Biennium I Course Descriptions

Year 1


Foundations of Biostatistics and Epidemiology provides an introduction to the basic concepts and uses of biostatistics and epidemiology as research tools.  This course is designed to encourage self-directed learning. [More]

Cell and Tissues Organ System (SMD 572)

This course introduces the foundations of cellular biology, histology, physiology and organ systems physiology. Through presentation, laboratory exercises, and team-based learning modules, the principles of cellular structure and function are applied to clinical problems. [More]

Patient, Physician & Society (SMD 514)

The purpose of this course is three-fold: 1.) to introduce medical students to the various factors that affect the health of patients and populations in the U.S.; 2.) to provide an introduction to medical ethics, research ethics and professionalism as it pertains to patient-physician interactions; and 3.) to introduce medical students to normal human physical, psychological, sexual and social development across the lifecourse. [More]

Instructor teaching medical studentsHuman Structure (SMD 510)

This course provides a comprehensive study of the structure and development of the human body at the macroscopic level. Students will learn about 10,000 anatomical terms and structures, the physical relationships between those structures and how those structures develop in the embryo. Although this course covers a great deal of material in a short time, it does provide the student with an solid introduction to the structures of the human body in preparation for learning more at the microscopic and functional level in subsequent courses. For most students, the dissection component of this course provides them with their first experience with a donor's body and the opportunity for reflection upon their emerging role as a physician who respects both the living and the deceased. Working collaboratively with others is essential since donor dissection is done in small groups and Team-Based learning is used throughout the course. [More]

Introduction to Clinical Medicine I (SMD 512)

This year-long course meets one day each week and has a combination of lecture, small group, office preceptor, and standardized patient learning activities. Students learn the fundamentals of building a relationship with a patient, how to gather relevant information, and conduct a physical examination. In small group settings, students and faculty discuss the special challenges of caring for patients from diverse backgrounds, how to recognize ones own biases, and how to work effectively and ethically in difficult situations. At several points during the year, each student must demonstrate what he/she has learned by conducting a comprehensive interview and sections of the physical examination on standardized patients. In addition, each student will work with a primary care physician (pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine) for a half day each week for a portion of the year, learning about the complexities of providing comprehensive health care. [More]

Medical student studying in White HallMolecular Basis of Medicine (SMD 571)

The goal of the Molecular Basis of Medicine course is to provide a strong foundation of understanding of the biochemical constituents of cells and with the reactions and processes that they undergo. Its focus is biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics for an in-depth understanding of the structure, organization and function of living matter in molecular terms. Team-based learning modules highlight clinical correlations and the importance of understanding illness and disease at the molecular level. [More]

Principles of Disease (SMD 530)

This is an introductory course on the principles of immunology, bacteriology, virology, and parasitology as they apply to human disease. Through a series of presentations, case discussions, team-based learning sessions, and laboratory experiences, students acquire the vocabulary of infectious diseases how diagnoses are made based on history, physical, and laboratory findings. [More]

Year 2

Cardiovascular (SMD 543)

Diseases and illnesses of the cardiovascular system are presented from multiple perspectives, including modern therapies. Learning activities highlight ECG interpretation, making a differential diagnosis, and strategies for prevention of heart disease. [More]

Endocrine (SMD 564)

Starting with the physiologic principles that govern the creation, release, and regulation of hormones, this course moves through the common and catastrophic disease states that affect the endocrine organs. Diabetes is given particular emphasis, given its increasing prevalence and morbidity in the US. Small group case discussions highlight diagnostic test interpretation, making a differential diagnosis, and therapeutic intervention options. [More]

Digestive (SMD 553)

The goal of this course is to introduce the common acute and chronic disease states of the gastrointestinal system, their pathophysiologic bases, including genetic and environmental factors, and what are current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. [More]

Hematology (SMD 551)

This course presents the functional morphology of blood cells, normal and abnormal, how important blood diseases manifest, and the approaches to diagnosis and treatment of blood and clotting diseases. Learning activities include using the microscope with blood samples to make a diagnosis and problem case discussions. [More]

Introduction to Clinical Medicine II (SMD 542)

Similar to ICM I, this course is a year-long one and prepares students for their first clinical year. Small group case discussions and tutorials are used to learn about common presenting signs and symptoms, interpretation of physical and laboratory findings, and the development of a differential diagnosis. Clinical skills exercises with standardized patients insure the development of skills for the urogenital and rectal exams. Observed Structured Clinical Examinations are used at several points during the year to assess achievement of objectives and provide feedback. [More]

Medical Neuroscience (SMD 560)

This course is all about the human nervous system: how it is structured, how it works, what happens when it does not, and how physicians identify lesions from diagnostic studies, history, and physical findings. [More]

The Mind (SMD 562)

Without leaving the 'brain,' this course is about psychopathology and modern therapies to help those with psychiatric disorders. Through presentations, live and/or video recordings of 'real' patients who tell their stories, case discussions, and student interviews of psychiatric patients in the hospital, the student gains an appreciation of the pervasiveness of mental illness, its diagnostic complexity, and what are the evidence-based treatments. [More]

Musculoskeletal/Integument (SMD 563)

This course presents the common diseases and illnesses affecting the skin and musculoskeletal systems, including infectious, neoplastic, environmental, and immunologic. Through laboratory exercises, case discussions, and team-based learning modules, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are discussed. [More

Medical student conducting studying on computer.Pathobiology and Therapeutics (SMD 535)

This course is the introduction to general pathological processes and to basic principles of pharmacology before beginning a detailed study of the physiology, pathology, and pharmacology of each organ system of the human body in the second year. [More]

Clinical Decision Making (SMD 565)

Much of the future practice of medicine depends upon physicians knowing how to search for, understand, and apply the evidence that underpins diagnostic process and therapy. This course has a number of learning activities in which the student retrieves, interprets through critical appraisal, and applies the results of scientific studies to determine the best course of action for a patient, whether a diagnostic procedure, a therapeutic intervention, or no intervention. [More]

Renal (SMD 554)

This course focuses on the role of the renal system in maintaining homeostasis of the human body, and how acute and chronic diseases impact its functioning. Through presentation, problem sets, team-based learning, and case discussions, the student solves acid/base balance problems, recognizes the signs and symptoms of renal disease, and relates the impact of renal disease on the other organ systems. [More]

Reproduction (SMD 567)

Starting with the physiologic principles of both the male and female reproductive systems, this course proceeds with the acute and chronic diseases of the reproductive organs, and introduces the important aspects of perinatal medicine. [More]

Respiratory (SMD 552)

Part of the triad of cardiovascular and renal systems courses, the respiratory course focuses on acute and chronic diseases of the respiratory system and how they interface with the other two organ systems. Building upon the physiologic principles of breathing and gas exchange, the course introduces disease states, diagnostic procedures, and therapeutic approaches. [More]