Stage One: Preclerkship Curriculum

MD Curriculum at NYU School of Medicine Stage One: Preclerkship Curriculum
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MD Curriculum at NYU School of Medicine Stage One: Preclerkship Curriculum

Stage one of the MD curriculum at NYU School of Medicine features 18 months of interdisciplinary preclerkship modules that cover foundational basic science concepts in biology, anatomy, and physiology. Preclerkship education takes place alongside a Practice of Medicine (POM) module that provides opportunities to participate in clinical learning experiences with patients.

This integrated educational experience gives you the opportunity to apply concepts learned in the classroom to real-life patient scenarios. You gain insight into the behavioral and social aspects of practicing medicine that help you develop the necessary skills to interact with patients and other healthcare providers in your clerkships and internships.

Pre Clerkship Curriculum Desktop

Preclerkship Modules

The preclerkship modules you complete during your first three semesters of medical school give you the biological and scientific knowledge you need for success in clerkships and beyond. We integrate our curricular pillars, overarching educational themes, to provide you with a scaffolding for longitudinal learning.

Core Foundations of Medicine 

All students begin the first semester of medical studies with Core Foundations of Medicine, a three-and-a-half-month module that emphasizes the key basic science concepts that underlie the practice of clinical medicine.

Morphological and Developmental Basis of Medicine 

A two-part module that integrates anatomy, histology, pathology, embryology, and radiology, the Morphological and Developmental Basis of Medicine (MDBM) introduces you to the human body’s structural organization and development. You learn through faculty-guided and peer-to-peer interactive approaches.

We offer the six-week MDBM I module, which focuses on the torso, during your first year of medical school. The month-long MDBM II module, offered in the beginning of your second year, explores the head, neck, and extremities. MDBM activities include demonstrating and discussing your laboratory findings with faculty and fellow students.


Core Principles in Medicine

Throughout your first year and a half of medical school, you participate in Core Principles in Medicine (CPM). These one-to-two month learning modules focus on physiology, pathology, and pathophysiology across the following human organ systems:

  • cardiovascular 
  • respiratory 
  • renal 
  • gastrointestinal 
  • endocrine and reproductive 
  • nervous 
  • musculoskeletal, hematologic, and dermatologic 

You examine the effects of disease on each organ system and how each relates to the others. As you discover the pathophysiology underlying specific disease states, you develop the problem-solving skills necessary to diagnose and propose treatment options for each. 

Practice of Medicine Module

The POM module, woven throughout the preclerkship curriculum, allows you to combine concepts learned in the classroom and laboratory with bedside learning experiences. You learn core clinical skills that serve as the foundation for your clerkships, medical training, and practice beyond.

Beginning with the medical interview, students explore all aspects of the patient encounter. You progress to learn how clinicians interact with patients and families as well as how to interface with both the healthcare delivery system and the academic medical community to practice evidence-based patient care. Along the way, you are introduced to medical ethics, health policy, biostatistics, and epidemiology.

Toward the end of the POM module, you focus on bedside diagnosis and clinical reasoning. You also learn various communication and conflict-resolution techniques. Clinical teaching highlights respectful, responsive care that addresses each patient’s needs, preferences, and values.

Clerkship Orientation

Clerkship orientation prepares you for the transition to your clerkship experience. During orientation, you become familiar with the responsibilities that are expected of you as a member of a healthcare team.