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.