Education

Descriptions of Courses / Blocks / Clerkships & Directors and Coordinators

Description:  Our progressive curriculum takes a holistic view of the human body and of medical knowledge.  Clinical training begins early in the educational program, and basic science lessons continue during the clinical years.  Elective courses give students new perspectives and experiences, and let them reflect on what they have learned previously.  

 

Preclerkship Phase

This curriculum phase of study is defined as the first 18-months of medical school with focus on the eight basic sciences core courses, Doctor & Patient/Societies course, and the Clinical Reasoning course, including all longitudinal curriculum sessions intertwined throughout the core courses.  

  • Foundations: The six-week Foundations block fosters development of skills in evidence-based decision making, self-directed learning, communication, and professionalism, while also addressing medical-based science topics including cell biology, genetics, embryology, biochemistry, histology, pathology, the immune system, microbiology, pharmacology, and biostatistics.

     

  • Musculoskeletal System: The six-week Musculoskeletal System block provides a basic understanding of the musculoskeletal system designed to help students approach its clinical presentation in their future clinical practice.

    The block discusses: The location and function of bones, muscles, peripheral nerves, and vessels of the limbs; and the structure and physiology of the basic tissues of the musculoskeletal system (cartilage, bone, joint, and muscle).

    Students are taught to use knowledge of anatomy and the tissues to approach musculoskeletal disease and injuries. Many diseases of the musculoskeletal system overlap with diseases of other systems, such as neurological and immunological disorders; therefore, this block builds upon material learned in the Foundations and Nervous System blocks and lays the foundation for material that will be encountered in subsequent blocks. In addition, the Musculoskeletal System block covers most aspects of skin required for USMLE Stept 1, including normal structure and function, as well as common skin lesions. Finally, because many musculoskeletal diseases require chronic care, material in the block addresses issues of health care delivery for disability and chronic care.

     

  • Nervous System: The nine-week Nervous System block is a comprehensive overview of general principles in neuroscience, neuropathology, neurology, neuropharmacology, psychiatry, and social/behavioral sciences. The overarching goals are to introduce students to the structure and function of the human nervous system while integrating related histology, pathology, clinical applications in neurology, relevant psychiatry, psychopathology, pharmacological treatments, and gross anatomy of the central nervous system, head and neck. The course also introduces concepts of rehabilitation, nutrition, exercise and ethical scenarios in cases of terminal genetic diseases, and the use of narcotics.

     

  • Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, & Renal Systems: The 11-week Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Renal Systems block is designed to provide students with an in-depth study of the cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, renal and urinary systems using an integrated approach encompassing molecular and cellular biology, anatomy, histology, physiology, pathology, pharmacology, and clinical medicine.

    Through the use of small group case-based exercises and team learning formats students are provided background knowledge in the basic and clinical sciences, physical examination and laboratory and imaging findings needed to determine general priorities for basic diagnostic and treatment strategies, and the use of evidence-based approaches to evaluate clinically relevant information.

    Students will also be exposed to issues of age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and culture in patient care decisions, as well as the epidemiology and statistics relevant to cardiovascular, pulmonary and renal disease. Students in the Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Renal Systems block are expected to use technology including medical databases to advance their medical knowledge and practice-based learning.

     

  • Digestion, Metabolism & Hormones: The nine-week Digestion, Metabolism and Hormones block offers an integrated presentation of topics focusing on digestion and absorption of food (carbohydrates, lipids and protein), water, vitamins and some minerals, nutritional aspects of macronutrients and micronutrients, fuel metabolism and storage, and the role of hormones in controlling physiological and biochemical functions in humans.  The block covers:

    • Functions of key digestive tissues including salivary, stomach, intestine, pancreas, gall bladder and liver
    • Metabolic pathways in liver and adipose tissue that are important in fuel storage and mobilization and regulation of these systems
    • Pathophysiology associated with malabsorption and the digestive tissues
    • Integration of the anatomy, histology, physiology, biochemistry, pathology and pharmacology of the gastrointestinal system
    • Histology, biochemistry, physiology, pathology and pharmacology as they relate to the endocrine system
    • Normal nutritional requirements using this information to discuss the role of nutrition in metabolism and to evaluate the consequences of nutritional deficiencies.

