The program for the M.D. degree is divided into four phases, each of one year’s duration. Medicine I, occupying the first year (mid-August to early June), emphasizes normal human structure, function, growth and development. Medicine II, occupying the second year (August to June), stresses the abnormal. Medicine III occupies the third year (July to July) and consists of clinical education and training. Medicine IV, lasting from August to mid-May, consists of approximately one-third required clinical education and training and approximately two-thirds electives at the VCU Health System’s MCV Hospitals and at approved medical schools elsewhere in the United States and abroad. Elective opportunities also are offered in M-I and M-II.
School of Medicine students begin their clinical exposure in the first month of medical school in the Foundations of Clinical Medicine course. This longitudinal experience runs throughout the first two years and consists of one afternoon session per week in a private primary care physician’s office, alternating with one afternoon per week in a small group session. This course gives the student the opportunity to learn the clinical relevance of basic science material and to work with a primary care role model. The course provides a fundamental understanding of the skills necessary for all clinical disciplines.