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Is the basic sciences program general or specific?

The medical school curriculum consists of the basic sciences and clinical medicine program which spans four years

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Is the basic sciences program general or specific?

The medical school curriculum consists of the basic sciences and clinical medicine program which spans four years. Basic science is all about the theoretical aspects of medicine and clinical rotations provide you with first-hand experience as a trainee doctor. Both programs are integral to earning an MD and becoming a doctor.

The basic sciences MD program in medical school can be seen as general in the sense that it does not focus on a specific area of medicine. The curriculum covers all the basic theories and terms related to medical science preparing you for the clinical rotations which take place during the clinical medicine program.

Students often have doubts regarding the nature of the basic sciences curriculum in medical schools. So, what are the components of the basic sciences program?

Basic sciences program

Basic sciences in the medical school curriculum provides the necessary foundation for students to develop knowledge and skills for the clinical medicine program. Many students study science courses during their undergraduate or high school studies which form the prerequisites for admission to medical schools. Basic sciences builds upon what is taught during these subjects.

Before moving into clinical rotations, students should know the basic structure and functioning of the human body and diseases to base on their practice. Basic sciences theory teaches the students essential lessons that are helpful for them throughout their careers.

While clinical rotations contain core and elective segments, the basic sciences program consists of only core subjects which makes it a general program mandatory for everyone. There is no choice between different subjects and the curriculum is divided into core science classes, lectures, and laboratory work.

Breakdown of the basic sciences curriculum

The basic sciences curriculum is general and consists of core subjects common to every medical student. The curriculum spans two years with each semester attributed to different areas of basic sciences.

Semester 1

The first semester deals with topics such as human body structure and function, human histology and physiology, and clinical skills such as communication, physical examination, understanding a patient’s medical history, and writing notes. The semester explores basic human anatomy and the functions of all organ systems.

Semester 2

The second semester covers metabolism and nutrition, genetics and development, various infections, their defense and response, medical ethics, and clinical skills like planning treatment, communicating bad news, and developing empathy.

Semester 3

The third semester deals with neuroscience, neurology, system, and disease including human pathology, physiology, pharmacology, and an examination of the endocrine system. The semester also deals with various aspects of behavioral medicine and further development of clinical skills.

Semester 4

The fourth semester is a continuation of the study of various systems and diseases. This includes studies of reproductive, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, renal, and respiratory systems, along with pediatrics.

Semester 5

The fifth semester covers the immune, hematologic, integumentary, and musculoskeletal systems as well as multisystem diseases. Being the last semester of the basic sciences program, this term also focuses on laying the foundations of clinical medicine and participating in the research curriculum.

The basic sciences program is the gateway to clinical medicine and teaches students core science subjects as well as the essential clinical skills necessary to pursue the clinical rotations.

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