Stage One: Preclerkship Curriculum | NYU Langone Health

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MD Curriculum Stage One: Preclerkship Curriculum

Stage One: Preclerkship Curriculum

Stage one of the MD curriculum at NYU Grossman School of Medicine features 11 months of interdisciplinary preclerkship modules that cover foundational basic science concepts in biology, anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. Preclerkship education includes a concurrent Foundational Clinical Skills module that provides opportunities for students 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.

During stage one of the MD curriculum, students participate in several preclerkship modules. Foundations of Medicine takes place from August through November; Organ Systems from November through June; and Foundational Clinical Skills throughout the year. 

Preclerkship Modules

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

Foundations of Medicine

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

Organ Systems Modules

In the first-year organ systems modules, you participate in learning activities that focus on physiology, pathology, and pathophysiology integrated across the following human organ systems:

  • cardiovascular
  • pulmonary
  • renal
  • gastrointestinal
  • endocrine and reproductive
  • neurology (brain)
  • psychiatry (behavior)

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.

Foundational Clinical Skills Module

The Foundational Clinical Skills (FCS) 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.

During the FCS 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. At the conclusion of year one, students have the opportunity to explore various career choices during an eight-week summer fellowship.

Preparing for the Boards

Upon completing the preclerkship curriculum, all students take the first part of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), the three-part exam required for medical licensure, also known as “the boards.” USMLE Step 1 comprises a series of questions and problem-solving tasks that assess your ability to apply science fundamentals to the practice of medicine.

Topics covered on the USMLE Step 1 include the following:

  • anatomy
  • behavioral sciences
  • biochemistry
  • biostatistics
  • epidemiology
  • microbiology
  • pathology
  • pharmacology
  • physiology

Additional USMLE Step 1 questions focus on aging, genetics, immunology, medical ethics, molecular and cell biology, and nutrition.