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M1 Year

1 week 8 weeks 2 weeks 8 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 5 weeks 8 weeks
Orientation Fundamentals WOW Fundamentals Lifestages ID Heme-Onc Skin-Musc-Skel
Ambulatory Clerkship I
Scholar’s Workshop I
Foundations of Medical Practice I

Course Descriptions


Fundamentals is the first course of the M1 year, which is comprised of four 4-week blocks (for a total of 16 weeks) through the entire fall semester. This integrated course provides entering CMSRU students with a shared solid understanding of the full spectrum of basic science concepts and disciplines, such as: genetics, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry and metabolism, histology and introductory pathology, embryology, pharmacology and toxicology, basic neurosciences, microbiology, immunology, and cancer biology. Fundamentals also introduces our students to the CMSRU approach to curriculum delivery, utilizing a diverse combination of traditional and “flipped” lectures, interactive “application” sessions and small-group learning activities (active learning groups, team-based learning, and “jigsaws”).

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.

Life Stages

Life Stages is the first course in the spring semester of the M1 year, and it is designed to introduce the students to a clinical medicine perspective and to the biopsychosocial model of health and disease, placing the basic aspects of human development and aging into the clinical context. The curriculum spans topics such as normal growth and development, sexuality, stressors, sleep patterns, injuries, safety, substance use, and nutritional changes across the lifespan. Issues related to end-of-life care, preventive medicine, cultural competency, care of caregivers, goals of care and ethical, moral and social aspects of medicine are introduced during this course.

Infectious Diseases

The Infectious Diseases course is a four-week curriculum that will introduce and advance the following: techniques of diagnostic testing for infectious diseases, advanced study of anti-infective therapy, multi-system infectious processes such as HIV and tuberculosis, infections related to exposures and life stages, and infections in special populations and circumstances. In addition, hospital epidemiology, infection prevention, hospital-related infections, and vaccines and immunizations are introduced and advanced in all modules of the course. Most of the concepts build upon the foundations of microbiology, immunology and principles of anti-infective therapy (pharmacology) that have been introduced in the Fundamentals course. Organ system-specific infections are integrated within each system block to demonstrate the role various infections play in the disruption of the normal anatomy and physiology of the system.

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).

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, orthopaedic 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.


Medical Humanities Selectives are short courses (6 sessions, 12 instructional hours) focusing on topics related to the medical humanities (figurative and performing arts, ethics, law, etc.) that occur in the spring semester of M1 and fall semester of M2. CMSRU offers eight to twelve different courses from a wide variety of topics each semester.