The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM) offers a curriculum that is recognized as among the top in the nation. The innovative core curriculum was designed to provide the knowledge and clinical experiences needed for students to grow into skilled physicians.
Education on human biology and the basis of disease
During the first and second years of medical school, the DGSOM offers a medical school curriculum focused on normal human biology and the disease process. The curriculum offers education in blocks, which are typically eight weeks long. An innovative aspect of this education is the use of problem-based learning, which uses case-based teaching methods rather than lectures.
Diverse clinical experiences in medical specialties
During the third and fourth years, the medical school curriculum moves to rotations at hospitals and diverse clinical settings. Students rotate through medical and surgical specialties, with rotations lasting up to twelve weeks. The required rotations include surgery, internal and inpatient medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, ambulatory medicine and neurology/psychiatry. Radiology, which is an important modality in diagnosis and treatment, is taught throughout the year.
During their fourth year, students may take elective rotations called sub-internships that last three to four weeks. These rotations give students an opportunity to practice clinical skills in an environment where they are given more responsibility. During these rotations, students may explore their interests and decide what type of medical specialty suits them.
Options in the medical school curriculum
In addition to the core curriculum, the DGSOM offers options for students to delve into topics of modern medicine. These three pathways were designed to develop the next generation of leaders in medicine and are the Global Health Pathway, the Clinical and Translational Medicine Pathway and the Systems of Care Pathway. The Global Health Pathway provides students with learning and practical opportunities to pursue clinical work internationally and in various roles. The Clinical and Translational Medicine Pathway is ideal for students who want to pursue research in addition to clinical practice. The Systems of Care Pathway was designed for students wishing to pursue leadership roles in organizations in the healthcare system.
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA offers a broad range of education and clinical experiences during the four years of medical school. Students learn the fundamentals of human biology and disease in the first two years, which prepares them for their clinical rotations. The latter years of the core curriculum expose medical students to a range of clinical experiences. Furthermore, students are encouraged to explore diverse clinical, research and leadership opportunities at UCLA.