Years 1 and 2 of our MD program curriculum enable students to develop a solid foundation of medical knowledge, fundamental skills in history taking and physical examination, and an appreciation of the social, cultural and economic factors influencing day-to-day health systems practice and patient care. Didactics in years 1 and 2 take place on our Mt. Pleasant campus, and benefit from modern facilities, advanced learning technologies, and the extensive resources that a large university like Central Michigan has to offer. 

The design of the years 1 and 2 curriculum follows an integrated, systems-based, and patient presentation approach. Students are guided to develop their foundation of medical knowledge in the same context that they will need to apply that knowledge. 

All traditional disciplines, such as genetics, anatomy and biochemistry, are delivered in an integrated way; the same way a patient presents. This approach allows students to more readily appreciate the relevance of foundational medical knowledge in the practice of medicine, and to understand how these traditional disciplines contribute to patient wellness and disease. 

Medicine is a team-endeavor, and so we promote this same approach to learning in our students’ educational environment. The curriculum is student-centered, placing an emphasis on active learning in a team-atmosphere. Didactics are delivered using small-group clinical cases, Team-Based Learning sessions, and interactive large group sessions based upon clinical vignettes. From day 1 of the curriculum, students are required to engage in thoughtful discussion with faculty and peers, develop appropriate medical vocabulary, and use the wisdom of the team to find answers. 

The College of Medicine uses a holistic admissions process that values commitment to service, leadership, and breadth of experience. Not all students come to medical school with common core knowledge. Therefore the curriculum begins with two 8-week Foundational Sciences of Medicine courses designed to allow students to develop an understanding of medical sciences to a level that will allow them to engage in the meaningful study of each of the body’s organ systems. 

The sequence of courses across years 1 and 2 are as follows:

Year 1 

  • Foundational Sciences of Medicine I: 8 Weeks 
  • Foundational Sciences of Medicine II: 8 Weeks 
  • Reproduction & Human Development: 6 Weeks 
  • Cardio-Pulmonary: 7 Weeks 
  • Renal-Endocrine: 6 Weeks

Year 2  

  • Neuro-Behavioral: 8 Weeks 
  • Gastrointestinal: 6 Weeks 
  • Musculo-Skeletal-Dermal: 4 Weeks 
  • Hematology-Oncology: 4 Weeks 
  • Synapse: 4 weeks

Throughout years 1 and 2, Students are also enrolled in in three longitudinal courses that integrate across the first two years and horizontally integrate with the systems courses. These longitudinal courses are:

  • Essentials of Clinical Skills
  • Art of Medicine
  • Society and Community Medicine

Student with Standardized Patient Essentials of Clinical Skills (ECS) is an integrated clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic skill development course using standardized patients. Emphasis is placed on history-taking, physical examination, and diagnostic skills which all align with the organ system being studied. ECS incorporates low and high fidelity simulation exercises where appropriate to emphasize clinically relevant basic science concepts addressed in on-going organ systems courses. 

Other elements of ECS include:

Initial Clinical Experience (ICE)  a longitudinal half-day clinical placement in a primary care practice within the Mount Pleasant area. This experience allows students to apply the skills learned in coursework, and develop their comfort in clinical settings. Students in ICE learn to become keen observers of the clinical environment and the health care team from the patients’ perspective as well as that of the health care team.

Interprofessional Education (IPE)  students engage in several unique interprofessional learning opportunities over the course of their 4 years of medical school. Including but not limited to; working with other health professional students in an active and engaging environment and participating in the Healthy Aging Initiative. 

Art of Medicine (AOM) explores foundational elements of professionalism, ethics, humanities, and self-care in the medical profession. 

Society and Community Medicine (SCM) – integrates population and public health concepts with individual and community needs, health, and healthcare access, providing essential context for ethical, cultural, legal and organizational concepts.

Following each foundational sciences and systems course block are C.A.R.E.S. weeks (Continuous Improvement Curriculum, Assessment, Reinforcement/Remediation, Evaluation, and Skills). These C.A.R.E.S. weeks provide dedicated times for course examinations, and opportunity for structured delivery of curricula to personal wellness, financial wellness, career development, and diversity in medicine.