Structure and Schedule

The Fundamentals of Medicine phase begins in August of the first year and runs through mid-December of the second year, with vacation time for the first summer. Students will study for board exams in January and February of the second year. The Fundamental of Medicine phase runs through January of the second year; students will study for board exams in February and March.

The Fundamentals of Clinical Practice phase begins in April of the second year and continues through the third year. This phase includes a two-week Foundations of Clinical Practice course, clinical rotations, and electives.

The Transition to Advanced Clinical Practice phase begins in 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.

Curriculum Structure

MD Program Curriculum Schematic

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, typically from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Each week will include three half-days for independent study and self-directed learning.

Approximately one half-day a week will rotate among Practice of Medicine (POM) small-group activities or half-day continuity clinics as part of the Clinical Apprenticeship Program (CAP). A typical week includes small-group Clinical Integration Sessions that will integrate and reinforce basic science, clinical science, and public health content.

The curriculum includes Patients, Populations, and Systems courses that meet approximately two hours per week. The course facilitates students’ ability to integrate basic sciences, clinical care, and population health with health policy, public health, and systems-based practice to promote the health of patients and communities and improve the conditions and systems that impact them.

Grades and Exams in the Fundamentals of Medicine Phase

  • In the Fundamentals of Medicine phase, students will be awarded a grade of 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. The Practice of Medicine course also includes performance-based exams designed to assess clinical skills. Each block also ends with a customized National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) subject exam (using actual board questions) that covers the content of the entire block.

Grades and Exams in the Fundamentals of Clinical Practice Phase

  • 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 Practice of Medicine and Patients, Populations, and Systems courses are graded Pass, Conditional, or Fail.
  • In addition to subjective evaluations from supervising residents and attending physician faculty, clerkships will utilize standard NBME subject examinations to determine the final grade. Each clerkship also uses various assessment methods including in-house written examinations and performance-based exams.