Curriculum Overview and Phases

  



The University of Kentucky College of Medicine MD degree program is a SINGLE program delivered at multiple campuses. The MD degree program courses will have the same objectives and same assessments across sites with the opportunity for varied teaching methods. Design, management, and evaluation of the Kentucky Integrated Curriculum is conducted by the UK College of Medicine Curriculum Committee (per Liaison Committee for Medical Education standards). The UK College of Medicine has adopted a pass/fail grading system for all courses offered in the MD program beginning August 2018. 

Kentucky Integrated Curriculum

Core Principles Phase (Years 1 & 2) 

In the Core Principles Phase, all students are enrolled in the same course sequence.  In general, scheduled class times are mornings Monday-Friday and afternoons once or twice a week.  Students may enroll in elective experiences after the first semester of the M1 year.  Elective coursework or clinical experiences take place in the free afternoon times, not during scheduled class time for required courses.

Preclinical courses are designed to prepare students for third year clinical rotations, the USMLE Step 1 examination and, most importantly, a practice of lifelong learning as a physician.  From the beginning, foundational science is integrated with clinical application.  The first morning course, Clinical Anatomy and Radiology, integrates anatomic knowledge from cadaver-based prosection labs, imaging modalities and physical examination with standardized patients.  Next, the Foundations of Infection, Disease and Therapeutics course provides a solid foundation of the basic science underlying normal function, disease processes and therapeutic principles.  Students then proceed through the systems courses, which integrate and apply the foundational science to body systems.  M2 students’ final morning course, Multisystems and Integrative Concepts, reinforces clinical science applied across different systems.  

Clinical skill development begins right away.  Physical exam practice starts in the Clinical Anatomy and Radiology course and continues through other M1 morning courses.  Patient interview practice starts in the first afternoon course, Introduction to Clinical Medicine.  Teaching is through weekly small group meetings mentored by teams of physicians and behavioral science faculty.  Through practice sessions with standardized patients, students gain skills and confidence for interviewing actual patients.  The course also emphasizes social, economic and interpersonal aspects of health.  Introduction to Clinical Medicine continues through most of the M1 year.  Students then gain a foundation in epidemiology, public health, statistics and evidence-based medicine in the Contemporary Practice of Medicine course.  After summer break, M2 students return and hone their history, physical examination and clinical reasoning skills in the Advanced Clinical Medicine course.  

Learning occurs through multiple venues.  Interactive large-group sessions stream simultaneously to the Lexington, Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky campuses.  Most large-group sessions are recorded for later review.  Small group are the predominant learning venue for the afternoon courses, but take place in the morning courses also.  Independent learning occurs through multiple venues including videos, reading and interactive on-line modules.      


MD 810 | FOUNDATIONS OF INFECTION, DISEASE AND THERAPEUTICS. (10) 
This course covers basic mechanisms that underlie many of the organ specific diseases, with a focus on biochemistry, genetics, infections, immune mechanisms of disease, inflammation, and neoplasia. It will also discuss treatment of these entities and provide basic information on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

MD 811 | INTRODUCTION TO CLINICAL MEDICINE. (8) 
The goal of the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course is to provide students with opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes about the doctor/patient relationship that are necessary to practice patient-centered and evidenced-based care.

MD 813 | BEHAVIORAL BASIS OF MEDICINE. (3) 
The Behavioral Basis of Medicine delivers key concepts from psychiatry, pharmacology, and behavioral science in a mostly lecture-based format. Students are introduced to psychiatric conditions, to the observations that lead to a psychiatric diagnosis, and to some of the pharmacologic, psychotherapeutic, and psychosocial modes of treatment. 

MD 814 | ANATOMY. (9) 
This course consists of lecture, small group, laboratory, and team-based learning exercises that provide a basic understanding of anatomical principles, organization, and development as well as the core principles of histology. Anatomical structures are introduced as a basis for future functional correlates and principles are taught via laboratory discussion, prosections, dissections, films, and skeletal materials. Lecture, 20 hours per week.

MD 816 | HEMATOLOGIC AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEMS. (4) 
As part of the first-year organ system-based curriculum, this course covers the normal structure, development, and function of the components of the hematopoietic and lymphoreticular systems; the pathophysiology of hematologic and lymphatic diseases and disorders; and the medical and pharmacological approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

MD 817 | NEUROSCIENCES. (8) 
This course is an integrated presentation of relevant topics in human neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neuropathology, neuropharmacology, and some microbiology as well as introductory correlations with neurology. Teaching methodology includes lecture, small group discussion, laboratory, and self-study units. Lecture, 20 hours per week.

MD 818 | MUSCULOSKELETAL AND INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEMS. (5) 
As part of the first-year organ system-based curriculum, this course covers the normal physiology and histology of the 
musculoskeletal/integumentary systems, the pathophysiology of diseases and disorders of these systems, and the medical and pharmacologic approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

MD 820 | CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. (2) 
The overall goal of the course is for students to develop a deeper understanding of the interconnected issues that influence the health of populations and how to analyze approaches to improve health. This course uses current public health issues to understand evidence-based medicine and public health interventions.