 

  • Life Cycle: The seven-week Life Cycle block focuses on the biology and medicine of human reproduction and sexuality, and normal and abnormal development throughout the life cycle. Life Cycle is designed to address reproductive anatomy, histology and physiology through the life span from conception to pregnancy, birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, aging and end-of-life. Life Cycle also presents the cancers of the male and female organs of reproduction.

     

  • Immunity and Infection: The eight-week Immunity and Infection block is a presentation of microbiology, immunology, and infectious disease as well as public health and international health issues. Topics discussed include:

    • The basic elements of innate and adaptive immune system from the cellular to the systems level
    • The mechanisms of immunity and infectious agents and their relationship to common diseases (including diseases involving multiple systems)
    • The indications for use, mechanism of action, and side/adverse effects of medications used in the treatment of immunological and infectious diseases

Students will learn to link epidemiological, socioeconomic and cultural factors to infectious diseases and normal and abnormal functioning of the immune system, and to develop clinical hypotheses by organizing and summarizing evidence of pathophysiological function for;the immune system, as well as evidence of involvement of multiple systems. Issues of environment, age, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and cultural distinctiveness that impact individual patients with respect to common immunological disorders and infectious processes (e.g. HIV or staph infection) also are presented.

 

  • Hematology (formerly Advanced Topics - new block name pending TEPC approval  November, 2018):: The three-week Hematology block focuses on benign and malignant hematologic disorders, oncologic pharmacology, hemostasis, and transfusion medicine. The block emphasizes integration of systemic pathology with clinical practice.

     

  • Basic Sciences Capstone: This six-week course is a comprehensive review of the basic sciences curriculum serving as a culminating and integrative experience to prepare students for the USMLE Step 1 exam and the clerkships.

     

  • Longitudinal Curriculum: 

     

  • Patient/Societies: The Doctor and Patient block;(including the Societies Program) is an integrated program initiated in 2006 to teach clinical and professional skills and to provide longitudinal clinical mentoring for the students at the College of Medicine. The Societies Program has been developed to enhance the medical school experience in the following ways:

    • Early instruction, from the very first day, in the development of fundamental clinical skills including communication, taking a medical history, the physical examination of patients, and clinical thinking
    • Early introduction to what it means to be a medical professional and the importance of professionalism in the practice of medicine
    • Provision of an ongoing support system that emphasizes both peer support and the support of dedicated medical school faculty

 

  • Clinical Reasoning: The Clinical Reasoning course is longitudinal and runs throughout the preclerkship curriculum during the first 18-months of medical school. It is designed to complement the Blocks, the Doctor and Patient Course, and the Societies Program. Students meet for two hours every week with their Clinical Reasoning facilitator to practice the basic principles of clinical reasoning and prepare themselves for their clinical clerkships. The Clinical Reasoning course uses active learning to emphasize higher-level thinking and support independent thought by the students.

     

  • Pathways of Health and Medicine: This curriculum runs parallel to the blocks during the first 18-months of medical school. The intent of this curriculum is to provide a longitudinal behavioral, medical humanities and social sciences curriculum, for the medical education program to ensure greater alignment between biomedical science training and the preparation of future physicians required for meeting broader social expectations.

 

Clerkship Phase 

This curriculum phase of study is defined as the 12-months of seven core clerkship courses, including Intersessions, Transition to Clerkships, and an ambulatory medicine course.

  • Community Medicine: This is a six-week clerkship that encompasses the comprehensive and longitudinal care of patients with a special emphasis on care of individuals in the context of families and communities. This is primarily an outpatient rotation, working with preceptors throughout the state. This clerkship provides an opportunity for students to learn about the diagnosis and management of patients with acute common problems, as well as chronic disease. Students will be expected to learn a comprehensive approach to the patient with these diagnoses that entails consideration of etiology, incidence, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, course, prognosis, treatment, and the appropriate aspects of patient education, disease prevention, and health promotion.

