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You will begin the first 18 months of medical school in the Pre-Clerkship Phase, which focuses on establishing foundational medical knowledge. During this phase, you will also have the opportunity to utilize dedicated enrichment weeks for career exploration, scholarship, or additional degree/certificate programs. 

Foundational science courses

The primary academic focus of the first six blocks is the foundational sciences. Faculty combine didactic lectures with active learning to deliver engaging content in:

  • Human Structure: gross and microscopic anatomy, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, gross anatomy, and radiology
  • Principles of Disease: pathology, immunology, microbiology, and pharmacology and therapeutics

Systems courses

After you complete the foundational sciences, advanced content is then explored, organized primarily by organ system. This approach integrates anatomy, physiology, and pathology to teach the following systems:

  • Nervous system and neurosciences
  • Psychiatry
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Respiratory system
  • Hematology
  • Musculoskeletal system and rheumatology
  • Urinary system
  • Reproductive system
  • Endocrine system
  • Gastrointestinal system

Clinical integration

In accord with the Mayo model of care, emphasis is placed on developing and honing your clinical skills beginning immediately upon matriculation. Longitudinal clinical skills courses teach basic principles of interviewing, history taking, and physical examination. You will develop a clinical database, acquire skills of observation and physical diagnosis, and attain the foundational skills needed to enter the Clerkship phase of the curriculum.

You will evaluate patients under the guidance of a preceptor in several clinical experiences:

  • Internal medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • Clinical integration with blocks (for example, seeing dialysis patients while learning about the renal system; practicing cardiac assessment skills on the Harvey manikin at the Mayo Clinic Multidisciplinary Simulation Centers during the circulation block)

You will also learn valuable teamwork and leadership skills, and become a healthcare systems thinker as you study health equity, policy and economics, population health, bioethics, and healthcare delivery administration. You will earn a certificate in Health Systems Sciences (HSS) after completing the core curriculum with the option of utilizing enrichment time to earn an integrated master's degree in this important discipline.

Transition to clerkship course

You will prepare yourself further for clinical clerkships with a course dedicated to essential knowledge for success in the clinic. Topics covered include:

  • Hospital survival skills
  • Common presentations in ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, general surgery, dermatology, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, ECG, and more
  • Musculoskeletal physical exam skills
  • Evidence-based medicine (EBM)
  • Innovation in medicine
  • Procedural skills
  • Communication skills
  • Working in interdisciplinary healthcare teams

United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE): Step 1

You will have dedicated study time to prepare for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 during the last six months of year 2.