The Western Reserve Curriculum 2
The Western Reserve Curriculum is a revolutionary and much needed reform in 2
medical education. The four-year curriculum unites the disciplines of medicine and public health into a single, integrated program that trains students to study the interplay between the biology of disease and the social and behavioral context of illness, between the care of the individual patient and the health of the public, and between clinical medicine and population medicine, to emerge as leaders in science,
practice and health care policy.
The Western Reserve Curriculum interweaves four themes – research and 2
scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism – to
prepare students for the ongoing practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century.
The Western Reserve Curriculum seeks to create physician-scholars in an 2
environment that emphasizes self-directed learning and scientific inquiry in collaboration with some of the nation's leading medical facilities. Students learn
primarily through small group discussions, large group experiences, lectures, interactive anatomy sessions, clinical skills training and patient-based activities. The learning process is supplemented by a rich array of electronic and Web-based resources called the eCurriculum.
Students are immersed in a graduate-school atmosphere characterized by
flexibility, independent study and collegial interaction with faculty. Students complete in-depth, mentored research experiences based on their individual interests, with
the goal of understanding the scientific process and cultivating the process of lifelong learning. The ability to question, critically analyze, and to formulate hypotheses are essential skills in both clinical and research-oriented practices. All students also
receive mentoring and career counseling as members of one of four academic societies.
The principles of health and population medicine are firmly embedded within the Western Reserve Curriculum from the moment students begin their education at 2
In typical programs, students begin their medical education by studying basic science at the molecular level, not fully aware of the relevance that this knowledge will have in their future education or how it relates to the actual practice of medicine. The Western Reserve Curriculum begins differently, however, with a block called 2
"Becoming a Doctor". This introductory block focuses on health and disease within the broader context of society. This introduction provides both a perspective and a framework for subsequent learning of biomedical and population sciences. Additional foundations courses in the first year shift the focus to basic science training closely linked to clinical experiences and interactions with individual patients.
The second year of the Western Reserve Curriculum includes the continuation of 2
foundations courses and time to review for the first step of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. Flexibility characterizes the third year, which can include MD thesis research block or clinical blocks that incorporate basic science experiences, as well as advanced clinical studies, in-depth seminars in medicine and health, and electives. The fourth year includes MD thesis research (as applicable for each student), advanced clinical studies and in-depth seminars in medicine and health.
; Year 1
Social and behavioral context of health and disease; Foundations of Medicine
; Year 2
Continuation of Foundations of Medicine and Health and time to prepare for
USMLE Step 1
; Year 3
MD thesis research block or clinical blocks (basic science experiences
interwoven) Advanced clinical studies and seminars in medicine and health
; Year 4
Research (as applicable) Advanced clinical studies and seminars in medicine
To train students to treat disease, promote health, and examine the social and behavioral context of illness in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century.
Average annual entering class size
145 (including students in the Medical Scientist Training Program)
M.D. (ample opportunity to pursue dual-degree options)
Primary learning styles: about 50% small group, 50% lecture MD thesis requirement