Year 1 - Basic Sciences

Duke University School of Medicine Foundation of Excellent MS1 curriculum.


Students in the Learning Hall

The MS1 year introduces you to the building blocks of medicine--the basic sciences. Duke pares these subjects down to the essentials you will need in medical practice. Basic science content is integrated into four interdisciplinary courses enabling students to learn the material within the appropriate context. Clinical Correlations tie basic science content to the clinical context through the use of Team Based Learning. In addition, students will take courses in Clinical Skills Foundation, Inter-professional Education and Leadership.

Two integrated basic science courses provide the framework for your clinical practice. A variety of teaching methods are employed, including the latest technology, as we move towards the “flipped classroom” approach. These four courses include:

  • Human Structure and Function is a 23 week course that integrates Histology, Gross Anatomy, Neuroscience and Physiology.   Runs the first week in August through the third week in January, with a winter break in December.
  • Body and Disease is a 21 week course that integrates Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology and Pharmacology. Runs early Feb through June. Body & Disease includes lectures, labs, Road Shows, Team Based Exercises, Clinical Correlations, Problems in Pharmacology, human simulations and more.

Other requirements during the first year include:

  • Clinical Skills Training Immersion Course (CSTI) is a two-week introductory course which occurs as the first course of the first year of medical school. This full-time course introduces students to basic clinical skills, including history-taking, physical exam, evidence-based medicine, professional identity formation, and point-of-care ultrasound. Instruction consists of small group sessions, large group sessions, and independent study activities. The skills introduced in this course will be further developed and refined throughout the remaining four years of medical school as part of a longitudinal clinical skills curricular thread.

  • Clinical Skills Foundation 1 (CSF1) is a longitudinal course throughout the first three years. In year 1, CSF1 meets 4 hours/week for the entire year and focuses on the doctor/patient relationships, communications, interviewing, physical exam and basic counseling skills. The course includes a Physical Exam intensive in February.  
    Community Partners Program
  • LEAD- Leadership, Education and Development is a curricular thread throughout all four years that focuses on developing critical skills for being a leader in medicine.
  • CDHD - The Cultural Determinants of Health & Health Disparities course introduces students to concepts and research in cultural humility, health disparities, and the sociocultural influences on health and wellness. This course uses reflective writing, lectures, and small group discussion to meet course goals.