The CUSM MD program begins with a two-week orientation program in July. Orientation is an introduction to the program, faculty, and fellow students. The program culminates with the White Coat ceremony. During orientation, students will be introduced to their small group learning communities designed for team-based learning in a flipped classroom model.
The first 18 months of the program focused on core medical education. During the Pre-Clerkship Phase, the curriculum is interdisciplinary, systems-based, and based on clinical presentation cases. Students take integrated introductory science courses, clinical skills, and college colloquium courses (covering health systems, public health, ethics, professionalism, and other cross-cutting medical humanities topics) and complete a research project. Student team-based clinical case presentations within the introductory science courses are supported by algorithm-driven problem-solving pathways aided by clinical reasoning guides. These activities are integrated with weekly clinical skills sessions that include simulation and standardized patients. Students are introduced to research via the Academic Research Study courses, during which they develop a research proposal in Year 1 and carry out the proposed study in Year 2.
The clerkship phase of the MD program is designed to build on the pre-clerkship experience. It includes 12 months of core clerkship rotations and a 6-month Professional Development Semester (PDS) (link to a new page with more PDS info). The PDS provides the opportunity for students to explore their professional identity and engage in activities that are aligned with their professional interests.
CUSM is affiliated with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC), the primary teaching hospital. CUSM also has several regional affiliated clinical sites that provide clerkship educational experiences for the 3rd and 4th-year students. This diversity of sites provides students with varied clinical environments to develop expertise in managing patients from a wide range of backgrounds.