     

  • The Medicine clerkship is an eight-week experience including in-patient and ambulatory exposure. Students are expected to achieve a level of responsibility in the in-patient and ambulatory setting appropriate for a third-year student including: independent data gathering, critical assessment of the data, and communication of data to other health professionals.

     

  • Ambulatory Medicine:

     

  • Neurology: This four-week Neurology clerkship is designed to teach medical students the principles and skills needed to recognize and manage the neurological diseases that a general medical practitioner is most likely to encounter in practice. Implicit in this is the ability to recognize the problems of the nervous system that require specialty neurological consultation. Students will learn to perform a thorough neurologic history and examination by the completion of this rotation.

     

  • Obsterics & Gynecology: This six-week clerkship is an introductory experience in the provision of comprehensive medical care and counseling services to elderly, adult and adolescent female patients. The obstetrical conditions and gynecological problems commonly encountered by the physician provide the primary focus for this clerkship experience, but knowledge of serious or less common conditions is also available. Therefore, the basis for the clerkship is to introduce the clinical information thought to be fundamental in the education of all physicians.

     

  • Pediatrics: The six-week Pediatric clerkship is divided into two three-week blocks. Students spend three weeks on the inpatient service at Banner University Medical Center-Diamond Children’s [DCMC], and three weeks in an outpatient clinic, either at Banner University Medical Center (BUMC), BUMC Children’s Multispecialty Center (Wilmot Clinic), BUMC North Hills Clinic, BUMC Pantano Clinic, a private practice clinic site (dependent on-site availability), or a rural clinic site (dependent on-site availability). A newborn nursery experience will be part of the outpatient rotation and will occur at BUMC, no matter where the student is assigned for his/her outpatient rotation (with the exception of those at a rural site).

     

  • Psychiatry: In this six-week clerkship, the student will be able to demonstrate through oral or written communication with attending physicians or residents and staff through documentation in patient records, and in a manner judged by the attending physicians and staff as satisfactory, an understanding of:

    • The purposes of the psychiatric interview.
    • The purpose and form of the psychiatric workup.
    • The major manifestations of psychosis, cognitive impairment, and differential diagnosis of the following psychiatric disorders: substance-related, schizophrenia, mood, anxiety, and personality disorders.
    • The major groups of psychopharmalogic agents used in psychiatric care, including their indications, effects, side effects and contraindications, with particular reference to antipsychotics, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety agents, sedatives, and stimulants. Additionally, required is knowledge of the uses of electroconvulsive therapy.
    • An understanding of the major psychosocial interventions and their indications, including the use of psychotherapy, group therapy, couples’ therapy, family and social case work.
    • The legal and psychological principles of treating the violent, the suicidal, the incompetent, and the uncooperative patient.
    • The major services available to the mentally ill and methods of referral to such services.

 

  • Surgery: The goal of the eight-week surgery clerkship is to introduce the student to the principles of caring for the surgical patient. This goal is accomplished by allowing the student to participate in the care of patients in the various stages of evaluation and treatment by surgeons. These stages include but are not limited to the preoperative office or clinic visit, inpatient admission, operative procedure and inpatient/outpatient recovery. Through this exposure, the student will begin to understand the general process of the application of surgical therapy to patients in a wide variety of settings. Furthermore, by participating as a member of the surgical team, the student will observe the role of the surgeon as a member of the multidisciplinary team that provides care for the patient. The clerkship is structured upon the principle that learning is a process which can be accomplished only by active participation by the student. The role of the faculty and housestaff is to provide guidance, stimulation, support and example.

     

  • Transition to Clerkships: This one-week course is delivered to students prior to entering their core clerkships. Medical students participate in a variety of educational experiences designed to prepare them to begin their clerkship curriculum. In addition to lectures on topics pertinent to patient care, students participate in simulations and performance exercises to learn and practice basic skills that will be required of them in the clerkship curriculum. Attendance at sessions and active participation is mandatory.

