Undergraduate Medical Education


  • Center City Campus
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College

Degree Earned

  • Medical Doctor

Program Length

45 months

Program Type

  • On Campus

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Phase One

PHASE 1 is focused on basic science and foundational clinical science

Length: 21 Months

  • Focus on foundational science
  • Clinical experience, appropriate to student’s level, starts shortly after matriculation
  • Scholarly inquiry activities begin with choice of concentration and first project
  • Two months of vacation
  • Prep for USMLE Step 1

Phase 1 Consists of Four Course Sequences:

Students will not wait until their clinical rotations to have meaningful interactions with patients. Phase 1 students will prepare for their clinical experience by learning about the broader context of health, including interprofessional teamwork and community-based resources. Students will then be assigned to a clinical setting and work with patients to address underlying social and environmental factors that impact health. This experience will give students the opportunity to actively participate in care, and to reflect upon the systems and approaches helpful in optimizing health.

The Foundations of Medicine is an integrated course sequence encompassing basic, clinical, and health systems sciences. Students are introduced to core concepts in blocks organized by organ system.

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Each week features a case explored through active learning in small groups. The schedule incorporates a variety of learning modalities such as labs, clinical skills sessions, patient sessions, team-based learning activities and lectures to complement and enhance student learning. Foundations of Medicine expects from students rigorous independent study and critical thinking to prepare them for the clinical problems they will encounter.

The Humanities Selectives are courses that provide opportunities to strengthen key skills of doctoring through engagement in the arts and humanities. These skills include close observation; listening; emotional awareness and empathy; self-care; comfort with ambiguity and making mistakes; team and interpersonal communication; appreciating the perspectives of patients and colleagues; and understanding social contexts of health. The Humanities Selectives are immersive, arts-based experiences and participation-oriented seminars that promote support and bonding between classmates and offer creative respite within medical school. In many cases, these courses are developed by professional artists in collaboration with medical educators and reflect unique syntheses of medicine and the humanities.

Some of the selectives that were offered in the last year include:

  • The Healer’s Art 
  • Creative Writing 
  • Race and Medicine: Why It Matters
  • Visualizing Anatomy 
  • The Empathy Project with Lantern Theater Company 
  • The Art of Observation at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 
  • The Language of Music: Improvisation in Sound
  • History of Medicine 
  • Frontiers of Medical Ethics
  • Medical Cineforum

Scholarly Inquiry (SI) is a required component of the JeffMD curriculum of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. It is intended to provide medical students with skills and experience that they need to become critical consumers and producers of medical knowledge. As part of an integrated curriculum, Scholarly Inquiry overlaps and synergizes with the Evidence-Based Medicine thread, the Health Systems Science thread, the Professionalism/Ethics thread, the Wellness thread, the Humanities selectives, and the Clinical Experience program.

Throughout the course of their Scholarly Inquiry experience, students benefit from enhanced learning experiences and longitudinal mentorship, and can attain knowledge and skill that are important in residency training and future practice of medicine.  They gain insights and skills in cutting-edge domains through lectures, small-group seminars, workshops, team-based and problem-based learning, and online modules. Furthermore, all students pursue their own scholarly work:

  • In their first year, students develop and present a proposal for an individual or group scholarly project, and start work on its implementation.
  • Optionally, for additional research time, students may choose to work on their research over the summer between the first and second years.
  • In their second year, students complete their scholarly project and present their work (oral presentation, abstract, and poster).
  • In their third year, students work on reflections tied to their clerkships, case reports, and/or mini research proposals, and assemble a portfolio of their scholarly work.
  • In their fourth year, students carry out a capstone scholarly project (typically related to their residency choice), and complete their scholarly portfolio.
  • Beyond their main projects, most student also typically get involved with multiple other scholarly/research projects throughout their four years in medical school.

These four course sequences, taken concurrently, create a bedrock of knowledge, clinical and critical thinking skills with a patient-centered focus that the student apply during their clinical years in medical school and beyond. Our Humanities Selectives and Scholarly Inquiry courses enable students to explore and concentrate on areas of their own interest.

JeffMD Phase 1 Timetable

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Sample Phase 1 Weeks

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JeffMD Curriculum Overview

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