Medical College of Georgia
School of Medicine Curriculum
During the two pre-clinical years, students acquire the building blocks of the foundational sciences that underlie medical practice and the skills required for clinical decision-making and patient interaction. The modular content of the curriculum is taught in lectures, labs with integrated clinical conferences, team-based learning, small-group activities, and preceptor relationships. The first year of the curriculum is a yearlong module divided into systems-based blocks that run in parallel with the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course. The modules introduce students to Gross Anatomy, Biochemistry, Development, Genetics, Histology, Neuroscience, Physiology, and Psychiatry. The Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM) is a four-semester program designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes to perform successfully in the Phase 3 clerkships. ECM is organized into two “courses” (ECM1 and ECM2) with five components (The Art of Doctoring, Population and Public Health, Evidence-based Practice, Problem-based Learning, and Physical Diagnosis), which build sequentially on one another, and are interwoven wherever possible with core foundational science modules. ECM is designed to ensure a continuity of training for the student across the Phase 1 and 2 years in the areas of professionalism, clinical skills development, cultural competency, public health, evidence-based practice, clinical content, interdisciplinary collaborative teaching, and self-evaluation of performance. The second year of the curriculum is divided into systems-based modules that run in parallel with the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course. In these modules, students are exposed to the topics of Medical Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology, and Pharmacology in the context of clinical medicine. Teaching strategies include interactive small groups, team-based learning, preceptor relationships, and lectures that are linked to course objectives. On average, students are in scheduled activities for 26 hours per week during the first two years. Classes are held in the new, state-of-the-art J. Harold Harrison, MD Education Commons Building. On the Athens campus, classes are held at the University of Georgia Health Sciences Campus. Each student is required to purchase a computer capable of using relevant educational software. The Greenblatt Library maintains current journal subscriptions, electronic resources, online books, and provides access to many external databases. The Library provides a mobile application for catalog and database searching, building access hours, as well as the full Library website. Audiovisual learning aids are used in class and are available in the Library. Grading is pass/fall in the first year. In years two through four, grading is A-F with a C constituting a passing grade. Passing the USMLE Step 1 is a requirement for promotion to the third year.
Patient contact begins during year one in the ECM course, which extends through year two. Year three consists of required core clerkships in Family Medicine (6 weeks); Internal Medicine (8 weeks); Neurology (4 weeks); Obstetrics/Gynecology (6 weeks); Pediatrics (6 weeks); Psychiatry (4 weeks); and Surgery (8 weeks). In addition to having an opportunity to do a four-week elective in the third year, students participate in a 2 week intersession or mini-clerkship on the care of the chronically and terminally ill patient. Core clerkships take place at the AU Health System, the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, the regional campuses, and various affiliated hospitals and community-based teaching sites throughout the state. Students may rotate to affiliated community hospitals for part of the core curriculum. During year four, students must complete four-week rotations in Emergency Medicine, Critical Care, Adult Ambulatory Medicine, and an acting internship in either Family Medicine, Neurology, Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, or Obstetrics and Gynecology. The remainder of the fourth year is for elective study that can include both clinical and research courses. In addition to passing USMLE Step 2, students must complete a total of four, four-week electives to fulfill the requirements for graduation.
Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum:
Students who to attend the Northwest Clinical Campus parallel track learn the core content of the third year in a longitudinal integrated clerkship model. This model uses the same MCG competency-based objectives and clerkship content in a longitudinal manner over the entire third year. The individual clerkship goals, objectives, and methods of assessment are the same as for the other campuses. Students take one elective during the second half of the third year, as long as they are showing satisfactory progress in the content area of the elective. Students return to a more traditional block schedule during the fourth year.
The educational opportunities for medical students are enhanced further through the development of double degree programs and areas of concentration. These educational possibilities expand the academic diversity of our physician graduates who will enter the work force. Students choosing the option of a double degree program will receive the MD/MBA or MD/MPH degree at the conclusion of the program of study, usually in 5 years.