During the two pre-clinical years, students acquire the building blocks of basic science 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, and small-group activities. The first year of the curriculum is a yearlong module divided into six systems-based blocks that run in parallel with the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course. This module introduces students to Gross Anatomy, Biochemistry, Development, Genetics, Histology, Neuroscience, Physiology, and Psychiatry. The Essentials of Clinical Medicine course is a two-year sequence emphasizing the skills needed for patient care. The first year of the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course emphasizes family, cultural and population aspects of healthcare, communication skills, and information retrieval and analysis, health promotion/disease prevention, ethics, history taking with adults, and a community project. In year two, Essentials of Clinical Medicine addresses interviewing and physical examination, common medical problems, and interdisciplinary topics such as ethics, nutrition, and the impact of behavior on health while highlighting principles of patient care for each stage of life. Cellular and Systems Disease States is a yearlong module divided into five systems-based blocks that run in parallel with the Essentials of Clinical Medicine course. In this module, students are exposed to the topics of Medical Microbiology, Pathology, and Pharmacology in the context of clinical medicine.
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 Medical College of Georgia Hospitals and Clinics, the Children’s Medical Center, 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. Student must complete a total of four, four-week electives to fulfill the requirements for graduation.