The “Next Generation” Curriculum
The Practice and Science of Medicine
Throughout the four years, the “Next Generation” Curriculum combines the practice and science of medicine. Patient contact begins on the first day of the first year and increases throughout the four years. At the center of the curriculum is the patient, the science of medicine, and the physician’s role in improving the health of individuals and communities. The curriculum is a thoughtful balance of team-based learning, problem and case-based learning, small-group activities, hands-on laboratories, lectures, and hospital and community-based clinical experiences.
Integrated Clinical Sciences
The pre-clerkship period of the curriculum is referred to as ICS or Integrated Clinical Sciences. ICS begins with an innovative three-day course entitled “Cells to Society” which is designed to present first year students with an integrative approach to clinical medicine. Cells to Society is structured around one disease process and demonstrates to students how the care of the patient raises questions in multiple domains in addition to clinical medicine. First years investigate the disease’s cellular and societal dimensions and focus on and connect the patient to all other aspects of the ICS curriculum. Cells to Society is followed by Foundations of Medicine and Cells, Tissues and Mechanisms of Diseases. These courses include foundational elements of human behavior, the doctor/patient relationship, decision sciences, principles of biochemistry, genetics, histology, physiology, anatomy, immunology, general pathology, general pharmacology, and epidemiology and is completed by winter of the first year. Foundations of Medicine is followed by the Integrated Organ Systems: Microbes and the Immune System, Musculoskeletal-Integument; Mind, Brain and Behavior; Gastrointestinal; Cardiovascular; Pulmonary; Renal; Endocrine/Reproductive, and Hematology. Each system integrates core science (e.g., anatomy, histology, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology) with clinical skills ranging from physical examination to addressing cultural and social issues, including public health policy. Clinical Performance Development (CPD) provides frequent and developmental opportunities for learning clinical skills. During the ICS period, CPD is integrated with each course and system and focuses on the acquisition and regular practice of basic clinical skills. CPD also spans the clerkships and advanced clinical training phases of the curriculum. Finally, the required service-learning course Social Issues in Medicine involves medical students in a broad range of social service, educational, medical, and non-medical programs throughout the community.
The clerkship year (which begins in the early spring of the second year) is devoted to clinical training. Students take clerkships in medicine, surgery, pediatrics, family medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, perioperative and acute care, and geriatrics. There is extensive direct contact with patients, and students work with a well-balanced patient population, which includes primary, secondary, and tertiary care. Teaching is related to the patient on rounds and in small tutorial seminars, lectures and group discussions. Emphasis is given to the principles of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and the continuing integration of clinical medicine with medical sciences and the psychological factors that influence health. Students work in small groups and rotate among many clinical services, gaining practical experience under supervision in the wards and outpatient clinics of the University of Virginia hospitals, the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Salem, the Western State Hospital, INOVA Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia, and Bon Secours Health System in Richmond. The teaching programs at the affiliated hospitals allow students to observe the practice of medicine in multiple settings and gain exposure to a somewhat different spectrum of illnesses than that seen at the University of Virginia. During their clerkships, all students spend an average of 10-12 weeks away from Charlottesville in affiliated clerkship locations.
Advanced Clinical Training
Following the clerkships, students complete electives tailored to their needs and pursue their own interests in the electives. Elective programs include a wide variety of programs at UVA and in other domestic and foreign settings. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, students choose clinical rotations, basic science and humanities courses and research activities. Medical students are required to complete at least one Advanced Clinical Elective after the clerkships. There is a continuum of the science, clinical skills, and professionalism throughout the four-year curriculum. The student is presented within and across each period with multiple examples of knowledge, skills, professionalism, and decision-making. For more information, see the Curriculum web site: http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/education/medical-students/UME and the Student Source: http://www.med-ed.virginia.edu/.
Medical Student Research Programs
Medical students are encouraged to participate in the research programs of the School of Medicine. There is an active summer research program following the first year of medical school, and further research activities are available thereafter during elective periods.
Time Limit for Completion of the M.D. Degree
Students must complete the requirements for the M.D. degree within six years of matriculation in the School of Medicine. Special time arrangements are available to those in the dual M.D. /Ph.D. program.
Dual Degree Programs
Students must be admitted to each program/plans within the two careers (Medicine, GSAS/MPH). Admission is to the M.D. program and then to the M.P.H.
Enrollment, Tuition, and Financial Aid
Any student enrolled in the M.D./M.P.H. degree program has access to 8 semesters of medical school financial aid, will pay 8 semesters of medical school tuition, and will remain enrolled in the School of Medicine for the first three years, then GSAS for the fall and spring semesters (year 4), and then return to the School of Medicine for the summer session and for the remaining fall and spring semesters (year 5).
During year 4, the student will pay graduate tuition through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and is eligible for appropriate graduate financial aid.
Any student enrolled in the School of Medicine is required to meet the independent degree requirements of that program.
Awarding of Degrees
Both the M.D. and M.P.H. degrees, providing requirements have been met for both career plans, can be awarded at the May graduation.
Dual Degree Programs Overview
The School of Medicine and the School of Law offers at dual degree program in which as student may obtain an M.D and a J.D in six years. The student is obligated to secure separate admission to both schools; the school of Law requires the LSAT. Students may apply to the School of Law in their first, second or third years of medical school. For more information, please see http://www.med-ed.virginia.edu/handbook/policy/secondDegree.cfm.
M.D./M.P.H. (Public Health)
The dual M.D./M.P.H. is designed to provide graduate professional training in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, translational and community-based research, and community engagement strategies to improve the health of individuals and populations. The program focuses on the competencies professionals need to address population health and health care delivery issues and includes a range of interdisciplinary courses on social behavioral health, health policy, program planning and evaluation, and environmental health, as well as epidemiology and biostatistics. Medical Students who decide to pursue the M.P.H. should expect to begin their M.P.H. courses after completing the core clinical clerkships and to extend their education by one year. The dual degree program must be completed within 6 years of matriculation in the School of Medicine. For more information, see http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/phs/degree_programs/mph/dualmdmph-page.
M.D./M.S. in Clinical Research
The dual M.D./M.S. in Clinical Research (M.S.-C.R.) is designed to provide graduate professional training in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and translational and community-based research strategies. Medical Students who pursue the M.S./C.R. should expect to begin their M.S./C.R. courses after completing the core clinical clerkships and to extend their education by one year. The dual degree program must be completed within 6 years of matriculation in the School of Medicine. For more information, see http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/phs/degree_programs/ms/mdms-page.
M.D./Ph.D. (NIH Medical Scientist Training)
The goal of our M.D./Ph.D. Program is to train individuals who will be both outstanding physicians and scientists, and who will pioneer major advances in medical practice through research. M.D./Ph.D. students take an integrated curriculum combining basic science and research training with our highly innovative medical education “Next Generation” Curriculum. Ph.D. training may be done in one of our seven Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs including: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Genetics; Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology; Biomedical Engineering; Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Disease; Molecular Medicine; Structural and Computational Biology, and Biophysics; and Neuroscience (see http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/education/phd/bims/).
We also offer a wide variety of NIH Funded Specialized Training Programs in the areas of Immunology, Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, Cancer, Biodefense, Neuroscience, Neurobiology and Behavioral Development, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology, Molecular Biophysics, Pharmacologic Sciences, and Infectious Diseases. A major emphasis of the program is to train physician-scientists who will lead the biomedical research community in efforts to discover the fundamental basis of human disease and to develop innovative new therapies for their treatment. Students in the dual M.D./Ph.D., degree program must complete the requirements for both degrees. The program typically takes 7-8 years to complete. For more information see: http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/education/phd/medical-scientist-training-program .