Curricular Phases

MD Program Curriculum Diagram

The MD Program is divided into three distinct phases:

    • Provides students with a broad and extensive range of knowledge and skills in biomedical sciences and clinical care. Students receive instruction in clinical skills and clinical reasoning using active and case-based learning.
    • Students learn about health systems and the social determinants of health that contribute to inequities in health access and outcomes.
    • Students participate in service-learning experiences to gain a firsthand understanding of the factors that influence health and health outcomes.
    • Students work with faculty mentors on professional development.
    • USMLE Step 1 is taken after completion of Phase 1.

    Phase 1 Courses

    • Introduction to Medical Sciences I-IV
    • Introduction to Clinical Medicine
    • Health Justice and Systems of Care
    • Empowerment Through Professional Identity Cultivation
    • Cardiovascular/Pulmonary/Renal
    • GI/Liver/Reproduction
    • Brain/Behavior/Movement
    • Endocrine
    • Integrated Cases
    • Students receive immersive clinical training as members of interprofessional teams in family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics & gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery.
    • Students participate in a one-week transition course to prime them for optimal learning in the clinical setting.
    • Cross-cutting themes in health justice, health systems science, ethics, quality and safety are integrated within phase 2.
    • Elective courses in imaging, surgical subspecialties, anesthesia and emergency medicine are provided during phase 2.
    • Students participate in a two-week seminar on health justice and systems of care at the end of phase 2.
    • Students continue their professional development with support from dedicated faculty mentors.
    • Students design individualized schedules of advanced clinical experiences and non-clinical coursework with career advisors to refine and work toward career goals.
    • USMLE step 2 is taken early in phase 3.
    • Students select a Senior Seminar topic in one of the following topics:
      • Biomedical research
      • Global medicine
      • Advocacy and policy
      • Medical education
      • Narrative medicine
      • Primary care
      • Digital medicine
      • Quality and safety
    • All students participate in a two-week transition to residency course after Match Day to provide the knowledge and skills required of interns to position them for success when they begin their specialty training.

Premier Clinical Training

Keck School of Medicine MD students interact and learn clinical skills from simulated and real patients in their very first weeks of medical school. Clinical training is delivered at premier clinical facilities offering exposure to diverse clinical environments and populations in both public and private health care settings. As students progress, they can explore clinical training opportunities across the region, nation and even internationally. Our core clinical training sites are:

Simulation Training Programs

The simulation training programs at the Keck School of Medicine offer comprehensive learning opportunities for medical students. Here they practice a wide range of clinical, surgical, and procedural skills in a state-of-the-art and immersive training environment.

Video: Tour the Simulation Training Programs at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

Health Justice and Systems of Care Curriculum

It has become increasingly apparent that doctors need to better understand inequities in health outcomes to better serve their patients. The Keck School of Medicine weaves instruction on health justice and systems of care throughout both our work in the classroom and in the clinic. Our students come to understand how social forces, including poverty and racism, and the health care system itself contribute to negative health outcomes for people from disenfranchised groups. All students at the Keck School of Medicine receive a certificate in health justice at graduation. More importantly, our students graduate with the knowledge and skills to lead efforts to address these inequities.