Classroom Experiences

During the Foundations phase, 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.


Our goals for the Foundations phase 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 

Learning Formats

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

  • Be part of large group active learning sessions
  • Participate in hands-on activities
  • Hone your clinical skills by working with standardized patients and models in a variety of simulation settings
  • Interact with classmates and specialized facilitators in small group settings
  • Engage with online active learning modules

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Curriculum Contacts

Assistant Dean for Curriculum   
Katherine (Betsy) Murray, MD, MPH

Director of Instructional Design   
Jess Blum, PhD

Foundations Curriculum Manager   
Elle Fasteland

Director of Clinical Immersion and Transitions   
Holly Proffitt, PhD