Like many medical schools, the University of Cincinnati has undergone dramatic revisions and improvements in the curriculum for medical students (implemented in Fall 2011). Consequently, our MS program was also revised so that it continues to provide our students side-by-side training with medical students.
The revised medical curriculum has more strongly integrated the basic science disciplines (Physiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Cell Biology, etc) with clinical knowledge. The majority of the non-clinical learning experiences in the first two years of medical school are now presented within defined blocks that systematically explore different organ systems and integrative topic areas. Our SMP students participate in four of these blocks: 1) Osteology, Radiology and Surface Anatomy; 2) Fundamentals of Molecular Medicine; 3) Fundamentals of Cellular Medicine; and 4) the Musculoskeletal-Integumentary System.
MS Students participate in all lectures, all large group and small group exercises and laboratories, including Histology and Gross Anatomy, and sit for the same exams as the medical students. As in our prior curriculum, MS students do not join medical students in experiences that include patient interactions or training in clinics. However we continue to provide our students with insights into the interdisciplinary medical team, the medical interview process, and help with finding shadowing opportunities.
In addition, our MS program includes training in Medical Physiology, content that has been taught to medical students at UC for the prior decade. Much of this content has been assimilated into the new integrated curriculum and will be taught to medical students during their second year; but we now present this information to our MS students in two courses labeled as Graduate Medical Physiology (GMP I and GMP II). Through a mixture of on-line and numerous live classroom experiences, GMP courses teach the knowledge needed to understand body and organ function in health and disease. This coursework does not occur with current medical students, but the exams are the same as those given to medical students prior to the curriculum revision. This evaluation allows us to provide a direct and rigorous comparison of MS student performance versus the known past performance of medical students on the same Medical Physiology content. GMP courses are taught in two parts, at the beginning of the fall semester and at the beginning of the spring semester. The GMP I course begins in August and is completed prior to the first Fundamentals block, and includes content covering the topics of Cellular, Muscle, and Cardiovascular Physiology. The GMP II course starts in March, after completion of the M1 Musculoskeletal Block, and includes Renal, Pulmonary, Acid/Base, Gastrointestinal, Endocrine, and Reproductive Physiology. During the spring semester, students will also take a graduate course in Statistics in Biomedical and Clinical Research, and a Neuroscience course.