curriculum of the doctor of medicine (MD) degree program

Curriculum and Course Descriptions 

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Course Descriptions  | 5th Term |  Clinical Clerkships |  Graduation  |  Residency  |  Catalog 

Course Descriptions
Note: Each course number links to a PDF of the master syllabus. The links will open in their own window. The list on the right reflects the latest changes to the curriculum. Some course description updates (below) are still pending. 

Anatomy I (ANAT 301)
This course provides the students with lectures and comprehensive overview of the gross anatomy of the osteomyoarticular system and peripheral nervous system, with consideration of relationships of various anatomical structures. The interpretation of normal medical imaging studies is also highlighted. 3 credits

Anatomy II (ANAT 302)
This course provides the students with lectures and comprehensive overview of the gross anatomy of the components of the respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive and the urogenital systems as well as the organs of vision, hearing and balance.  3 credits

Biochemistry  (BCHE 306)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a basic understanding of: the chemical components of the human body and their functions, the molecular architecture of eukaryotic cells and organelles, the principles of bioenergetics and enzyme catalysis; the chemical nature of biological macromolecules, their three-dimensional conformation, the principles of molecular recognition, and the major metabolic pathways in health and their most frequent disorders. 4 credits

Early Human Development (ANAT 305)
This course provides students with lectures and comprehensive overview of the early stages of human development and genetics, including major events of the embryonic period, the current understanding of the molecular events that guide development, beginning with the formation of gametes and ending with the formation of 3D body plan.  2 credits

Embryology (ANAT 304)
This course provides the students with lectures and comprehensive overview of the human embryology, including features and major events of the development of specific organs and systems of human in embryonic and fetal periods, the current understanding of some of the molecular events that guide development of the embryo. 1 credit

Epidemiology & Biostatistics (COBS 301) 
This course introduces the student to the practice of statistics such as displaying distributions with graphs, describing distributions with numbers, looking at data relationships, scatter plots, correlation, least-squares and multiple regression, relations in categorical data, the question of causation, sampling designs, statistical inference, estimating with confidence, testes of significance, power and inference, comparing two means, comparing several means, inference from two-way-tables, and nonparametric tests; and to the application of statistics to epidemiology in the matter of rates, incidence and prevalence, mortality and fatality, measures of risk such as the odds ratio, sensitivity and specificity, and predictive values. 1 credit

Histology I (ANAT 306) 
This course provides students a foundation for understanding the organization of the human body. The course commences with the basic concepts of tissue preparation and microscopy, followed by the study of the cardinal features of the cell and its internal structures as revealed by light and electron microscopy. The normal histological organization of each of the four basic tissues is presented with emphasis on the relation of structure to function, as well as the structural changes underlying selected diseases.1.5 credits

Histology II (ANAT 307)
This course provides students an understanding the organization of the microscopic and ultramicroscopic structure of normal human tissues and organs and to relate this to functional processes studied in concurrent and subsequent courses as well as to apply the knowledge to tissue structure and function to understand structural changes that underlie disease processes.  1.5 credits

Physiology (PHYS 306)
Physiology introduces the student to the basics of normal human physiology or the study of function, activities, and processes of the human body. The course provides an in depth introduction to a systems/organ system study of medically pertinent physiology. Teaching covers general and cell physiology, nerve and muscle physiology, blood, respiratory, gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary physiology, and nutrition. As the student is introduced to normal physiology, concepts of pathophysiology are also presented. 5 credits

Neuroscience (NEUR 300)
Neuroscience provides the basis for the understanding of structure and function of the human nervous system and disorders affecting it. The course is kept relevant by including discussions of appropriate clinical cases and scenarios. Students will also have the opportunity to extend their understanding of some areas and to develop skills in self-directed learning.  3 credits

Microbiology and Immunology I (MICR 400)
This course has three sections. The first section is devoted to understanding the basic concepts of immunology and dysfunctional aspects of the immune system. The second section deals with basic bacteriology, virology and mycology which include: classification, structure, growth and replication; mechanisms of gene transfer; mode of action of antimicrobial agents and microbial resistance, pathogenesis; sterilization and disinfection; and laboratory diagnostic methods. The third section deals with the description of the major human parasites; emphasis is given on the life cycle, epidemiology, clinical diseases, diagnosis and prevention/control. 3 credits

