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M1 Year

1 week 8 weeks 2 weeks 8 weeks 5 weeks 8 weeks 8 weeks
Orientation Molecular Basis of Medicine Week on the Wards (WOW 1) Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases Hematology-Oncology Neurology-Psychology Skin-Musc-Skel
 Ambulatory Clerkship (Fall)  Ambulatory Clerkship (Spring)
 Scholar's Workshop (Fall)  Scholar's Workshop (Spring)
Foundations of Medical Practice (Fall) Foundations of Medical Practice (Spring)
Selectives (Spring Semester Only)

Course Descriptions

Molecular Basis of Medicine

Molecular Basis of Medicine is an 8-week multidisciplinary course, which will focus on presentation of core principles and key concepts in the basic science disciplines that are traditionally included in a first and second-year medical school curriculum. The specific basic science disciplines that will be introduced include: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Histology, Embryology, Physiology, Pathology, and Pharmacology.

This instruction will provide a foundation upon which additional and more specific information in each discipline can subsequently be added during organ-system modules throughout the remainder of the first and second years. In addition to providing basic science medical knowledge, there will be continuous clinical correlation throughout the course, which will demonstrate and reinforce the clinical relevance of this material. Because of the expected diversity that will exist among the medical students, another intent of Molecular Basis of Medicine is to “level the playing field”, so that upon completion of the course, all students will have acquired and possess the same fund of medical knowledge, regardless of previous education or experience.

The Molecular Basis of Medicine curriculum will be presented in various formats, which will include: didactic lectures, “flipped” lectures, active learning groups, clinical case discussions, team-based learning exercises (TBLs), laboratory/practical experiences, self-directed learning activities, and review and remediation sessions. This multi-dimensional approach to the curriculum is designed to help students not only acquire medical knowledge, but also develop habits of critical thinking.

In the active learning groups, faculty facilitators will help guide students through weekly investigation and discussion of clinical case studies. These activities will enable students to acquire competency in communication, team-building, teamwork, management, and leadership skills. The curriculum requires students to assume an active role in their own medical education and will begin the process of developing them as lifelong learners.

Week on the Wards 1

Week-on-the-Wards 1 (WOW 1) is an M1 course that allows Phase 1 students to have immersive experiences in the healthcare environment of Cooper University Health Care. WOW 1 is a two-week course, one week of which students spend in small groups rotating through a number of inpatient services, observing their environments and activities and interacting with their M3 and M4 colleagues, residents, faculty, and staff. The second week is dedicated to instruction about process improvement principles described in the Lean-Six-Sigma model and to small group process improvement projects focused on a specific unit in the hospital. Upon completion of this process improvement activity, students obtain a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification. An interprofessional education experience (IPE) provides students with the opportunity to process virtual clinical cases with pharmacy, social work, and nursing students from local universities.

Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases

The Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases (MIID) course is an eight-week course that will first introduce the students to fundamental knowledge about microorganisms and the immune system, and then illustrate its clinical application to the medical field of Infectious Diseases. The course will utilize diverse didactic approaches including lectures, interactive sessions, active learning groups, laboratory experiences, team-based learning, and others. Through this course, students are expected to acquire a broad-based understanding of immunological and infectious processes, which will then be applied to specific contexts throughout the organ system blocks in the Phase I integrated curriculum, to understand relevant normal and pathological immune-related processes and infections.

Hematology/Oncology (Heme-Onc)

The Hematology/Oncology course covers a broad range of topics in the disciplines of Hematology and Oncology.  Instruction in both Hematology and Oncology builds upon information previously introduced in Fundamentals and allows for further application and advancement of this knowledge. Emphasis within the course will be on correlation of underlying biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, pathophysiology, histology, immunology, and pharmacology with clinical aspects of hematologic and oncologic disorders. The Hematology content of the course includes a comprehensive consideration of the entire spectrum of hematologic disorders. While hematologic disorders may present in isolation, they often have multisystem manifestations. The Oncology content of the course consists of broader overviews of concepts, as most of the teaching of specific neoplastic disorders are presented in subsequent organ-system courses (e.g. a detailed discussion of lung cancer is covered during the M2 Pulmonary course).

