Curriculum

Boston University School of Medicine has a proud history of placing medical education in the context of each patient’s life, his or her neighborhood, and the larger community. This focus starts the first week of medical school, when students begin patient care (in Introduction to Clinical Medicine) and in their own professional identity and development (professionalism lectures and Exercise in Human Behavior in Medicine). At the same time, they begin their study of Essentials of Public Health. Focused learning in small groups is explored in the integrated problem-solving course, which is incorporated in the early curriculum.

There is vertical and horizontal integration of the curriculum across all years, bringing clinical cases and challenges into the early, traditionally pre-clerkship years, and by revisiting anatomy, pharmacology, and genetics in the later clerkship years of formal clinical training.

Our clinical skills center is an integral part of each student’s evolution into a clinician. Here, students get feedback on their history and physicals on “standardized patients” in recorded encounters, and formal assessment at the end of first-year and second-year exams. These structured encounters allow students autonomy in an educational setting. The students continue in the center during second and third years, culminating in an end-of-third-year exam, structured to provide feedback in preparation for the USMLE clinical exam.

Students may choose the Alternative Curriculum, spreading the requirements of a single curricular year over two academic years, paying half-tuition for each of those years. This can allow a student to decompress the program or to pursue research opportunities. In addition, combined degree programs are available for individuals who wish to pursue a course of study leading to the MD/PhD, MD/MPH, or MD/MBA. A student may apply to enter these combined degree programs at any time, before or after matriculation.

More information on the curriculum is available on the BUSM admissions website.