Curriculum for the 21st Century (C21)

Biodigital Human Heart

From 2010 until 2014, the NYU School of Medicine changed its curriculum.  The Curriculum for the 21st Century (C21) has led to many changes. Those that most impact the Department will be reviewed here.

The medical school curriculum paradigm suggested by Abraham Flexner more than 100 years ago established the framework which provided for two years of basic science study followed by two years of clinical experience. The NYU School of Medicine has shifted to a new system that includes a shorter "preclinical" period, early exposure to clinical medicine, interdisciplinary education, and a greater period of time after the core clerkships to allow for dual degrees, tracking, and meaningful research.

The new curriculum introduces important additions to the curriculum: Selectives and Concentrations and Pillars.  More rigorous than traditional electives, "Selectives" allow students to focus on relevant and important topics within medicine. The Department offers four Selectives: Cardiovascular Disease, Palliative Care, Global Health, and Health Policy. The new curriculum also allows students to concentrate on an area of interest including research during the final 18 months of medical school. Students can choose a concentration in Health Policy, Global Health and Research. Students will also have ongoing educational exercises called pillars that span all phases of medical school. These pillars include common diseases and disease processes and include colon cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and tuberculosis. The Department of Medicine holds leadership positions in all four pillars.

C21 will also affect the clerkships. Instead of eight 8-week Medicine Clerkship blocks, the clerkship has been combined with Ambulatory Care for a total of four 12-week blocks. The Clerkships have started to integrate certain programs including the Humanistic Aspects of Medical Education program, the Saturday Conference and Pillar events. 

The Department of Medicine is dedicated to the success of C21 and our students. While the timing and specific content of the curriculum may change, we will continue to train clinician-scientists who are ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Our goal is to produce individuals who will maintain a life-long commitment to practice medicine with compassion, intellectual discipline, lifelong curiosity, and rigorous professionalism.