Foundations Phase

The Foundations Phase curriculum is eighteen months in length and consists of nine integrated, interdisciplinary block courses which bring together basic, clinical and social sciences into a single course, along with a longitudinal clinical curriculum called Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM). FCM is the foundational clinical experience for students to develop clinical skills in both classroom and patient care settings prior to commencing clinical rotations in the Phase 2: Patient Care and Phase 3: Explore & Focus Phases of the Curriculum. Pathology, Histology, Pharmacology, and Anatomy & Embryology (includes imaging) are all integrated as thread across all of the School of medicine Foundations Phase blocks.

The Foundations Phase includes:

  • A 2-3 week orientation and immersion period in basic clinical skills held prior to the start of the academic year to prepare students to work with patients;
  • Nine integrated, interdisciplinary block courses which bring together basic, clinical and social science;
  • Three Integration weeks which longitudinally reinforce and apply concepts from disparate basic science disciplines to solve clinical problems to build clinical reasoning skills. Students will also be able to reflect on their own professional identity in these weeks and progress as a life-longer learner of medicine;
  • Topics offered longitudinally are integral to each block (pathology/histology, anatomy/imaging and embryology, and pharmacology);
  • Preparation for patient care through longitudinal instruction in clinical skills and direct work with patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Close relationships are developed with faculty mentors and community physicians during this phase.
  • Foundations phase ends with the Consolidation and Transition to Clerkships courses, which allow time for preparation for USMLE Step 1 licensing exam and transition to patient care phase.

Medicine Health and Society I & II

These courses integrate School of Medicine thematic content with an emphasis on core concepts needed for clinical practice in the changing healthcare environment. Students will explore areas related to humanism in medicine including the themes of equity and inclusion, diversity, ethics, determinants of health, global population, and public health, climate health, and health systems science.

Independent Investigative Inquiry (III) & III Final Project

These are the courses in which medical students meet the UW School of Medicine Scholarship requirement. Students will choose a scholarship project that will help them foster the skills of a life-long learner essential for practicing physicians. Examples of projects are: community experiences in rural and urban settings, global health projects, research opportunities in labs/clinics, and students can also choose to do a literature review. Students complete the bulk of the course-work the summer between years 1 and 2 and then complete the course series in the Fall with a final project at the Medical students Fall Poster Symposium.

Foundations Phase Curriculum

The following is a comprehensive list of all courses and credits that students entering in 2024 or after register for in the Foundations Phase.

A table showing the names and course numbers of required courses during each quarter of the Foundations Phase.

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