     

  • Intersessions I, II, III: Intersessions is designed as an opportunity for the whole class to come together during the Clerkship year and learn the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are fundamental to the practice of good medical care. Topics the students will be exposed to include the following: patient safety and medical errors, quality of medical care, professionalism, ethics in medicine, medical legal issue, healthcare disparities, healthcare financing and resource use, wellness, and resilience. The students will also be able to learn some procedural skills, such as bedside ultrasound, as well as get early exposure to non-clerkship specialties such as diagnostic imaging and pathology. Intersessions also provide an opportunity for students to come together for collaborative and reflective time in their process of becoming a physician. Curricular formats and learning strategies vary to accommodate the variety of content and learning. They include simulation sessions, objective structured clinical examinations, lectures, and smaller group projects and assignments.

     

 

Transition to Residency Phase 

This curriculum phase of study is defined as the final 14-months of clinical curriculum, including core sub internship, electives, surgical subspecialty, emergency medicine/critical care courses, back-to-basics science, and transition to residency bootcamp selectives.

  • Emergency Medicine-Critical Care: In this four-week course, students will be given an overview of the principles and concepts of the specialty of Emergency Medicine, with emphasis on the common presenting complaints and procedures in the undifferentiated patient. Students additionally will experience how treatment in the Emergency Department affects the patient‚ subsequent hospitalization. Critical care concepts, such as ventilation management, hemodynamic monitoring and pressor management, critical care pharmacology and social and behavioral concepts affecting patient management at this level will be addressed.

 

  • Back to Basics Science: This four-week course takes place in the Transition to Residency phase of the medical student curriculum and is designed to prepare students for the foundational knowledge necessary to enter their residency programs. Students will review basic-science curriculum from the preclerkship curriculum and apply this knowledge translationally to their chosen clinical specialty. The course emphasizes active learning approach for didactic sessions, and small-group sessions for applied learning.

 

  • Transition to Residency Boot Camp: This four-week course takes place in the Transition to Residency phase of the medical student curriculum and is designed to prepare students for the clinical or surgical skills necessary to enter their residency programs. Students will participate in a one-week shared curriculum, learning common skills for all careers (e.g. electronic health record, order entry, prescription writing, note writing, billing, etc.), followed by specialty-specific curriculum to practice skills necessary to enter residency at a high-functioning intern level. The course will use a combination of standardized patients, on-line avatar-based curricula, SIMS-based skills labs, small group sessions, and objective structured clinical examination evaluations to support the student’s learning.

     

PRE-CLERKSHIP COURSE DIRECTORS AND COORDINATORS 

 

