Classroom Experiences

During the scientific foundations years, you’ll learn scientific principles fundamental to the practice of medicine, explore ethical and professionalism issues, start to develop your history-taking and physical examination skills, and begin to understand the pathophysiological basis for disease.

These years have a lot of scheduled lectures, labs, and small group meetings. However, you will find free hours, including weekly blocks of Independent Learning Time (ILT) which allows you time for study, independent learning projects, and participation in a variety of activities. At the end of these years you will be prepared to take the USMLE Step 1 exam and move to the clinical part of your studies.


Our goals for your scientific foundations coursework are:

  • Provide a solid foundation in the basic medical sciences
  • Show the importance of basic sciences in the practice of medicine
  • Provide a solid foundation in pathophysiology
  • Introduce you to an evidence-based approach to decision making
  • Provide a foundation for future independent learning
  • Teach you to identify, retrieve, and assess the biomedical literature
  • Provide an introduction to patient care
  • Help you develop your clinical skills to the level needed for clinical coursework
  • Adhere to the highest standard of integrity and honesty in all professional relationships 

Evidence-Based Design

Courses are designed based on Priniciples and Strategies in Evidence-Based Medical Education.

Learning Formats

Each course has a unique blend of learning formats. You’ll:

  • Be part of large group lecture sessions
  • Participate in hands-on activities in laboratories
  • Hone your clinical skills on standardized patients and models in a variety of simulation settings
  • Interact with classmates and specialized facilitators in small group settings

MediaSite Lecture Recordings

All lectures occurring in the large AHC lecture halls are recorded using MediaSite. Lectures are streamed live and are generally available for viewing and download from the MediaSite catalog within 15-30 minutes following the lecture. 


  • On the Duluth campus, you will self-register for your courses
  • On the Twin Cities campus, the Medical School Registrar will register you for your courses

Expand all

Duluth Contacts

Office of Medical Education

Director of Medical Education
Amy Seip, MBA

Assistant Dean of Curriculum, Assessment & Evaluation
Kevin Diebel, PhD

Finance & Data Analyst
Brenda Doup

MS I Course Manager
Stephanie Appleby

MS II Course Manager
Jean-Scott Dodd

Twin Cities Contacts

Director of Integrated Education - Foundational Sciences
Kelaine Haas, PhD

Foundational Curriculum Manager
Jamie Larson

Course Managers

Essentials of Clinical Medicine Course Manager (MS1 and MS2)
Sara Roberts and Allison Siefert

Foundations of Clinical Thinking Course Manager (MS1 and MS2)
Allison Siefert

Becoming a Doctor Course Manager (MS3 and MS4)
Jared Brask

MS1 Course Manager
Aliyu Ojarigi

MS2 Course Manager
Elle Fasteland