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    Augusta University
   
 
  Sep 20, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Augusta University Catalog

Doctor of Medicine


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Basic Sciences:

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 divided into systems-based blocks that run in parallel with the Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM) courses. The modules introduce students to Gross Anatomy, Biochemistry, Development, Genetics, Histology, Neuroscience, Physiology, and Psychiatry. The second year of the curriculum is divided into systems-based modules that run in parallel with the ECM 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. The Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM) courses are part of a four-semester program designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors to perform successfully in the Phase 3 clerkships. ECM is organized into three “courses” (Physical Diagnosis and Ultrasound, Problem-based Learning and Foundations of Clinical Practice). In year 1, the Foundations of Clinical Practice course includes 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 the core foundational science modules. In year 2, the components in the ECM Foundations of Clinical Practice are The Art of Doctoring, Population and Public Health, Evidence-based Medicine, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Geriatrics, and Human Sexuality. 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.

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. With the exception of Problem-based Learning, grading in years two through four is A-F with a C constituting a passing grade. Passing the USMLE Step 1 is a requirement for promotion to the third year.

Clinical Training:

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 4-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 Augusta University 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 4 week clerkships in Adult Ambulatory Medicine and Emergency Medicine. In addition, students must complete a Critical Care selective plus an acting internship in either Family Medicine, Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, or Surgery. The remainder of the fourth year is for elective study that can include both clinical and research opportunities. In addition to passing USMLE Step 2, students must complete a total of four, 4-week electives to fulfill the requirements for graduation.

Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum:

Students who 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 traditional block schedule during the fourth year.

Augusta University is enhancing the educational opportunities for medical students 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, MD/MPH, and MD/MS degree at the conclusion of the program of study, usually in 5 years.

Curriculum & Credit Hours for Main Campus Students


Phase 1: Organ and System Based Modules and ECM 1


Phase 2: Cellular and Systems Disease States and ECM2


Phase 3:


Students must satisfactorily complete all of the requirements of Phase 2 before entering Phase 3. Students must pass USMLE Step I  to enter the third year curriculum.

Year Three


Year Four


Senior Year Requirements:

The fourth year is ten months in length. Students must complete two clerkships and two selectives. All students must complete an adult ambulatory clerkship, an emergency medicine clerkship, an acting internship selective, and a critical care selective. The remainder of the fourth year consists of at least three electives. Students may take additional electives during the academic year. Of these three required electives in the fourth year, one must be at an MCG‐ affiliated site.

  • Only one international experience may fulfill the elective requirements for graduation. 

  • Students may only receive graduation credit for one research elective regardless of the length of the experience. A student may do research electives in different areas of interest; however, only one of these electives fulfills the elective requirements for graduation. 

  • If a student did not complete a third year elective, s/he must do a total of four electives in the fourth year to fulfill the requirements for graduation. Two of the four electives must be on‐campus. 

  • The Curriculum Office must approve off‐campus electives for graduation credit. 

  • According to institutional policy, students may not receive retroactive credit for electives that were not approved by the Curriculum Office

Curriculum & Credit Hours for Athens Campus Students


First- and second-year students study basic and clinical science in an organ-systems based, hybrid curriculum the centerpiece of which is case-based, small group learning, supplemented by large group interactive sessions. Previous department-based courses such as biochemistry, anatomy, genetics, physiology, neuroscience, microbiology, immunology, pathology, pharmacology, and psychiatry, are integrated and presented in the context of clinical problems to encourage a more logical sequence of learning and to highlight the clinical relevance of the basic sciences. This helps students learn in a context that more directly applies to how they will care for patients.

The emphasis on an integrated approach to lifelong learning begins in the first year to help students learn the normal structure and function of the human body as well as understand social and behavioral aspects of medicine. It continues in the second year, which emphasizes pathophysiology and clinical decision making. Basic science is also revisited through the clinical skills course, Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM). The ECM course has 3 components, Evidence Based Clinical Decision Making (EBCDM), Clinical Skills, Community Health (in year 1), and Population Health (in year 2), which in turn are interwoven with the organ system based modules where possible.  

Required and elective third- and fourth-year clerkships are available in private practices, community clinics and hospitals. These two years involve the application of the knowledge acquired in the basic sciences and ECM in a clinical setting. As in Augusta, the third year consists of clinical rotations in the core disciplines of medicine. The fourth year lasts 11 months and consists of electives and selectives.

Phase 1


Phase 2:


Phase 3:


Year Three


Students must satisfactorily complete all of the requirements of Phase 2 before entering Phase 3. Students must pass USMLE Step I to enter the third year curriculum.

Students will complete their core clerkships and electives at hospitals and community based training sites throughout Northeast Georgia. All core clerkships and the intersession in the care for chronically ill and terminally ill patients occur in the catchment area for the Medical Partnership Campus.

Year Four


The fourth year is ten months in length. Students must complete two clerkships and two selectives. All students must complete an adult ambulatory clerkship, an emergency medicine clerkship, an acting internship selective, and a critical care selective. The remainder of the fourth year consists of at least three electives. Students may take additional electives during the academic year. Of these three required electives in the fourth year, one must be at an MCG‐ affiliated site.

  • Only one international experience may fulfill the elective requirements for graduation. 

  • Students may only receive graduation credit for one research elective regardless of the length of the experience. A student may do research electives in different areas of interest; however, only one of these electives fulfills the elective requirements for graduation. 

  • If a student did not complete a third year elective, s/he must do a total of four electives in the fourth year to fulfill the requirements for graduation. Two of the four electives must be on‐campus. 

  • The Curriculum Office must approve off‐campus electives for graduation credit. 

  • According to institutional policy, students may not receive retroactive credit for electives that were not approved by the Curriculum Office

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