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MD Program

The University of Massachusetts Medical School's MD program pledges to provide students with a comprehensive and personally rewarding medical education. We aim to prepare our graduates to be caring, competent, and productive physicians serving a diversity of patients and communities. Whether a student plans to practice in primary care or pursue subspecialty training, the four-year educational program at UMass Medical School is designed to develop the foundational competencies required of all physicians.

Our curriculum emphasizes early patient care exposure from the first weeks of medical school to help students develop strong clinical skills in communication, clinical problem solving and professionalism. Students are encouraged to engage in student activism, service and advocacy within the community. Our courses and clerkships are continuously reviewed to keep pace with the rapidly changing science of medicine, the evolving standards of professional medical practice, and state-of-the-art educational methods necessary for teaching and learning in the technological age. 

Our MD program is consistently recognized for excellence in primary care training by U.S. News & World Report. Our expanding campus, with state-of-the-art training facilities and a nationally recognized hospital, provides our students with a rich environment in which to develop their skills. With our outstanding clinical training and exceptional research opportunities, graduates are prepared for a diverse range of career paths in the evolving field of medicine.

The Medical School’s educational mission is enhanced by over 53 accredited residency programs; cooperative degree programs with area colleges and universities; diverse community-based education programs across the state of Massachusetts; outstanding achievements in basic and clinical research; and our Commonwealth Medicine initiatives. As the commonwealth’s only public medical school, UMMS places an emphasis on partnerships with the community. Our students are actively engaged in serving the needs of the Massachusetts patient population.

 

MD Curriculum

Curriculum

The University of Massachusetts School of Medicine curriculum has three major interrelated components, the Foundational Curriculum (Foundations of Medicine or FOM 1 and 2), Core Clinical Experiences (CCE) and Advanced Studies (AS). Be sure to review the "Curriculum at a Glance" as well.

Foundations of Medicine 1 (FOM1)

Foundations of Medicine 1 (FOM1) courses introduce students to the concepts that lay the foundation for their medical school learning and professional practice. Courses are co-led by teams of scientists and clinicians in order to support concept integration and balance of learning the science and art of medicine. Topics build from the microscopic with basics of genes, cell structure and function through gross organ systems and imaging, to core concepts of pharmacology to address pathophysiologic, oncologic and infectious processes. Threaded throughout are principles of patient communication, physical exam, problem-solving and the impact of social determinants of health on wellness.   Students work with their Learning Communities mentor to begin to identify a Capstone project. All grading in this year is credit/no credit and courses are reviewed annually.   

For more information on specific FOM1 courses, click here (FOM1)

 

Foundations of Medicine 2 (FOM2)

Foundations of Medicine 2 (FOM2) courses build on the foundations laid in FOM1 and expand student knowledge and experience to detailed understanding of pathophysiologic states through a spiral curriculum.  This model allows a return to organ systems with a focus on scientific underpinnings of the clinical manifestations of illness, including assessment and treatment modalities. Courses are co-led by teams of scientists and clinicians, as in FOM1, and are closely aligned with their FOM1 counterparts. The year culminates in a course called ‘Patients’ designed as a final integration of FOM 1 and 2 content supported by clinical problem solving in order to prepare students for success in the clinical clerkships and on Step 1 of the boards. After completing Step 1 students return for the two-week Transition to Core Clinical Experiences crafted as hands-on large and small group problem-solving, simulation and consultation sessions to launch core clerkship learning. Threaded throughout are principles of patient communication, physical exam, problem-solving and the impact of social determinants of health on wellness. Students transition work on their Capstone project from their Learning Communities mentor to a specific project advisor. All grading in this year is credit/no credit and courses are reviewed annually.   

For detailed descriptions of the FOM2 courses, click here (FOM2).

 

Core Clinical Experience (CCE)

Core Clinical Experiences (CCE) is the primary clerkship year and is organized into three coordinated thematic sections to help students build knowledge across disciplines. These sections are: Care of Adults (Medicine and Neurology), Care of Families (Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Family Medicine), Perioperative and Maternal Care (Surgery and Obstetrics-Gynecology). Students are provided with four one-week electives called Flexible Clinical Experiences that allow career exploration and skills development in all areas of medical practice, research, leadership and service.  An Interstitial Course brings students together on campus from their placement sites throughout the year for hands-on learning on topics that cross all fields such as Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, Health Equity, Domestic Violence and Disaster management. CCE also integrates translational curriculum that revisits principles taught in FOM1 and FOM2.  Clerkships are graded in a tiered fashion. Students continue their Capstone work with their project advisor throughout the year.

 

Advanced Studies

Advanced Studies (AS) education provides students with the opportunity to have higher levels of supervised learning and practice through required sub-internships and to explore professional growth in-depth through individualized schedules crafted from robust elective offerings. Learning is hands-on and experiential. Required courses include Emergency Clinical Problem-Solver and Advanced Biomedical and Translational Sciences. Clinical experiences are graded in a tiered fashion. Students complete and present their Capstone Project in a public forum.

Electives offered by the School of Medicine are catalogued here.