The first two quarters (Q1, Q2) focus on the molecular foundations of medicine and the structure of cells and tissues, and build a vital foundation for the scientific basis of medicine. Clinical correlates are integrated throughout this basic course work to illustrate how basic science discovery translates into clinical practice.
The last three quarters (Q3, Q4, Q5) focus on the foundations of human health and disease and are organized by organ system. For each organ system, these courses integrate histology, physiology, pathology, microbiology, and pharmacology, and cover normal structure and function, response to disease and infection, and treatment. Problem-based clinical cases are integrated throughout all of the organ system courses. There is a final unit on multi-organ systems that provides pathophysiological integration of material from prior units. These courses will teach PhD students enrolled in the MSM program about the basics of human biology and disease. By understanding the language of medicine, MSM students will more effectively be able to work together with physicians to formulate meaningful translational research questions and research plans.
In each of the first five quarters of the MSM program, because of the structuring of the MD course curriculum, there are large amounts of time available for MSM students to do research rotations, or to take some of their PhD course requirements. In addition, we allow MSM students to begin their first PhD rotations the summer before the MSM program starts. They have the additional opportunity of taking another PhD rotation in the summer following the first year of the MSM program. Thus by the time they start the second year, they have had time to complete three graduate rotations, in addition to the first three quarters of MSM coursework, and quite possibly several of their graduate courses as well. By early in their second year, we expect most students will have chosen labs for their PhD research.