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Curriculum

The central goal of the Vanderbilt MSTP is to train leaders in academic medicine. The MSTP offers an integrated curriculum through the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt University Graduate School. We provide students with an integrated curriculum comprising a strong core education in medicine and intensive training in scientific inquiry using a preceptor-oriented, problem-solving approach. The curriculum is designed for a 7-year time to degree, though some students may finish earlier or later. MSTP students usually complete the first two years of Medical School (M1 and M2), pursue graduate studies for three to four years (G1-G4), and then return to Medical School to complete one immersion year (clinical training combined with didactic training). The integration of clinical and scientific training is illustrated with blue color for predominantly clinical domains, gold for scientific domains, and black for MSTP-specific programming.

 

 

YEAR 1 | FOUNDATIONS OF MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE

    • Preclinical coursework: Anatomy, histology, physiology, pathology, and foundational sciences taught in lecture, team-based settings, and small-group case-based learning format
    • Physical Diagnosis: Introduction to clinical knowledge and skills essential for performing a medical history and physical examination. This course takes place in lectures, simulation centers, observed clinical encounters, outpatient clinics and the hospital setting and exposes students to hands-on patient care in the first month of medical school.
    • Learning Communities: Groups of students and faculty nurturing clinical reasoning, critical thinking, ethics, bias, leadership, health care policy and more
    • Foundations of Health Care Delivery: Integrate patient care with other health professions and systems knowledge in the context of social determinants of health, settings of care, and patient safety.
    • MSTP Seminar: Students, residents, and faculty members meet for journal club presentations, clinical cases, extra-curricular academic and wellness activities
    • Foundations of Biomedical Research I: Students learn how to critically review research articles, conduct robust statistical analyses, and conduct reproducible research
    • Laboratory Rotation: Lab rotations last approximately three weeks and are selected with the guidance of the MSTP Leadership Team

 

Sample first year weekly schedule

 

YEAR 2 | FOUNDATIONS OF CLINICAL CARE

    • Six blocks of clinical clerkships: Internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, psychiatry, and time for elective opportunities
    • Diagnostics and Therapeutics: Focuses on the strengths and limitation of different clinical labs and treatment approaches
    • Continuation of: Learning Communities, Foundations of Health Care Delivery, MSTP Seminar
    • Foundations of Biomedical Research II: tailored to the interests of individual students and mentors, with emphasis on examining papers foundational to the students’ field of research, examining advanced scientific rigor and reproducibility concepts, and surveying the process of applying and reviewing individual fellowships.
    • Laboratory Rotation(s): A minimum of two lab rotations are required with room for additional optional rotations if desired

 

YEAR 3-6 | GRADUATE RESEARCH

 

YEAR 7 | CLINICAL IMMERSION

  • Highly personalized courses: Building on clinical and foundational scientific knowledge through clinical engagement in areas of interest
  • Leadership Workshop 2: Provides continued leadership training to MSTP students in their final clinical year of medical school to build on concepts from Leadership Workshop 1 during graduate school
  • Application to residency
  • Continuation of: Learning Communities, Foundations of Health Care Delivery, MSTP Seminar