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Foundation Phase Leadership

Kathleen Barnhouse, MD, Assistant Dean of Preclinical Curriculum
Aaron Prestrud, Assistant Director of Curricular Affairs for Foundation Phase
Tommy Koonce, MD, Foundation Phase Co-Director
Raúl Necochea, PhD, Foundation Phase Co-Director
General Foundation Phase Email
Educator talking to students

Medical Science Overview

Medical Science Directors: Emily Moorefield, PhD and Evan Raff, MD

There are nine individual Medical Science courses distributed throughout the three semesters of the Foundation Phase. They include: The Patient, Molecules to Cells, Circulation, Homeostasis, Body regulation, Reproductive and Genitourinary Health, Neurons to Networks, Life Stages, and Integrated Systems.
View Medical Science Course Descriptions

The first semester will begin with a course called “The Patient” in which students will learn about the patient as person, body, family member, and community member. This course will include an introduction to gross anatomy as well as epidemiology and health systems. Then in “Molecules to Cells,” students will learn about biomedical science including biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, microbiology and immunology, and physiology. In addition, students will also consider basic principles of pathology and pharmacology. Finally, the first semester will end with the “Circulation” course which will include an introduction to blood and the cardiovascular system.
In the spring semester of the first year, “Homeostasis” will introduce students to the respiratory and renal systems. Following “Homeostasis,”Then the the “Body Regulation” course will focus on the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems as well as nutrition. The first year will end with the “Reproductive and Genitourinary Health” course.
In the second year, medical students will begin the fall semester with “Neurons to Networks,” a course in which they will study the nervous system and special senses. Then the “Life Stages” course will introduce learners to the life cycle and behavioral health. Finally, the curriculum will end with a course called “Integrated Systems,” which will contain themes of autoimmunity and cancer. Topics will include malignant hematology, dermatology, orthopedics, rheumatology, immunology, and more.

Patient Centered Care (PCC) Overview

Course Directors: Tommy Koonce, MD and Christopher Klipstein, MD

This course develops basic clinical skills and reasoning essential to the practice of medicine through clinical experiences, longitudinal contact with medical professionals, and intentional integration with the concepts the Medical Science and Social and Health Systems courses. PCC is designed to enable the student to learn the core clinical skills—History-Taking, Physical Examination, Communication, Clinical Reasoning, Patient-Centered Care, and Professionalism— necessary for future patient care. The Patient Centered Care course is based primarily on weekly small group sessions where students learn clinical skills. In addition to these small group sessions, students will participate in Clinical Skills Encounters (CSEs) with standardized patients in the school’s Simulation, Experiential Learning, and Training (SET) Center.This course meets once a week for three hours each semester of the Foundation Phase.

Social and Health Systems (SHS) Overview

Course Directors: Raúl Necochea, PhD and Barry Saunders, MD

This course explores the socio-cultural, political, legal, and ethical dimensions of medical care through research, small-group discussion, and intentional integration with concepts from the Medical Science and Patient Centered Care courses. It also provides a structure for students to reflect on, develop, and track professional goals through faculty mentorships. The core of this course is the directed discussion that takes place in seminar groups. Course faculty members come from clinical, social science, and humanities backgrounds, bringing significant experience in interdisciplinary research and teaching to the seminar sessions. This course meets once a week for two hours each semester of the Foundation Phase.