Curriculum Overview

The program for the M.D. degree is divided into four phases.

M1, The Scientific Foundations of Medicine, occupies the first year of Medical School from August until May. This emphasizes foundational knowledge required to be able to understand the structure, function and pathophysiology of the different organ systems. In the second semester, students will study Hematology Oncology, the Musculoskeletal Systems,Gastrointestinal System and Metabolism, Endocrine and Reproduction Systems. 

The second phase, M2, occupies the second and third semesters of medical school and is called the Applied Medical Sciences. This is a multidisciplinary integrated curriculum in which students will learn the normal structure and function of each organ system integrated with the pathophysiology of disease and treatment strategies. Following a summer break, students return for the M2 phase which includes the Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Renal Systems and Mind, Brain and Behavior (Behavioral Science and Neuroscience). The next phase is the Core Clinical Concentrations in which students will rotate through the various clerkships of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery. This phase will run from April until the following May. The final phase lasting from May until graduation is the Advanced Clinical Concentrations which includes Acting Internships, an Urgent Care elective, a teaching requirement and an integrated Clinical Care experience. The remainder is open for electives at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and its affiliated sites and at approved medical schools elsewhere in the USA and abroad.

The curriculum is viewed as a dynamic and evolving entity, and course titles, content or duration of emphasis may be subject to modification for the sake of improving the learning experience.

Each course in M1 and M2 is designed and implemented by a faculty committee, and each phase of the curriculum is supervised by a faculty coordinator.

VCU School of Medicine C3 Curriculum Overview

 

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M1 Curriculum

Overview

M1, The Scientific Foundations of Medicine, occupies the first year of Medical School from August until May. This emphasizes foundational knowledge required to be able to understand the structure, function and pathophysiology of the different organ systems. In the second semester, students will study Hematology Oncology, the Musculoskeletal Systems,Gastrointestinal System and Metabolism, Endocrine and Reproduction Systems. 

MS1

  • Scientific Foundations of Medicine:
    • Molecular Basis of Health and Disease
    • Principles of Physiology
    • Principles of Pharmacology
    • Infection and Immunity
    • Foundations of Disease
  • Practice of Clinical Medicine
  • Physician, Patient and Society
  • Population Health and Evidence Based Medicine

M2 Curriculum

Overview

The second phase, M2, occupies the second and third semesters of medical school and is called the Applied Medical Sciences. This is a multidisciplinary integrated curriculum in which students will learn the normal structure and function of each organ system integrated with the pathophysiology of disease and treatment strategies. Following a summer break, students return for the M2 phase which includes the Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Renal Systems and Mind, Brain and Behavior (Behavioral Science and Neuroscience).

MS2

  • Applied Medical Sciences
    • Marrow and Movement
      • Marrow
      • Movement
    • Glands and Guts
      • Gastrointestinal
      • Endocrinology and Metabolism
      • Reproduction
    • Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Renal
      • Cardiovascular
      • Pulmonary
      • Renal
    • Mind, Brain and Behavior
      • Neurosciences
      • Neurology
      • Behavioral Sciences
  • Quality & Safety
  • Geriatrics
  • Practice of Clinical Medicine
  • Physician, Patient and Society
  • Population Health and Evidence Based Medicine

M3 Curriculum

Overview

During the third year, students receive clinical training by rotating through the various hospitals and ambulatory services. This clinical experience is supplemented by didactic presentations on practice related topics. All students participate in the following clerkships:

  • 1. Internal Medicine (8 weeks)
  • 2. Surgery (8 weeks)
  • 3. Pediatrics (6 weeks)
  • 4. OB/GYN (6 weeks)
  • 5. Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • 6. Neurology (4 weeks)
  • 7. Family Medicine (4 weeks)
  • 8. Ambulatory Clerkship (4 weeks)

M4 Curriculum

Overview

M4 is an elective year, with 232 electives offered. Each elective is four weeks long.

The School of Medicine, in an effort to serve best the needs and goals of the individual student, offers M4 students the option of choosing electives during the majority of their senior year. The elective curriculum has been arranged primarily to allow those students who have definite goals to pursue them logically without adherence to a required curriculum. At the same time, it allows those who have not yet defined their goals an adequate assortment of electives with which to explore career options. Where standard elective choices seem too limiting, students are encouraged to approach individual faculty members to develop courses that more closely approach individual needs. 

The year is divided into eleven four-week periods.

The electives catalog is available on the Web.

The USMLE Policy:

  • 1. All students are required to take U.S. Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 prior to the start of the M3 year. Students are required to pass Step 1 for promotion to the M4 year. If a student fails Step 1, he/she will be allowed to complete their current M3 clerkship and be required to take time off during the M3 year in elective status to study for and retake the exam. The time off will be individualized for each student after discussion with the curriculum office and approval by the promotions committee.
  • 2. All students are required to take U.S. Medical Licensing Examination Step 2 CK and CS for the first time after completion of their M3 year or by October 1. Students are required to pass USMLE Step 2 CK and CS for graduation. Students who do not pass Step 2 CK or CS within one year of completion of all other requirements for the M.D. degree will be dismissed from school.

