College of
Human
Medicine

Legacy Curriculum | BLOCK I - Preclinical Year 1

For the Legacy Curriculum, the first year of medical school at MSU College of Human Medicine, "Block I" is divided into three semesters of 15, 15, and 7 weeks, respectively. The courses include experiences in the biological and behavioral sciences, basic clinical sciences, clinical correlations, and mentor groups.

The biological science courses (gross anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, cell biology and physiology, pathology, neuroscience, immunology/microbiology, pharmacology, and radiology) present fundamental concepts that will be built upon during the second year of medical school, or "Block II." The instruction is discipline-based and conducted in large-class and laboratory modes.

Human Development and Behavior, the behavioral science course in Block I, is taken during the third semester. This course presents basic concepts in human development across the age spectrum. The course is conducted using both large-group lectures and small-group discussions as well as field experiences coordinated with the Clinical Skills course. In Block II, more advanced behavior/social science concepts are integrated into the small-group, problem-based learning exercises along with more advanced biological concepts.

The Integrative Clinical Correlations (ICC) course sequence is focused around a series of clinically oriented cases. Each case integrates basic or biological science content from the courses being studied that semester, thus demonstrating how the concepts apply to clinical practice. The ICC cases are conducted jointly by a basic science faculty member and a clinician, usually with a patient present, in a large-group setting.

Basic clinical sciences are taught in a series of Clinical Skills courses spanning Blocks I and II. Students learn the dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship, how to interview patients, and how to conduct physical examinations. Students begin interacting with patients during the first semester of the Clinical Skills courses. The courses are conducted with a combination of large-group lectures and small-group activities.

The Mentor Group course provides all students with an experience intended to facilitate students' socialization to the medical profession. This is accomplished through small group discussions with students and a physician mentor, prompted by observations of the physician mentor with patients and through selected readings.

The college offers an Extended Curricular Program for students who elect to take Blocks I and II over three years rather than two. Students choosing to extend at the beginning of Block I typically select a blended option that aims to balance the Block I and Block II requirements across three years. Students electing to extend at a later date will have a program customized to their individual curricular needs.

Key contacts for Block I

Janet Osuch, MD, Assistant Dean for Preclinical Curriculum

John O’Donnell, MD, Director of Preclinical Curriculum

Cindy Arvidson, PhD, Block I Director, East Lansing

Helga Toriello, PhD, Assistant Block I Director, Grand Rapids

Lora McAdams, Block I Curriculum Assistant, East Lansing

Candace Obetts, Block I Curriculum Assistant, Grand Rapids