Undergraduate Medical Education

Guiding Principles

  • Patient-centered
  • Early clinical exposure
  • Integrated science, clinical knowledge and skill, and professional development
  • Competency-based advancement
  • Continuing component of scholarly inquiry on topics chosen by students with guidance from their mentors
  • Learning optimized by a range of instructional formats
  • Opportunity for early development of specialty interest

Top Ten Things You Need to Know

  1. JeffMD follows a patient-centered, three-phase structure.  Science instruction and clinical exposure are fully integrated throughout a student’s time at SKMC.
  2. In Phase 1, students focus on the foundations of medicine through eight organ system blocks (see the Curriculum Overview) that interweave fundamental and clinical sciences.
  3. In Phase 2, students begin their clinical rotations, shifting the balance of learning toward clinical skills and application of knowledge. Students also continue to learn more advanced basic science as it relates to patient care during this phase. The order of rotations differs from student to student.
  4. Phase 3 of the curriculum is 12 weeks longer than the fourth year of a traditional curriculum, which allows students more time to prepare their residency applications and to take electives appropriate to their specialty interest. (Phase 1 is correspondingly 12 weeks shorter than years 1-2 in a traditional curriculum.)
  5. Patient contact, appropriate to first-year students’ level of expertise, begins soon after matriculation and deepens as students build skills and knowledge.
  6. JeffMD builds in ample time to prepare for the USMLE and to pursue elective rotations in an area of specialty interest.
  7. Professional development, focused on how to be a compassionate, communicative, collaborative doctor, interweaves with science and clinical experience throughout the curriculum.
  8. Much of the learning takes place in small groups and individual activities, supplemented by lectures or patient panels when they are the best format. In their small groups, students focus on case studies that become increasingly complex as the curriculum progresses, each building on the prior phase so that earlier learning is both reinforced and enhanced through iteration.
  9. Assessments depend more on problem solving and demonstration of competency than on recall and memorization. Mastery of core competencies builds through a series of threads that continue in all phases of the curriculum.
  10. Scholarly inquiry is a core value of the curriculum, honing critical thinking skills that clinicians need just as much as researchers.  All students will choose an area of concentration from one of our Scholarly Inquiry Tracks. They will be assigned a mentor and complete independent projects appropriate for their concentration. Students may shift between tracks at certain points during their four years.