Microbiology and Immunology II (MICR 401)
Microbiology II is an organ/system approach to infectious diseases. The course begins with a brief description of the major signs and symptoms of infectious diseases that affect a particular organ/ system. For each etiologic agent, basic characteristics of the pathogen, its habit and means of transmission, virulence attributes, clinical manifestations, diagnostic methods, vaccine and aspects of the immune response to the pathogen and an indication of accepted antimicrobial or related treatment are discussed.  3 credits

Pathology I (PATH 400)
Pathology I introduces students to an understanding of the alterations in cells and tissues in response to harmful stimuli. These acquired skills of general pathology including inflammation, ischemia, infarction, necrosis and neoplasia will be applied to specific organ systems. 6 credits

Pathology II (PATH 401)
Pathology I introduces students to an understanding of the alterations in cells and tissues in response to harmful stimuli. These acquired skills of general pathology including inflammation, ischemia, infarction, necrosis and neoplasia will be applied to specific organ systems. 8 credits

Pharmacology I (PHAR 400)
The basic principles of pharmacology will be taught in this first semester course. There will be three blocks of concentration: basic pharmacology, autonomic nervous system pharmacology, renal, cardiovascular and blood pharmacology, pain and inflammation pharmacology, gastrointestinal pharmacology and respiratory pharmacology. 3 credits

Pharmacology II (PHAR 401) 
The basic principles of pharmacology will be continued in this second semester course. There will be three blocks of concentration: 1) chemotherapy of infection and cancer, 2) pain and central nervous system pharmacology, 3) endocrine pharmacology. The course will culminate with a comprehensive exam over both pharmacology courses. 3 credits

Behavioral Sciences (COBS 300
This course introduces the biopsychosocial model of medicine and its application to the life-cycle with emphasis on the psychological, social and cultural determinants of health. Specific topics address the comprehension and assessment of brain function as it relates to personality, behaviour, cognition and sexual development. The basic tools needed for decision making in relation to legal and ethical issues in medicine are also presented.s. 2 credits

Introduction to Clinical and Community Medicine I (CLMD 401)
This course introduces students to the unique patient-physician relationship and the skills that are needed for effective clinical interactions. Students learn the skills of history taking and practice the art of communication during patient encounters. Practical opportunities to interview real patients under the supervision of clinical faculty are provided during hospital and clinic visits. .An introduction to the field of public health allows students to explore the relationship between public health and clinical medicine. Medical ethics, cultural competence and patient centered care are discussed and standards of care in privacy and safety are presented leading to certification in HIPAA and OSHA-BBP standards. 3 credits

Introduction to Clinical and Community Medicine II (CLMD 402)
This course focuses on the information gathering professional activity and builds on previous skills. It introduces physical examination in the skills lab using a regional/organ system approach. Students receive practical experience with patient interviews and physical examination in the clinic setting. Lectures, videos, clinical demonstrations and practice sessions in the skills lab and at various clinical sites help to meet these objectives. Community medicine discussions include access to care and students become acquainted with national and global health systems and challenges. 2 credits

Introduction to Clinical and Community Medicine III (CLMD 403)
This course continues to provide students with foundational knowledge and skills of patient care. It also emphasizes the professional and personal attributes required in competent and caring physicians. Professional activities are developed through learning and skill-building activities including hospital and clinic rotations, small group activities, interactive presentations and lectures, hospital clinical experiences, and other active learning opportunities to enhance clinical development of students’ professional activities. 1 credit

Introduction to Clinical and Community Medicine IV (CLMD 404)
This course further exposes students to the art and skills of patient care. It further strengthens the professional and personal attributes required in a competent and caring physician. Medical professionalism and ethics are emphasized. Students are provided a balanced mix of learning and skill-building opportunities comprised of hospital and clinic rotations, small group activities, and interactive presentations and lectures. The practical learning experiences help students to demonstrate their professional activities at the same time as they are evaluated. 1 credit

