Phase One Courses

Courses are organized by the quarter in which they are taught. Follow the links on each course name to obtain a brief description of the content.

Following the Orientation experience, students participate in a week-long immersion to patient-centered skills and knowledge. As part of Clinical Skills and Reasoning (CSR, discussed below) students learn and practice foundational skills in patient history-taking and the approach to the clinical encounter with standardized patients. The Health Equity, Advocacy, and Anti-Racism (HEAR, discussed below) course introduces conceptual frameworks in considering causes of health disparities, advocacy for health equity, and constructive civil discourse to address these challenging issues.

This longitudinal course spans the entirety of Phase 1 and teaches foundational and advanced doctor-patient communication skills, physical examination skills, and integrative clinical reasoning.  utilizing standardized and actual patient experiences as well as patient-centered physical examination skills. Students learn through a variety of modalities including small and large group workshops, peer educator mentorship, formative and summative OSCEs (objective structured clinical experiences) with standardized patients, and mentored actual patient experiences. The AIM program, described separately below, provides opportunities for students to practice these skills in a clinical setting with direct observation and feedback.

Course Directors: Dr. Tia Kostas, Dr. Joyce Tang, Dr. Jason Poston

Students explore disparities that exist in health and health care in the United States across categories such as race, gender, sexual orientation, social economic status, age, and ability.  The course includes lectures and small-group discussion sessions led by leaders in health and healthcare from the University of Chicago and the broader Chicagoland area, allowing an exploration of critical healthcare and community partnerships in addressing these disparities. The HEAR course in the summer and fall of year 1 provides a framework and critical lens through which subsequent course material is explored.

Course Directors: Dr. Dayle Davenport, Dr. Milda Saunders

The first course in the Scientific Foundations thread provides a foundation in the structural organization and function of the body through the study of histology and gross anatomy. Students will engage daily in large and small-group teaching sessions as well as cadaveric dissection. Clinical correlations and context of the material are integrated through course sessions focused on physical examination, anatomic approaches to surgery, and radiologic imaging.

Course Directors: Dr. Callum Ross, Dr. Georgina McKusick Voegele

The companion course for the Scholarship and Discovery (S&D) program, Methods of Inquiry is a longitudinal course that addresses epidemiology and research design through critical appraisal of the literature and team-based learning, introduces scholarly principles and projects related to each of the S&D tracks, and provides students the skills for successful completion of their track project.

Course Directors: Dr. Rachel Wolfson, Dr. Micah Prochaska

This Physician Formation course addresses topics including developing a basic understanding of the types of organizations in which physicians practice, the effects of social determinants of health on people’s health and on the delivery of medical care, Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance, managed care, challenges facing hospital systems, cost quality, and access to care in the U.S. Small group discussions, debate and expert guest lecturers from across the University facilitate the conversations around these topics.

Course Directors: Dr. Ram Krishnamoorthi, Dr. Greg Ruhnke

Integrating cellular function with organ-based physiology, this course provides a comprehensive understanding of the function and interdependence of the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, kidney, and reproductive systems. The course focuses on system homeostasis with an introduction to how disease disrupts normal function. Lectures and small problem-based learning sessions are supplemented by experiences providing clinical perspectives and skills such as interpretation of routing clinical testing (eg. reading an EKG, interpreting lung function testing).

Course Directors: Dr. Dave Beiser, Dr. Ben Ko

Clinical Skills and Reasoning (CSR) continues into the winter and spring of year 1.

Cell and Organ Physiology (COP) continues into the winter of year 1.

Students explore the field of clinical medical ethics and its application to clinical practice. Topics such as patient autonomy, informed consent, patient competence, surrogacy, confidentiality, shared medical decision-making, religion, spirituality, and law are examined across clinical contexts such as acute care, pediatrics, geriatrics, family planning, transplantation, and rehabilitation medicine.  Small group sessions following lecture provide a chance for in-depth discussion.

Course Directors: Dr. Julie Chor, Dr. Andrew Aronsohn

Methods of Inquiry (MOI) continues into the winter and spring of year one.

This Foundations course includes a sequential introduction to the concepts of response to injury, tissue pathology, cancer biology, microbiology, bacteriology, and virology. HDI first introduces the pathogenesis of human disease from a mechanistic standpoint, then transitions to the overview of clinically relevant microorganisms in infectious disease. Pharmacology and clinical medical genetics are introduced and integrated into the coursework. Small group learning and laboratories accompany large group learning and clinical correlations.

Course Directors: Dr. Kammi Henriksen, Dr. Nicole CiprianiDr. Glenn Randall

The year-long AIM program includes a weekly rotation of half-days in the following clinical settings: ambulatory care (e.g. primary care, family medicine or geriatrics), inter-professional care (e.g. physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.), clinical skills and reasoning experiences (e.g. OSCEs or workshops), inpatient faculty preceptorship (e.g. patient assessment, presentation, and faculty feedback). Students are paired with an ambulatory preceptor for the entirety of the AIM experience (January through December of Phase 1) and with an inpatient faculty preceptor, allowing for longitudinal mentorship to foster clinical development. These robust clinical experiences provide clinical context and thus enhance the learning of Phase 1 content and prepare students for core clinical clerkships in Phase 2.

Course Director: Dr. Tia Kostas

Clinical Skills and Reasoning continues into the spring of year one and fall of year two.

Methods of Inquiry (MOI) continues into the spring of year one.

This course is a comprehensive study that progresses from the function of the neurologic system and foundational behavioral science to the pathophysiology and treatment of neurologic and psychiatric diseases. In the first part of the course, students utilize neuroanatomy and neurobiology as a foundation to learn about disease states impacting perception, neuromuscular function, and the central nervous system. The latter part of the course focuses on neurodevelopmental disorders, schizophrenia, and disorders of anxiety, mood, substance use, and personality.

Ambulatory and Inpatient Mentoring (AIM) continues into the spring of year one.

Clinical Skills and Reasoning (CSR) and Ambulatory and Inpatient Mentoring (AIM) continue into the fall of year 2.

Students learn the epidemiology, clinical presentation, pathophysiology, and therapeutic modalities of a broad range of selected diseases as they complete Phase 1 of the curriculum. The course is organized by physiologic systems (cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, hematologic, musculo-skeletal, obstetric/gynecologic, renal, and respiratory) but integrates common mechanisms (inflammation, infection, malignancy) across all modules. Brief lectures provide topic introductions to topics which are then explored through daily problem-based small-group learning mentored and led by expert faculty.

Course Directors: Dr. Aliya Husain, Dr. Jason Poston

This course explores the principles of pharmacology and utilization of medications in the treatment of disease. Introduced during the earlier HDI and BB courses, the majority of this longitudinal course is integrated with Clinical Pathophysiology. Students learn principles of medication delivery and clearance, mechanisms of action of drug classes, utilization of medications to treat specific disease states, pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics, as well as how medications are studied, approved, and monitored by regulating bodies.

Course Director: Dr. Peter O’Donnell

Clinical Skills and Reasoning (CSR) and Ambulatory and Inpatient Mentoring (AIM) continue into the fall of year 2.