Education

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: 

  • Doctor & 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.

PRE-CLERKSHIP COURSE DIRECTORS AND COORDINATORS

Bridge

Class of 2023

Marc Tishler

Jennifer Cogan

Director

Coordinator

Tischler@email.arizona.edu

jenc@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-3691

520-626-2683

Intro to the Profession

Class of 2023

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 2023

Athena Ganchorre

William Rappaport

Sonya Martyna-Seaman

Director

Assoc. Director

Coordinator

athenag@medadmin.arizona.edu

rappaport@surgery.arizona.edu

srmartynaseaman@email.arizona.edu

520-626-2203

520-626-6445

520-626-5923

Nervous System

Class of 2023

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 2023

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 2023

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 2023

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 2022

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 2022

Class of 2023

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 2022

Class of 2023

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

Pathways in Health and Medicine

Class of 2022

Class of 2023

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 2022

 

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 2021

Art Sanders

Jennifer Yelich

Director

Coordinator

art@aemrc.arizona.edu

yelichj@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-2683

520-626-1617

OSCE

Class of 2021

Class of 2022

Paul Gordon

Vicky Soto

Director

Coordinator

pgordon@email.arizona.edu

evsoto@email.arizona.edu

520-626-3969

520-626-3969

Preparation for Residency Bootcamp

Class of 2020

Indu Partha

Jennifer Cogan

Director

Coordinator

ipartha@email.arizona.edu

jenc@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-2683

520-626-2683

Application of the Basic Sciences to Clinical Medicine

Class of 2020

David Bear

Jennifer Cogan

Director

Coordinator

dbear@email.arizona.edu

jenc@medadmin.arizona.edu

520-626-2683

520-626-2683

Contact 

Sonia de Leon 
Asst. Director, Preclinical Education
soniabdeleon@medadmin.arizona.edu
520-626-6464