Rush Medical College Curriculum

The four-year medical doctor degree program at Rush Medical College is divided into preclerkship (M1 and M2) and clerkship (M3 and M4) years. Our program is exciting because you start working with patients within the first few weeks of your M1 year and continue to do so throughout your educational program.

Developing into a Physician

Our curriculum focuses on six different roles that a physician assumes in their practice. Throughout your four years of medical school, you will gain the knowledge, skills and behaviors to be successful in each of these different roles.

Diagram made up of six shapes labeled Advocate, Communicator, Leader, Practitioner, Professional and Scholar. These connect to form a circle around the words Medical Knowledge: Foundational knowledge for physicians to practice effective medicine

Yellow hexagon containing the number 1 Advocates partner with patients, families and their communities to meet their needs within and beyond the clinical environment. Advocates recognize and respond to societal factors affecting health.
Coral hexagon containing the number 2 Communicators form a strong, professional, therapeutic alliance with colleagues, patients and families. They engage families in planning treatments reflective of their needs, values and goals.
Dark green hexagon labeled with the number 3

Leaders engage others in improvement of health care delivery. They organize and lead teams to enhance success and value quality and innovation in practice.

Light green hexagon labeled with the number 4

Practitioners apply medical knowledge, clinical skills and professional values to provide high quality care. They collect and interpret patient information and create and implement treatment plans.

Dark blue hexagon labeled with the number 5

Professionals are committed to ethical practice, high standards of behavior, accountability and professional development. They maintain personal well-being. Professionals are dedicated in service to practice, colleagues and self.

Light blue hexagon labeled with the number 6

Scholars seek, appraise and apply evidence to inform medical decision- making and to contribute to original research.

Program Objectives

Advocate: Identify and address social, political and cultural factors that affect the health of patients and populations to improve health equity.

Communicator: Establish strong therapeutic relationships with patients and their families to cooperatively provide care that reflects their needs, values and preferences.

Leader: Contribute to the improvement of healthcare quality by participating in a culture of safety and coordinating care between the various elements of the healthcare system.

Medical Knowledge: Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical and social-behavioral sciences, and the application of this knowledge to patient care.

Practitioner: Collect, interpret and document information to make clinical decisions and carry out diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to provide high-quality patient care.

Professional: Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and upholding the legal and ethical principles that support medical practice.

Scholar: Use evidence-based principles to continually enhance one’s own practice, inform care of your patients and develop the skills to contribute to the scientific knowledge of the field.

Medical Knowledge: Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical and social-behavioral sciences, and the application of this knowledge to patient care.

Four-Year Longitudinal Programs

Rush Medical College offers two four-year longitudinal programs focused on family medicine and health equity and social justice. Applications are required for participation in these programs, and additional information will be provided to admitted students before they matriculate at Rush in the fall.

Shaping the Curriculum

As a Rush Medical College student, you can participate in leadership positions on curriculum committees, giving you the opportunity to work alongside faculty and have a direct impact on medical education at Rush. These committees include:

  • Committee on Curriculum and Evaluation (CCE): The overarching curriculum committee for Rush Medical College. Members include faculty, administrators and students.
  • Student Curriculum Advisory Committee (SCAC): An independently-run, student-only committee that is the main student voice for influencing the curriculum.

Hear from student leaders Jake Schulman (RMC ’21) and Amy Napleton (RMC ‘22) about their experiences as student leaders in a Rush University student Q&A.

Curriculum Leadership

Dr. Rahul Patwari
Rahul Patwari, MD
Associate Dean, Curriculum and Education
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Dr. Robert Leven
Robert Leven, PhD
Assistant Dean, Preclerkship Education
Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
Dr. Aimee Szewka
Aimee Szewka, MD
Assistant Dean, Clerkship Education
Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences and Department of Ophthalmology
Dr. Princess Currence
Princess Currence, DSW, MSW
Director, Curriculum and Education
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences