Skip to Main Content

Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is built upon study in five major strands: Human Biology; Human Disease, Illness, and Injury; Clinical Medicine; Professional Development; and Green Family Foundation Medicine and Society Program. General competencies and educational program objectives guide curricular content within each strand. The curriculum is delivered via integrated courses within each of the five strands and across all four periods of study.

Student learning is guided by course objectives, defined core clinical case experiences, competency standards in specific clinical skills, and standards of professional behavior. Students log all clinical experiences and monitored for progressive development of essential skills and general competencies.

Period 1 provides the foundations of medicine in core basic, clinical, and social sciences. Core basic medical sciences include medical genetics, cell biology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, microbiology and infections, and pathology. An introduction to clinical skills focuses on doctor-patient communication, general physical exam skills, foundations of evidence-based medicine and quantitative measurements, and medical research. Studies also include medical ethics, regional cultures in relation to medicine, self-reflection, and professionalism in doctor-patient relationships. Students become certified in basic life support (BLS) and work in primary care clinics to apply their clinical skills. Medical simulations, standard patient experiences, and virtual case studies complement classroom study and prepare students for patient-centered clinical experience learning.

In period 2, pathology, physiology, anatomy, and pharmacology are emphasized in case-based study of the major systems: hematopoietic and lymphoreticular, endocrine, reproductive, musculoskeletal, skin, gastrointestinal, renal/urinary, cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous. Students develop clinical skills in conducting physical exams, forming differential diagnoses, and understanding how to interpret and use laboratory medicine data and imaging technologies. Clinical skills are taught as integrated and coordinated components of the organ systems. Simultaneously, courses in the strands of Professional Development and Green Family Foundation Medicine and Society Program continue, with study of health care systems and policy, interprofessional health care, community health, medical jurisprudence, and end-of-life care. Students begin their service-learning study with households in the community in NeighborhoodHELP, our longitudinal service-learning program, working in collaboration with other FIU students from nursing, social work, law and education.

Period 3 involves seven core clerkships: internal medicine, surgery, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and family medicine. Through preceptor-guided student-patient experiences in outpatient and hospital settings, students practice and hone communication, clinical, procedural and reasoning skills. Through elective opportunities in internal medicine and surgery clerkships, students explore specialty areas. Students continue working with their NeighborhoodHELP households. Osler Friday facilitates PBL (problem-based learning) in which students correlate their learning on basic sciences with clinical knowledge and skills. At the end of period three, students take Step 1 of the USMLE medical licensure exam.

Period 4 is devoted to advanced medicine to round out learning and facilitate choice of postgraduate study. Additionally, students complete individual research projects and a capstone experience that includes professional development and a clinical medicine residency boot camp to hone clinical skills and attain certification in Advanced Cardiac Life support (ACLS).