If you are a student at another institution and are interested in participating in an elective at Virginia Commonwealth University, please contact Hayley Mathews, Visiting Student Coordinator, Hayley.mathews@vcuhealth.org

How to Apply

Apply to the VCU School of Medicine MD Program

Below is the process an applicant must complete in order to be accepted at the VCU School of Medicine.

  • Step One: AMCAS Application
  • Step Two: Supplemental Application
  • Step Three: Screening
  • Step Four: Interview
  • Step Five: Admission Offer
  • Step Six: Acceptance and Deposit

Visit the MD Admissions site for more information on how to apply to the VCU School of Medicine MD Program.

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Contact Us

Office Address

Medical Education Curriculum Office
VCU School of Medicine
Physical Address: McGlothlin Medical Education Center (MMEC), 1201 E Marshall St., 4th Floor
Mailing Address: Box 980565
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0565
Phone: 804-828-9790
Fax: 804-828-5115

Faculty & Staff

Susan DiGiovanni, M.D.

Susan DiGiovanni, M.D.

Sr Assoc Dean, Medical Education & Student Affairs

Susan DiGiovanni, M.D.

Susan DiGiovanni, M.D.

Sr Assoc Dean, Medical Education & Student Affairs

Medical Education and Student Affairs

Phone: 804-828-9790

Fax: 804-828-0086

Email: susan.digiovanni@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
McGlothlin Medical Education Center, 4th floor, Curriculum Office

Diane Biskobing, M.D.

Diane Biskobing, M.D.

Assistant Dean for Medical Education

Diane Biskobing, M.D.

Diane Biskobing, M.D.

Assistant Dean for Medical Education

Medical Education Curriculum Office

Email: diane.biskobing@vcuhealth.org

Michael Ryan, M.D.

Michael Ryan, M.D.

Assistant Dean for Clinical Medical Education

Michael Ryan, M.D.

Michael Ryan, M.D.

Assistant Dean for Clinical Medical Education

Medical Education Curriculum Office

Email: michael.ryan1@vcuhealth.org

Lelia Brinegar, EdD

Lelia Brinegar, EdD

Assistant Dean for Curriculum

Lelia Brinegar, EdD

Lelia Brinegar, EdD

Assistant Dean for Curriculum

Medical Education Curriculum

Email: lelia.brinegar@vcuhealth.org

Thasia Lewis

Thasia Lewis

Curriculum Manager

Thasia Lewis

Thasia Lewis

Curriculum Manager

Medical Education Curriculum Office

Email: thasia.lewis@vcuhealth.org

Kathy Naneyshvili

Kathy Naneyshvili

Administrative Assistant

Kathy Naneyshvili

Kathy Naneyshvili

Administrative Assistant

Medical Education Curriculum Office

Email: kathy.naneyshvili@vcuhealth.org

Autumn Griffin

Autumn Griffin

M1/M2 Curriculum Coordinator

Autumn Griffin

Autumn Griffin

M1/M2 Curriculum Coordinator

Medical Education Curriculum Office

Email: autumn.griffin@vcuhealth.org

Hayley Mathews

Hayley Mathews

Curriculum Support & Visiting Student Coordinator

Hayley Mathews

Hayley Mathews

Curriculum Support & Visiting Student Coordinator

Medical Education Curriculum Office

Email: hayley.mathews@vcuhealth.org

Katedra Mitchell

Katedra Mitchell

M4 Coordinator

Katedra Mitchell

Katedra Mitchell

M4 Coordinator

Medical Education Curriculum Office

Email: katedra.mitchell@vcuhealth.org

Financial Support, Tuition & Fees

Full-time MD Program Students can apply for financial aid

Contact the VCU School of Medicine Financial Aid Office for information on financial aid.

VCU School of Medicine Financial Aid Office

Honors Day

The School of Medicine seeks to recognize the academic and personal achievement of medical students.

The annual Kinloch Nelson, M.D. Student Honors Day provides a forum to honor students in all classes for their exemplary work in courses and clerkships. Additionally, student recipients of scholarships and the generous donors are recognized at this event, as well as new members of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society.

In 1968, Kinloch Nelson, M.D., the Dean of the School of Medicine, combined the programs of the American Medical Student Association and the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society with the presentation of honors to students for academic achievements. Today, our program honors students in all classes for academic and personal achievement. Additionally, we honor both student recipients and the generous donors who provide important scholarship support and recognize Alpha Omega Alpha inductees.

Awards and Recipients

Alpha Omega Alpha Inductees

Susan DiGiovanni, M.D., Councilor | William M. Cregar, President | Olga Mutter, Vice-President

Course Directors and Coordinators

Course Directors and Coordinators 

Course Directors and Coordinators

Year-Out Program for Biomedical Research

There are a number of medical students who have had significant research experience in college and/or the years before attending medical school. Many of them are interested in careers in academic medicine but do not want to participate in the M.D./Ph.D. Program. In addition, many students are interested in clinical and translational research rather than in pure basic science. In response to these needs, the School of Medicine has created a program in which a medical student can take a year off from medical school after either the M2 or M3 year and do research. At the end of this time a Master's Degree will be awarded. The details are as follows:

Year-Out Program for Biomedical Research