MD 821 | ADVANCED CLINICAL MEDICINE. (4) 
This course serves as a bridge between the basic and clinical sciences by teaching students the knowledge and skills necessary to develop into excellent diagnosticians. The course focuses on the following skills: the ability to interpret history and physical examination findings, integrate basic laboratory and radiographic data, and formulate a differential diagnosis. Learning activities include: formal lectures, textbook readings, small group tutorials, preceptorships, workshops, online modules, and written and practical testing. Prereq: promotion to second year of MD program.


MD 824 | ENDOCRINE AND REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS. (6) 
As part of the second-year organ system-based curriculum, this team-taught course covers the normal physiology and histology of the endocrine and reproductive systems, the pathophysiology of diseases and disorders of these systems, and the medical and pharmacologic approaches to diagnosis and treatment. This course also covers the normal physiologic and developmental processes that accompany the transition from fetus (intrauterine) to newborn (extrauterine). 


MD 825 | RENAL AND URINARY SYSTEMS. (4) 
As part of the second-year organ system-based curriculum, this team-taught course covers the normal physiology and histology of the kidney and urinary system, the pathophysiology of renal and urinary diseases and disorders, and the medical and pharmacologic approaches to diagnosis and treatment.


MD 826 | CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM. (5) 
As part of the second-year organ system-based curriculum, this course will cover the normal structure and physiologic function of the cardiovascular system, the pathophysiology of common disorders and diseases of the heart and vascular system, and the medical and pharmacologic approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

MD 827 | RESPIRATORY SYSTEM. (5) 
As part of the second-year organ system-based curriculum, this course covers the normal structure and function of the respiratory system, the immunology and pathophysiology of respiratory diseases and disorders, and the medical and pharmacologic approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Prereq: promotion to the second year of the MD program.

MD 828 GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM AND NUTRITION. (5) 
As part of the second-year organ system-based curriculum, this course covers the normal histology, anatomy, and physiology of the gastrointestinal system, the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders, and the medical and pharmacologic approaches to diagnosis and treatment. The course also includes instruction on the principles of nutrition.

MD 829 | MULTISYSTEM AND INTEGRATIVE CONCEPTS. (3) 
This course serves as the capstone course for the first- and second-year organ system-based curriculum. Students synthesize and apply the knowledge and concepts learned on an organ-based level to the multisystems level. 

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Application Phase (Year 3)

The third year of the UK College of Medicine curriculum allows the student to apply their core knowledge and skills to a variety of different medical disciplines. This also allows the student to gain exposure to multiple specialties and associated subspecialties through different clerkship rotations. Clinical experiences occur in a variety of settings, including inpatient hospital facilities, operating rooms, and ambulatory clinics, under the direction of clinical faculty and residents. Through these experiences, students have the opportunity to participate in team rounds, interdisciplinary meetings, and patient care discussions. Throughout, students are active participants in providing patient care and practicing their clinical skills by assessing patients, discussing plans with patients and colleagues, and directly participating in the delivery of medical care. 

Students complete eight required clinical clerkships, one at a time, during the course of the academic year. Each clerkship varies in length and credit hours:

MD 830 | PEDIATRICS CLERKSHIP (7 weeks/credit hours)

MD 831 | EMERGENCY MEDICINE CLERKSHIP (2 weeks/credit hours)

MD 832 | NEUROLOGY CLERKSHIP (4 weeks/credit hours)

MD 833 | PSYCHIATRY CLERKSHIP (4 weeks/credit hours)

MD 834 | FAMILY MEDICINE CLERKSHIP (4 weeks/credit hours)

MD 835 | INTERNAL MEDICINE CLERKSHIP (8 weeks/credit hours)

MD 837 | SURGERY CLERKSHIP (7 weeks/credit hours)

MD 838 | OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY CLERKSHIP (4 weeks/credit hours) 

MD 839 | ENTRUSTMENT IN CLINICAL MEDICINE (5 weeks/credit hours)

The third-year curriculum also includes a novel, longitudinal course which integrates content and skills across the different clerkship disciplines. This course utilizes large and small group settings, simulation, and standardized patients to help students hone their developing skills. It also includes a longitudinal, small group facilitated by a clinical faculty member who will track student progress and provide assistance in their development.

MD 830 | PEDIATRICS CLERKSHIP (7) 
As part of the third-year core required clinical rotations, this clinical clerkship is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in Pediatrics. Through a variety of clinical experiences, students will participate in the care of Pediatric patients. Students will develop and refine their clinical skills (e.g. interviewing, physical examination, differential diagnosis, and formulating diagnostic and treatment plans) for patient problems under the direct supervision of faculty preceptors.

