Preclinical Curriculum Overview - Years 1 and 2

The First Two Years

Our interdisciplinary preclinical curriculum is composed of a two-year integrated basic science course, Integrated Medical Sciences and a two-year clinical skills course, Doctoring, designed to teach the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of a competent, ethical, and humane physician.

In addition to these required courses, the Medical School also offers an elective Scholarly Concentrations Program that runs throughout the four years of medical school. The Program allows students to pursue a course of study beyond the traditional Medical School curriculum and translate personal interests into scholarship.

Integrated Medical Sciences I

IMS-I provides first-year medical students with foundations of cell biology, cell physiology, biochemistry, nutrition sciences, immunology and genetics, all of which are integrated with gross and microscopic anatomy. IMS-I also includes general pathology in which students are introduced to concepts underlying the mechanisms of disease. This foundation forms the basis for the subsequent systems-based blocks of IMS II through IV.

Integrated Medical Sciences II

Brain Sciences, the first module of IMS II, integrates head and neck anatomy with neurobiology, brain and behavior, neurologic pathology, neuropathophysiology and neuropharmacology. Microbiology is integrated with infectious diseases and relevant pharmacology and epidemiology. In the final block of IMS-II, Endocrine Sciences, endocrine physiology has been incorporated into the endocrine pathophysiology, pathology and pharmacology content.

Integrated Medical Sciences III and IV

Students continue with a systems-based approach in Year II: The seven course sections are cardiovascular sciences, renal sciences, pulmonary sciences, supporting structures, hematology, gastroenterology and human reproduction. In addition, students have self-directed learning time in the second-year schedule to accommodates participation in the Scholarly Concentrations Program.


In Year 1, Doctoring I and II focus on basic communication skills including the patient-centered medical interview, behavior change counseling and oral and written case presentations. Students participate in lectures, small group sessions led by multi-disciplinary faculty teams, and community-based physician mentoring sessions. During Year 2, Doctoring III and IV build upon the skills covered in Year 1 with emphasis on mastery of the physical examination, the oral presentation, the application of physician-patient communication skills and critical thinking/clinical problem solving.