Academics and Curriculum

First Year

Duke Med’s first year curriculum is principally divided into two distinct sections with further subdivisions organized by organ systems and/or disease processes. The first semester addresses typical human physiology in a course called Human Structure and Function, while the second semester focuses primarily on disease pathology in Body and Disease. 

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Second Year

Second-year students at Duke rotate through eight core clinical clerkships, including both inpatient and outpatient care. All required clerkships and selectives are completed predominantly on the wards and in the clinics of Duke University Hospital (DUH), Duke Regional Hospital (DRH), and the Durham Veterans Administration (Durham VA). Some clerkships, such as Family Medicine or Psychiatry, may also send students to approved non-Duke partner sites. 

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Third Year

The Third Year is the most unique and celebrated component of the medical curriculum at Duke. As MS3s, we have the opportunity to customize our learning and explore our interests through research, leadership, and continued clinical exposure.

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Fourth Year

In your final year at Duke you will complete your final clinical rotations and sub-internships to solidify your clinical interests, apply to residency, interview, and complete your Capstone coursework. You are in charge of your fourth-year schedule, giving you the flexibility and freedom to build your own experience!

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Primary Care Leadership Track (PCLT)

The goal of the Primary Care Leadership Track (PCLT) is to create change agents for the health care system through primary care. The four-year program offers leadership training, a longitudinal-integrated second-year clerkship, which includes following pregnant mothers and delivering their babies, working with a community health care agency, and conducting third-year research in community-engaged population health.

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Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC)

The Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) track is a second-year clinical curriculum alternative to the traditional clerkship model that allows students to experience healthcare through a patient-centered design. Students follow a large cohort of patients longitudinally throughout their second year of medical school and have opportunities to explore all the major clinical specialties.

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The Office of Curricular Affairs has more information about the innovative Duke curriculum.