Neurology-Psychiatry (Neuro-Psych)

The Neurology-Psychiatry course is a six-week course that provides students with an introduction to the interrelated fields of Neurology and Psychiatry. Students gain knowledge of neurological and psychiatric disorders and how they affect patients and their support systems. This course introduces students to the humanistic approach to patients with chronic debilitating or life-threatening diseases, emphasizing empathy, respect, and a code of medical ethics. The foundation is set for exploration of these fields by reinforcing and advancing the relevant anatomy, histology, embryology, immunology, genetics, physiology, and biochemistry introduced in the Fundamentals course. Students learn the pathology and pathophysiology of the spectrum of neurologic and psychiatric diseases, and their clinical manifestations. They have an opportunity to become familiar with the range of applicable diagnostic methods – including specific history-taking and physical exam skills and imaging modalities – and therapeutics. Students learn to formulate a thorough biopsychosocial diagnostic and treatment plan. Emphasis in the Neurology module is on identification, functional significance and connectivity within the neural system to develop a thorough understanding of the complexity of the nervous system. This is used as a platform to examine the variety of pathology found in the nervous system and reason for its resulting impairment.

Skin Musculoskeletal (Skin-Musc-Skel)

The Skin Musculoskeletal Course (SMS) is an 8-week multidisciplinary course that brings together three key disciplines: Dermatology, Orthopaedics and Rheumatology and integrates the acquisition of knowledge in these fields with basic science disciplines that the student has already become familiar with including Anatomy, Embryology, Histology, Immunology, Microbiology, Neurosciences, Pharmacology and Physiology. Students refine and deepen their knowledge of normal structure, function and physiologic processes in the immune system, skin, connective tissue, muscle, nerves, bones and joints. Students advance, reinforce and integrate the basic science concepts of embryology, genetics and cell and molecular biology to the skin and musculoskeletal system. Students are introduced to gross anatomy and anatomic dissection. Building on this foundation, students learn the clinical manifestations of common dermatologic, orthopedic and rheumatologic diseases. They are introduced to history taking and physical examination principles with specific reference to presentations in Dermatology, Orthopaedics and Rheumatology. Students hone their observational, descriptive and integrative skills. They begin to explore differential diagnosis, clinical problem solving and treatment options in these fields.

Ambulatory Clerkship 1

Ambulatory Clerkship is a three-year interprofessional course where students work in teams of M1, M2, and M3 students to provide patient care free of charge for uninsured patients at the Cooper Rowan Clinic. Clinical faculty and residents supervise the medical students. The medical student teams provide care based upon their level of proficiency within their curricular year. M1 students handle history taking; M2 students the physical examination; and M3 students fill in gaps as necessary based on the time of year and ability of the M1 and M2 students to complete an examination, in addition to reporting out to the faculty and leading the discussion for the differential diagnosis and treatment plan. Medical student teams work with University of the Sciences PharmD students (P1, P2, and P3 levels), who provide patient education and assist with medication choices, dosage, and operation of the student-run pharmacy offered at the clinic. A Rutgers University graduate social work student is available at the clinic on a daily basis to support patients with their non-medical needs and challenges to their health care compliance, such as housing or food insecurity. Students from the Rutgers Doctor of Physical Therapy Program see patients two times per month at the Cooper Rowan Clinic. They work with patients with a wide variety of conditions, including musculoskeletal and nerve injuries, arthritis and chronic pain. Faculty from all programs (medicine, pharmacy, social work, nursing, and physical therapy) work with and teach all students involved at the clinic.

Scholar's Workshop 1

The Scholars Workshop course is a four-year longitudinal curriculum that addresses biostatistics, epidemiology, quality and patient safety, health care disparities, research, research ethics, and other related topics. A culminating capstone project is completed in the M3 and M4 years; the capstone includes a thesis and poster presentation.

Foundations of Medical Practice 1

Foundations of Medical Practice is a two-year doctoring course at CMSRU. Students have didactic and practical sessions to develop interpersonal communication and physical examination skills, in addition to developing cultural competency skills and addressing ethical issues in health care.