Introduction to Clinical and Community Medicine V (CLMD 405)
This course continues integrating clinical medicine with the basic sciences taught in Terms 1-4.  Students participate in case presentations, hospital clinical experiences, and active learning activities to enhance clinical skills demonstration throughout the term in preparation for the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) at the end of the term with standardized patients.  6 credits

Integrated Systems Review (CLMD 406)
This course is designed to provide students with a review of systems through case presentations and didactic reviews.  It provides active learning activities to reinforce importance of chief complaints leading to the development of differential diagnoses.   6 credits

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5th Term

Trinity’s 5th term is a guided transitional period with two main goals: providing a facilitated review that guides students to a successful USMLE Step-1 exam (regarded by the NRMP as the most significant part of securing a residency), and preparing students for clinical clerkship training. Two structured courses CLMD 405 and CLMD 406 guide the student through this term.  As part of this preparation, students complete important certifications required to begin clerkships:  BLS, ACLS, PALS, Blood Borne Pathogens, and HIPAA trainings.

The term takes place on St. Vincent and provides the focus and support of Trinity's campus and community, as well as access to resources and faculty, are optimal for USMLE Step-1 preparation. This is only multiplied by our students' continued access to Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, Trinity's affiliated teaching hospital. 

Read more about how Trinity's 5th term contributes to student success 5th Term Info

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Clinical Clerkships

Students are eligible to enter clinical clerkships after passing the required NBME and USMLE exams. Students are required to take 48 weeks of clinical core clerkships and 27 weeks of electives. The core clerkships in medicine, surgery, pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and psychiatry are the basic areas of medical practice about which all physicians need to be knowledgeable. They are included in the curriculum of every medical school. Participation in these clerkships also provides students with an understanding of the various core specialties in medicine.


Family Medicine (FAMC 500)

In this 6 week clerkship, students are introduced to the principles and practice of family medicine.  It is an opportunity to begin development of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to approach a problem in the primary care setting. Students will observe how family physicians provide for ongoing medical needs of their patients within the context of the family and community setting and participate in the care of patients. 6 credits

Internal Medicine (MEDC 500)
In this 12 week clerkship, students are introduced to the principles of caring for the medial patient.  Students will begin to understand the general process of the application of medical therapy to patients in a wide variety of settings.  The student participates as a member of the medical team and observes the role of the internist as a member of the multidisciplinary team providing patient care. 12 credits

Obstetrics/Gynecology (OBGC 500)
During this 6 week clerkship, students are introduced to the principles of caring for the OBGYN patient and participate in the various stages of evaluation and treatment of patients. Students will begin to understand the general process of the application of OBGYN specific therapies to patients in a wide variety of settings and participate as a member of a multidisciplinary team for patient care.  6 credits

Pediatrics (PEDC 500)
In this 6 week clerkship, students acquire knowledge about the process of growth and development and about common diseases and conditions of childhood. Students work with children and families together to develop an understanding of the importance of preventive medicine and how social and environmental factors affect young people.  6 credits

Psychiatry (PSYC 500)

In this 6 week clerkship, students learn through clinical involvement by working directly with patients and being part of the treatment team.  Students develop professional rapport with patients, understand the presentation of psychiatric illness, assess patient histories and mental status and develop bio-psychosocial assessment and treatment plans.  6 credits

Surgery (SURC 500)

In the 12 week surgery clerkship, students are introduced to the principles of caring for the surgical patient.  Students participate in the care of patients in the various stages of evaluation and treatment by surgeons.  The student will begin to understand the general process of the application of surgical therapy to patients in a wide variety of settings as a member of the multidisciplinary team.  12 credits.

Electives
The additional 27 weeks are spent in electives. The Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Clerkships will assist students in developing an Elective Plan which improves the student’s chances for a residency in a specialty of their choice.  Following completion of core clerkships, a student may select to enter Prearranged Elective Tracks available in psychiatry, internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine in Chicago, IL.  A Primary Care Track with a focus in family medicine, internal medicine, or pediatrics is available in Eastman, GA.