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Rush Medical College > Curriculum > M1 - M2 Years - Pre-Clerkship Curriculum
About Rush University
The first- and second-year curriculum provides students with foundations in both the basic sciences and the clinical skills required for patient care. Classes consist of lectures, laboratories, small group discussions, workshops and team-based and self-directed learning. The hallmark of the curriculum is the merging of traditional science disciplines with patient interaction and clinical skills development.
Basic Sciences: 
The M1 curriculum is organized into seven organ-based blocks, each covering traditional basic science disciplines taught through the use of two or more case studies. In the Fall of 2012, the M2 curriculum will also use this model of teaching. Grading for the block curriculum is honors (for the top 15% of the class), pass or fail.
Clinical Skills: 
The Physicianship Program, which spans the M1 and M2 years, provides students with the skills and knowledge to work interactively with patients in the health care setting, including instruction in interviewing, history-taking, physical examination and others. The program begins immediately after M1 orientation with a two-week clinical skills intensive (CSI-Rush), which immerses students in clinical skills. Thereafter, students embark on the student continuity experience (SCE) in which they spend one-half day every other week through the end of the M2 year working with a physician in a medical office in the Chicago area. This unique opportunity allows students to become part of a medical practice and to experience continuity of care with patients. Grading for the physicianship program is pass or fail. In addition to the Physicianship program, students are enrolled in the Evidence-based Medicine course during their M2 year. This course provides students with the tools to critically evaluate medical literature and learn how to utilize the medical literature to inform decisions about patient care. In the first semester, students learn basic concepts of biostatistics and epidemiology by watching a series of short videos developed by the course directors. During the second semester of the course, students participate in a series of small groups in which they read and evaluate research papers that were recommended by the clerkship directors as being critical to the core medical disciplines. These small groups are led by a clinician/researcher faculty team who help students assess the papers and apply the findings to clinical case scenarios.
FIRST-YEAR BLOCKS Semester Disciplines Covered
Cell and Molecular Biology Fall Anatomy, biochemistry, histology, physiology
Musculoskeletal System Fall Anatomy, biochemistry, histology, physiology
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Systems Fall Anatomy, biochemistry, histology, physiology
Immunology and Hematology Spring Biochemistry, histology, immunology
Digestive System and Metabolism Spring Anatomy, biochemistry, histology, physiology
Genitourinary Systems Spring Anatomy, biochemistry, histology, physiology
Nervous System Spring Anatomy, histology, neurobiology
SECOND-YEAR BLOCKS Semester Disciplines Covered
Mechanisms of Disease & Infectious Disease Fall Microbiology, pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology
Cardiovascular System / Respiratory Fall Microbiology, pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology
Genitourinary Fall Microbiology, pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology
Central Nervous System Fall Microbiology, pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, psychopathology
Gastrointestinal, Liver and Metabolism Spring Microbiology, pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology
Blood/Musculoskeletal/Dermatology                Spring         Microbiology, pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology

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