Year 1 - Basic Sciences

To be a physician, there are things you need to know (knowledge), things you will need to do (skills) and things you need to be (attitudes and character traits).

The stage for the first year of medical school (MS1) year is set with a 2-week clinical immersion course which introduces clinical skills and professional identity formation. Following that, is Foundations of Patient Care, a single integrated course that blends biomedical and clinical sciences to prepare students for clinical practice. Woven throughout, students experience small group sessions with faculty focusing on clinical skills, cultural determinants of health, and leadership.

Courses & Curricular Threads

  • Clinical Skills Training Immersion Course (CSTI) is a 2-week introductory course 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. 
  • Foundations of Patient Care (FPC) is a 10-month course that integrates the biomedical disciplines (Histology, Gross Anatomy, Neuroscience, Physiology, Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology and Pharmacology) with clinical skills, a leadership curriculum, and concepts in health disparities. 

    The Biomedical Sciences portion of the course includes small group labs (cadaveric dissection, histology labs, pathology labs), human simulation, and team-based cases. Sessions at the beginning and end of each unit serve as a clinical framework that enables students to learn the biomedical sciences in the context of patient care. The cases at the end of each unit integrate all aspects of the course and include interactive videos that guide students through a patient encounter as individuals but also have a team component. The biomedical sciences portion of the course is interprofessional, with medical students and pathologist assistant students learning together. 

    Clinical Skills Foundation 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. CSF1 includes a Physical Exam intensive in February.

    The Cultural Determinants of Health & Health Disparities (CDHD) portion of the course introduces students to concepts and research in cultural humility, health disparities, and the sociocultural influences on health and wellness. Sessions use reflective writing, lectures, and small group discussion to meet course goals.  

    Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) is a curricular thread throughout all four years that focuses on developing critical skills for being a leader in medicine. 

Highlighted Elective

Advanced Clinically Centered Education in Spanish (ACCES): This is a clinically-centered educational experience in Spanish designed to help medical students become culturally competent Spanish-speaking healthcare providers. The student will build a foundation of medical terminology in Spanish, practice assuming the role of Spanish-speaking provider, and build communication skills in Spanish. To enroll the student will need an intermediate or advanced level of Spanish based on a standardized assessment (Marco Comun Europeo de Referencia para lenguas) by a third party evaluator. Passing grade will depend on meeting class attendance, written assignments, completing online modules and/or improving the level of Spanish based on the MCER at the end of the second semester. Class size maximum: 20 students.