MD 831 | EMERGENCY MEDICINE CLERKSHIP (2) 
As part of the third-year core required clinical rotations, this clinical clerkship is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in Emergency Medicine. Through a variety of clinical experiences, students will participate in the care of Emergency Medicine patients. Students will develop and refine their clinical skills (e.g. interviewing, physical examination, differential diagnosis, and formulating diagnostic and treatment plans) for patient problems under the direct supervision of faculty preceptors.

MD 832 | NEUROLOGY CLERKSHIP (4) 
As part of the third-year core required clinical rotations, this clinical clerkship is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in Neurology. Through a variety of clinical experiences, students will participate in the care of Neurology patients. Students will develop and refine their clinical skills (i.e. interviewing, physical examination, differential diagnoses, and formulating treatment plans) for patient problems under the direct supervision of faculty preceptors.

MD 833 | PSYCHIATRY CLERKSHIP (4) 
As part of the third-year core required clinical rotations, this clinical clerkship is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in Psychiatry. Through a variety of clinical experiences, students will participate in the care of Psychiatry patients. Students will develop and refine their clinical skills (e.g. interviewing, physical examination, differential diagnosis, and formulating diagnostic and treatment plans) for patient problems under the direct supervision of faculty preceptors.

MD 834 | FAMILY MEDICINE CLERKSHIP (4) 
As part of the third-year core required clinical rotations, this clinical clerkship is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in Family Medicine. Through a variety of clinical experiences, students will participate in the care of Family Medicine patients. Students will develop and refine their clinical skills (e.g. interviewing, physical examination, differential diagnosis, and formulating diagnostic and treatment plans) for patient problems under the direct supervision of faculty preceptors. 


MD 835 | INTERNAL MEDICINE CLERKSHIP (8) 
As part of the third-year core required clinical rotations, this clinical clerkship is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in Internal Medicine. Through a variety of clinical experiences, students will participate in the care of Internal Medicine patients. Students will develop and refine their clinical skills (e.g. interviewing, physical examination, differential diagnosis, and formulating diagnostic and treatment plans) for patient problems under the direct supervision of faculty preceptors.

MD 837 | SURGERY CLERKSHIP (7) 
As part of the third-year core required clinical rotations, this clinical clerkship is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in Surgery. Through a variety of clinical experiences, students will participate in the care of Surgery patients. Students will develop and refine their clinical skills (e.g. interviewing, physical examination, differential diagnosis, and formulating diagnostic and treatment plans) for patient problems under the direct supervision of faculty preceptors.

MD 838 | OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY CLERKSHIP (4) 
As part of the third-year core required clinical rotations, this clinical clerkship is designed to provide students with foundational knowledge in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn). Through a variety of clinical experiences, students will participate in the care of Ob/Gyn patients. Students will develop and refine their clinical skills (i.e. interviewing, physical examination, differential diagnoses, and formulating treatment plans) for patient problems under the direct supervision of faculty preceptors.

MD 839 | ENTRUSTMENT IN CLINICAL MEDICINE (5) 
This is a longitudinal course throughout the Application Phase of medical school and is designed to provide medical students with the foundational knowledge and beginning skills in preparation for the supervised practice of medicine. The course will utilize both large and small group settings for the acquisition of knowledge related to common topics related to the contemporary practice of medicine. Simulation using both standardized patients and simulators will provide realistic clinical scenarios to practice the wide range of skills necessary for medical practitioners. 

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Advanced Development Phase (Year 4)

The fourth year of the UK College of Medicine curriculum is designed to allow students to tailor their education to their career plans. Recognizing that students will have very different needs depending upon their residency selection, the fourth-year curriculum allows students the flexibility to select those courses which are most relevant to their future career. Throughout all of these courses, the emphasis is toward mastering the clinical skills that students will be performing at the start of their intern year. All courses are 4 weeks in length (4 credit hours). Students must complete eight courses, including Transition to Residency.

ACTING INTERNSHIPS

These courses place students in the role of an intern to directly prepare them for the responsibilities and skills inherent in this role. In this intern role, students perform patient care tasks such as providing initial assessments, placing orders, coordinating care, providing official documentation, and managing care transitions. Students must complete a minimum of two, four-week Acting Internships. Students can select the specialty area for these experiences from a diverse list of choices based on what best meets their future career needs. Acting Internships are available in a variety of departments: Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Otolaryngology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Rehabilitation Medicine, Surgery, and Urology. 

ELECTIVES

In addition to the required courses, students select five elective courses. These electives provide opportunities for students to explore special interests and build skills which will be most relevant for their planned career. Elective offerings include both patient-care and non-patient care rotations, as well as research.

MD 840 | TRANSITION TO RESIDENCY

This capstone course is designed to ensure graduating medical students possess the critical knowledge and skills required for the supervised practice of medicine. This course relies on workshops, simulation, and standardized patients to allow for realistic practice and assessment of these important skills. Within the course, students have the ability to tailor the content to meet the needs of their future specialty.

FLEX MONTHS

Students have planned time off in the fourth year to facilitate residency interviews, vacation, and/or preparation for a USMLE exam. Student calendars includes three scheduled “flex months” that have no educational requirements.

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