Bridge Class of 2022

Marc Tishler

Jennifer Cogan

Director

Coordinator

Tischler@email.arizona.edu

jenc@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-3691

520-626-2683

Intro to the Profession Classof 2022

George Fantry

Violet Siwik

Kristie Bowen

Co-Director

Co-Director

Coordinator

gfantry@medadmin.arizona.edu

vsiwik@medadmin.arizona.edu

kristieb@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-2252

520-626-2252

Foundations Class of 2022

Sean Elliott

Todd Vanderah

Sonya Martyna-Seaman

Co-Director

Co-Director

Coordinator

selliott@peds.arizona.edu

vanderah@email.arizona.edu

srmartynaseaman@email.arizona.edu

520-626-8074

520-626-5923

520-626-5923

Nervous System Class of 2022

Todd Vanderah

Sonya Martyna-Seaman

Director

Coordinator

vanderah@email.arizona.edu

srmartynaseaman@email.arizona.edu

520-626-5923

520-626-5923

Musculoskeletal System Class of 2022

Claudia Stanescu

Sonya Martyna-Seaman

Director

Coordinator

stanescu@email.arizona.edu

srmartynaseaman@email.arizona.edu

520-626-2683

520-626-5923

Cardio, Pulmonary, and Renal Class of 2022

John Bloom

Melinda Davila

Director

Coordinator

jbloom@deptofmed.arizona.edu

melindad@email.arizona.edu

520-626-3707

520-626-3707

Digestion, Metabolism, and Hormones Class of 2022

Dale Woolridge

Sonya Martyna-Seaman

Director

Coordinator

dale@aemrc.arizona.edu

srmartynaseaman@email.arizona.edu

520-621-5923

520-626-5923

Immunity and Infection Class of 2022

Nafees Ahmad

Melinda Davila

Director

Coordinator

nafees@email.arizona.edu

melindad@email.arizona.edu

520-626-3707

520-626-3707

Life Cycle Class of 2022

Tejal Parikh

Melinda Davila

Director

Coordinator

tparikh@email.arizona.edu

melindad@email.arizona.edu

520-626-3707

520-626-3707

Advanced Topics Class of 2021

Deb Fuchs

Melinda Davila

Director

Coordinator

dfuchs@email.arizona.edu

melindad@email.arizona.edu

520-626-3707

520-626-3707

Doctor and Patient/Societies

Class of 2020

Class of 2021

Paul Gordon

Kevin Moynahan

Vicky Soto

Director

Assoc. Director

Coordinator

pgordon@email.arizona.edu

moynahan@email.arizona.edu

evsoto@email.arizona.edu

520-626-3969

520-626-3969

520-626-3969

Clinical Reasoning

Class of 2020

Class of 2021

Kathy Smith

Lisa Stoneking

Jennifer Cogan

Director

Assoc. Director

Coordinator

kwsmith@psychiatry.arizona.edu

lstoneking@aemrc.arizona.edu

jenc@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-621-1617

520-626-1617

520-626-2683

Longitudinal Curriculum All Classes

Colleen Cagno

Jennifer Yelich

Director

Coordinator

colleenc@email.arizona.edu

yelichj@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-1617

520-626-1617

Transition to Clerkships

Class of 2020

Class of 2021

Colleen Cagno

Jennifer Yelich

Director

Coordinator

colleenc@email.arizona.edu

yelichj@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-1617

520-626-1617

Intersessions 1and 2 Class of 2020

Art Sanders

Jennifer Yelich

Director

Coordinator

art@aemrc.arizona.edu

yelichj@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-2683

520-626-1617

OSCE Class of 2020

Paul Gordon

Vicky Soto

Director

Coordinator

pgordon@email.arizona.edu

evsoto@email.arizona.edu

520-626-3969

520-626-3969

Transition to Residency (TBD) Class of 2020

Indu Partha

Jennifer Cogan

Director

Coordinator

ipartha@email.arizona.edu

jenc@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-2683

520-626-2683

Back to Basics Science (TBD) Class of 2019

David Bear

Jennifer Cogan

Director

Coordinator

dbear@email.arizona.edu

jenc@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-2683

520-626-2683

Clerkship Directors & Coordinators 2018-2019
clerkship name title email phone
Family & Community Medicine

Krista Sunderman

Rosalind Fair

Director

Coordinator

kristas@email.arizona.edu

fair@email.arizona.edu

520-626-7865
Medicine

Amy Sussman

Lucia Contrearas

Director

Coordinator

asussman@deptofmed.arizona.edu

lucia@deptofmed.arizona.edu

520-626-1574
Neurology

Holli Horak

Anne de Leon

Director

Coordinator

hhorak@neurology.arizona.edu

afd1@neurology.arizona.edu

520-626-7159
OB-GYN

Heather Reed

Julie Tary

Director

Coordinator

hreed@obgyn.arizona.edu

jtary@obgyn.arizona.edu

520-626-7414
Pediatrics

Ziad Shehab

Larissa Gronenberg

Director

Coordinator

zshehab@peds.arizona.edu

larissag@peds.arizona.edu

520-626-4657
Psychiatry

Steven Herron

Polly Haffner

Director

Coordinator

stherron@ahsc.arizona.edu

phaffner@psychiatry.arizona.edu

520-626-874-2179
Surgery

Rebecca Viscusi

Debra Sherrow

Director

Coordinator

rviscusi@surgery.arizona.edu

dsherrow@surgery.arizona.edu

520-626-3972

 

REOURCES

Sonia de Leon 

Asst. Director, Preclinical Education

soniabdeleon@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-6464

 

Emily Leyva

Asst. Director, Clinical Education

emilyleyva@email.arizona.edu

520-626-3412

 

Liz Leko

Assoc. Director, Clinical & Prof. Skills

lekoe@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-6864