Pre-Clerkship Curriculum

In 2017-2018 Rush Medical College unveiled a new pre-clerkship curriculum which inspires students to become excellent clinicians and is structured under the following roles:
Practitioner Roles

Pre-clerkship years

Courses are organized by organ systems and integrate normal and disease states including content often overlooked in pre-clerkship medicine (e.g., patients throughout the lifecycle). Topics are integrated from the clinician perspective (e.g., musculoskeletal system with the central nervous system regulation of motor systems movement) with an emphasis on clinical application of basic science knowledge, including communication and physical exam skills, social determinants of health, humanism in medicine, personal wellness, medical ethics, health care economics, biostatistics and many others in the context of patient cases.  
Early in the first year, you will be immersed in clinical opportunities to experience continuity of care with patients. Additionally, you will have an opportunity to take elective classes, including Biomedical Research, Clinical Genetics, Health Equity and Social Justice Leadership, Humanities in Medicine, and Spanish for Medical Professionals.


M1 Program Curriculum


M2 Program Curriculum



The best way to learn is by doing. But in medicine, a novice cannot simply jump into a complex case. The Rush Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation bridges that gap by offering students state-of-the art simulators, including mannequin patients that breathe and bleed. Rooms are outfitted with real-world tools. including ultrasound equipment, medication dispensing stations and the same clinical communications system found in the hospital. In the first two years, you will learn to integrate clinical skills such as history-taking, communication skills, physical exam maneuvers, and patient encounter documentation through encounters with real as well as trained simulated patients. The typical learning cycle includes the following:

RMC Simulation

You will learn how to perform procedures using task trainers; students place intravenous lines, use a defibrillator, perform chest compressions and bag-valve mask ventilation, and identify important anatomy using ultrasonography.

Pre-clerkship teaching approach

In the “flipped classroom” approach, you will use course materials in the form of online animated videos, recorded lectures, selected readings and exercises to learn independently before coming to faculty-guided small group class sessions designed to apply knowledge to cases. This primary method is supported by other teaching methodologies such as clinical experiences, workshops, labs and simulations.

IPE:  Interprofessional Patient Centered Teams




Different perspectives in health care bring unique ideas and talents to the table to help improve patient care. Interprofessionalism works to break down barriers between everyone involved in patient care, allowing for a unique collaboration that results in better learning and the best possible health outcomes. Interprofessional curricular integration begins during your first year of study, building foundational knowledge of team identity concurrent with professional identity.  Students from all four colleges will acquire competencies in interprofessional behaviors through experiential learning in interprofessional student teams. The course consists of five workshops running from September to April.

USMLE Step 1 exam

Before progressing to the M3 year, you must take and pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE, Step 1 exam. Students have required practice exams in the middle and at the end of the M2 year.

Cohort 1st Attempt Year 1st Attempt Pass Rate RMC On Track*/ RMC All

1st Attempt Pass Rate (National)

1st Attempt Mean RMC On Track* (all) / RMC On Track (Pass only)/ RMC All

1st Attempt Mean (National) Mean of Top 5 RMC 1st Attempt Scores
Class of 2017 2015 100% / 99% 95% 230/230/229 229 256
Class of 2018 2016 100% / 99% 95% 233/233/232 228 262
Class of 2019 2917 100% / 98% 96% 235/235/233 229 262
Class of 2020 2018 99% / NA NA 233/234/NA NA 263

* “RMC On Track” excludes a small set of students who deviated from the typical RMC curriculum for their cohort (e.g., repeated an academic year)

NA = Scores are not yet available

Clerkship curriculum

Rush Medical College’s clerkship curriculum is outlined here