Curriculum

Curriculum

All Lewis Katz School of Medicine (LKSOM) students pursue the same contemporary curriculum, whether they spend all four years at the North Broad Street campus (NBS) or enroll at the Temple/St. Luke's campus (TU/SL).

Preclinical Education

The two-year pre-clinical curriculum follows an integrated organ systems approach which closely ties basic science concepts to clinical medicine, professionalism and medical ethics.

  • Year 1 emphasizes normal human structure, development, and function. The subject matter is organized into six “blocks.” Three blocks focus on topics that are central to diverse organ-systems: Human Gross Anatomy, Elements of Bioscience, and Basic Principles of Immunology, Pathology and Pharmacology. The other three blocks cover the specific organ-systems.
  • Year 2 focuses on the causes, mechanisms, identification, and treatment of diseases affecting the different organ-systems. Workshops and clinical case-solving emphasize problem-based learning in a small group setting.

Students are introduced to the culture and practice of medicine from the start of their first year.

  • During Doctoring 1, students learn to take a patient’s history and perform a physical exam while also incorporating elements of professionalism, medical ethics, and communication skills.
  • During Doctoring 2, students practice and improve their clinical skills and professionalism through closely supervised rotations in both ambulatory and hospital settings.

Faculty preceptors offer individualized mentoring and career advising. St. Luke’s faculty physicians teach Doctoring 1 in Philadelphia and Doctoring 2 in Bethlehem.

The class schedule includes a considerable amount of “uncommitted” time which allows students to personalize their education. Year 1 and 2 “block” classes are all scheduled during the mornings (8 am to noon), Mondays through Fridays. Doctoring course sessions are scheduled during some of the afternoon time. However, each student can plan much of the afternoon time, either for study or recreation. Many students use afternoon time to take advantage of elective courses or to involve themselves in the community.

Clinical Education

A common set of core required rotations ensures that every student experiences the various specialties of medicine. Elective rotations allow students to explore areas of interest in greater depth and help them make residency decisions. Sub-internships allow students to sharpen their clinical skills and enhance their preparation for residency.

Doctoring 3 provides students with the background and fundamental skills needed to practice evidence-based medicine. Students learn how to interpret patient-specific data, how to integrate these data into the physician’s existing knowledge base, and how to recognize the need to expand their knowledge base in certain areas. Doctoring 4 includes a capstone experience designed to prepare students for the transition to residency.

The Curriculum Chart provides more information about the content and duration of the blocks and rotations.

Although students at NBS and TU/SL follow the same curriculum, the Temple/St. Luke’s program offers a more intimate and personalized approach to learning.

Medical Competencies

The curriculum is designed to develop each student’s proficiency in the competencies required of resident and attending physicians: knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice. Thus, by graduation, students are well-prepared to move to the next level in each of these medical competencies.