What makes our M.D. Program different?

Here's what you can expect


The NSU M.D. program was developed by a team of 100 medical educators, physicians and researchers with decades of field experience. As compared to passive, lecture-style teaching, the college’s curriculum is designed to better prepare you to interact with patients and health care team members more effectively.

Active Learning: Just 7-8 Students per Cohort
The innovative curriculum integrates didactics on ethics and humanities, genomics, inter-professional collaboration, biomedical informatics, and leadership, with heavy emphasis on research, technology and innovation. Our graduates will train to become active learners, work in smaller groups, (7-8 students per cohort), and learn to solve medical problems through active inquiry, under faculty facilitator direction.

Using clinical cases and a team-based approach, you’ll solve complex problems by honing your diagnosis skills. The program leverages both simulated patients and real-world examples.

Download a PDF of the following Curriculum Schematic to learn more:
Curriculum Schematic

Nine General Competencies Students Must Master

Medical Knowledge (MK) Students will apply evidence-based medicine principles of biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, and social-behavioral sciences to guide diagnosis, treatment, and patient care decisions.
Patient Care (PC) Students will use knowledge and skills during clinical encounters to gather necessary information and apply evidence to develop appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic plans that enhance health and treat disease. 
System Based Practice (SBP) Students will demonstrate an awareness of, and responsiveness to, the larger context and system of health care, utilizing other resources in the system to provide care for patients. Students will acknowledge the relationship between the patient, the community and the health care system and the impact on health of culture, economics, the environment, health literacy, health policy, and advocacy to determine their role within these social and system dynamics. 
Practice Based Learning and Improvement (PBLI) Students will be able to actively set and pursue clear learning goals and exploit new opportunities for intellectual growth and development. The student will demonstrate the ability to generate critical, reliable, valid self-assessment(s) and use this knowledge for self-regulation and to promote their development. Students will be able to recognize and thoroughly characterize a problem, develop an informed plan of action, act to resolve the problem, and subsequently assess the result(s) of their action. 

Interpersonal Skills and Communication (ISC)
Students will listen attentively and communicate clearly with patients, families, peers, faculty, and other members of the health care team: establishing rapport; fostering, forming, and maintaining therapeutic relationships with patients; effectively gathering and providing information during interactions with others and participating in collaborative decision making that is patient-focused. 
Ethics and Professionalism (EP) Students will carry out professional responsibilities with the highest standards of excellence and integrity, consistent with the Honor Code and with adherence to ethical principles. Students will value the humanity of all and demonstrate accountability to both patient and society by placing the patient first and advocating for improved access and just distribution of resources. 
Interprofessional Collaboration (IPC) Students will demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care. 
Personal and Professional Development and Wellness (PPDW)  Students will demonstrate the qualities required to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth and wellness. 
Scholarly Inquiry (SI) Students will recognize the central importance of discovery, understand how current medical knowledge is scientifically justified and evolves, and critically appraise and incorporate new information in the practice of evidence-based medicine.

The pre-clerkship phase of the curriculum is compressed and occupies a total of 16 months (from August of Year 1 through December of Year 2), allowing the clinical phase (Year 3 required clerkships and Year 4 electives) to begin in March of the second academic year.

Year 1 begins with a two-week Orientation and Professional Immersion which will include 1) the students' first learning experience with students from other health professions, 2) interactive lecture/demonstrations focusing on the doctor-patient relationship, 3) experiences in the simulation center including basic cardiac life support training; 4) orientation to the problem-based learning (PBL) process and a practice PBL case; 5) a session focusing on maintaining personal wellness as a medical student; and 6) small group discussion of scenarios related to professionalism that will culminate in the students as a class writing their own Code of Conduct to recite at the White Coat Ceremony.

The remainder of Year 1 and Year 2 are made up of basic science blocks which are integrated across disciplines and organ systems, using a hybrid PBL model. The introductory block focusing on core principles in anatomy, histology, biochemistry, microbiology. pathology, pharmacology, and physiology and is followed by a series of blocks designed around organ systems. Each block occupies 18-20 hours per week of scheduled activities. The clinical courses include clinical skills training with SPs, patient care experiences in the offices of primary care preceptors, and small group discussions focusing on curricular threads (e.g., genomics, research, ethics, biomedical informatics). The clinical courses occupy 4 hours per week in fall semester of Year 1 and 8 hours per week thereafter.

At the end of each foundational science block there is a Reflection, Integration and Assessment (RIA) Week, which will include cumulative summative assessments (examinations, OSCEs) that address a range of competencies and 8-12 hours of scheduled curricular activities related to curricular threads (e.g., leadership, interprofessional collaboration) plus reflection exercises and student affairs activities such as Careers in Medicine.

The required clerkships (Year 3) include 48 weeks divided into three 16-week Clerkship Modules, each of which includes two core clerkships (Internal Medicine and Family Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry) followed by two RIA Weeks. During the RIA Weeks, students will take the NBME subject ("shelf") examinations for both clerkships and participate in other scheduled assessment and curricular activities.

The final phase (Year 4) starts in March of the third academic year and includes 4 weeks of required research, a minimum of 28 weeks of electives, and 12 weeks for residency interviews or additional electives.

Curriculum Year/Phase Number of Scheduled Weeks
Pre-clerkship Segment 64*
Required Clerkships 50*
Required Research 4
Year/Phase Four 28
Total Weeks of Scheduled Instruction 146
* Includes Orientation/Transition Weeks: Two weeks at the beginning of Year 1, one week at the beginning of Required Clerkships, and one week at the end of Required Clerkships.
Return to Top