LCME virtual visit: Science permeates medical student curriculum

May 21, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

U-M medical students learn plenty of science throughout their time traversing the medical student curriculum. In fact, their learning of science never ends.

In 2016, as part of an extensive transformation of how and what U-M students learn, the medical school launched an architectural transition from a 17 (M1-M2 years) + 12 (M3 year) +12 (M4 year)-month medical student curriculum to a three-phase 12 (M1-Scientific Trunk) + 12 (M2-Clinical Trunk) +17 (M3-M4 Branches)-month model.

In the new curriculum, science is taught every year (not just the first two), with the opportunity to deliver scientific content relevant to the professional and developmental context of the student.

In their M1-scientific trunk year, medical students complete six foundational and system-based blocks, where normal and abnormal (physiology and pathophysiology) are presented side-by-side. They also complete longitudinal courses designed to foster the development of their clinical skills, clinical reasoning, interprofessional education, leadership and health systems science.

In their M2 clinical trunk year, students prepare to enter the clinical environment, focusing on linking their scientific foundations to clinical skills and patient care. In the second phase, students are immersed in departmentally-organized clinical rotations, or clerkships. Teaching science during the Clinical Trunk (M2) and Branches (M3/M4) phases allows students to make science-clinical linkages.

The Office of Medical Student Education has produced a 1-page informational flyer on “Science Instruction in the Medical Student Curriculum,” and a series of brief videos on this topic, and others, that further explain important aspects of U-M’s medical education program.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) — the group responsible for reaccreditation of the medical school’s M.D. degree — had planned to visit in April; however, the site visit was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The LCME is planning a virtual site visit for July 8-10.

To learn more about the LCME self-study and upcoming site visit: