with the Class of 2022, these performance-based exams will be part of the Practice of Medicine course. In addition, each block will also end with a customized National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) subject exam (using actual board questions) that will cover content of the entire block.

Grades and Exams in the Fundamentals of Clinical Practice

  • In the Fundamentals of Clinical Practice phase, students will be awarded a grade of Honors, High Pass, Pass, Conditional, or Fail in the seven blocks. The new Practice of Medicine and Patients, Populations and Systems courses will be graded Pass, Conditional, or Fail.
  • In addition to subjective evaluations from supervising residents and attending physician faculty, clerkship will utilize standard NBME subject examinations to determine the final grade. Each clerkship also uses a variety of assessment methods including in-house written examinations and performance-based exams.