Students and professors in the anatomy lab

The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine curriculum provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of the basic sciences and clinical medicine with an emphasis on evidence-based patient care. Faculty members are renowned educators, scholars and clinicians in their respective medical specialties, but their primary focus is to teach. Discussions of the social and behavioral factors that influence patient care are an integral part of the curriculum.

During the first two years, the curriculum is organized around integrated organ system blocks, providing students with a 360-degree view of each organ system through the lenses of three courses--Foundations of Medicine, Clinical Arts and Sciences, and Scholarly Reflection and Concentration Capstone.

The third year of the curriculum provides in-depth clinical education experiences through required clerkships in family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery. Students receive training in both ambulatory and inpatient settings.

Required clinical experiences during the fourth year consist of an intensive care clerkship, emergency medicine clerkship, and an inpatient subinternship. The fourth year of the curriculum also provides time for clinical electives, completion of the concentration capstone project and for participation in interviews for residency programs.

Clinical Work
Beginning with the first semester, students gain weekly clinical experience in a primary care, continuity ambulatory setting. The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine's principal clinical partner is St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn. The School of Medicine also has clinical partnerships throughout Connecticut: Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford; Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford; Griffin Hospital in Derby; Jewish Senior Services, The Jewish Home in Fairfield; Masonicare in Wallingford; Middlesex Hospital in Middletown; MidState Medical Center in Meriden; and Waterbury Hospital in Wallingford. Learn more.

Capstone Project
To further enrich the educational experience, students are required to select a capstone project that provides an in-depth exposure to one of the following concentrations:

  • Global, public and community health
  • Health policy and advocacy
  • Health management and leadership
  • Health communication
  • Medical education
  • Translational, clinical and basic science research
  • Medical humanities

Students learn the techniques of scholarly inquiry through formal course work and acquire knowledge in a chosen area by taking an elective course each semester in one of the previously mentioned concentrations starting in the spring semester of the first year (three total). This capstone assists students with organizing and communicating information. In the second year, under the direction of a chosen capstone mentor, students initiate the capstone scholarly project. They have an additional eight weeks in the fourth year to complete the project. The work culminates in a poster or oral presentation at an interdisciplinary Student Research Day prior to graduation. In addition, their diplomas will indicate "Doctor of Medicine with Distinction in" the category they chose.

Experiential Learning
Hands-on learning is a key component of the curriculum. Students have the opportunity to turn theory into practice in several ways. From their first year, students are matched with a local practicing physician through the Medical Student Home (MeSH) program. On campus, students are presented with various scenarios to test their skills both with simulation mannequins and standardized patients.

Educational Competencies
The School of Medicine curriculum provides its students with the knowledge and experiences to meet all of the following competencies.

  • Care of Individual Patients
  • Professionalism
  • Knowledge and Scholarship
  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  • Practice-based Learning and Improvement
  • Systems-based Practice
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Citizenship and Service
  • Medical Practice Management
  • Concentrated and Independent Learning
  • Integration-Entrustable Professional Activities

View a chart outlining the curriculum (PDF)

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