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Three semesters composed of organ-based blocks, clinical skills education, and professional development. The Foundation Phase combines normal and abnormal human conditions, teaches through clinical cases and experiences, and employs active learning techniques, such as small group discussion and simulation.

Foundation Phase Directors

Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Evaluation and Histology Coil Director
Professor of Medicine
, Associate Professor of Family Medicine

Course Structure and Coils

Click on the image of the semesters to find out more about the courses and blocks.

Research Day Foundation Phase 1

Lena and Yev Foundation Phase Spring

Students In Class Foundation Phase 3 Graphic


Coils represent basic sciences, such as biochemistry and microbiology, and specialty areas, such as radiology and behavioral science, that are integrated throughout the curriculum. Coils are most active in the Foundation Phase.
List of coils and directors.



The following courses in the Foundation Phase are graded on a Pass/Fail basis: all Medical Science courses, all Patient Centered Care courses, and all Professional Development courses. Students receive a Pass (P) on their official transcripts for each course within a semester in which they demonstrate satisfactory performance. Course Directors determine the standard that constitutes satisfactory performance. Each semester-long Medical Science course is comprised of several organ-based blocks. Students receive a grade of Pass or Fail for each of these blocks, which are recorded in an internal database and do not appear on the official school transcript. Block Directors determine the standard that constitutes satisfactory performance. Students who successfully pass all blocks within a course receive a Pass (P) for the semester-long course on their official transcripts. More information on course of action for failures and remediation.


Foundation Phase Committee

The Foundation Phase Committee is led by Drs. Kurt Gilliland, Marcia Hobbs, and Tommy Koonce is composed of faculty, students, and staff that meet on a monthly basis to develop and sustain the Foundation Phase. Meeting minutes are maintained in an internal learning management system and are available upon request. Contact Jana Nietmann with inquiries or questions. Learn more about the structure and purpose of this and all educational committees.