1.03 Course and Examination Requirements for the MD Degree (New Pathway, Pathways and HST)
For more details, please refer to the HMS MD Program Academic Calendars: http://mycourses.med.harvard.edu/ResCourses/CampusWide/academic_schedules.htm.
Course Requirements in Years I and II
New Pathway Curriculum (Cannon, Castle, Holmes, Peabody)
The following courses must be passed by students who matriculated in August 2006 or later. If you matriculated prior to August 2006 and have questions about your preclerkship curriculum course requirements, please contact the Registrar’s office (email@example.com).
Fundamentals of Medicine Course Requirements
IN555.0 Introduction to the Profession
IN751.0 The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Medicine
IN753.0 The Human Body
IN755.0 Human Genetics
IN759M.J Patient-Doctor I
SM750.0 Introduction to Social Medicine and Global Health
AC511.0 Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health
HC750.0 Health Care Policy
PIM100.0 Pursuing Inquiry in Medicine
IN752.0 Integrated Human Physiology
IN754.0 Immunology, Microbiology & Pathology
MA750.0 Medical Ethics and Professionalism
IN757.0 Human Systems
IN731.0 Human Development
PS700M.J Psychopathology & Introduction to Clinical Psychiatry
IN761.M Patient-Doctor II
Pathways Curriculum (Cannon, Castle, Holmes, Peabody)
The following courses must be passed by students who matriculated in August 2015 or later. If you matriculated prior to August 2015 and have questions about your preclerkship curriculum course requirements, please contact the Registrar’s office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Preclerkship Course Requirements
August Year I – September Year II
IN555.0 Introduction to the Profession (IN555.0)
POM100 Practice of Medicine (longitudinal August-July)
TBD Immunity in Defense and Disease
TBD Professional Development Week 1
TBD Essentials of Medicine: Evidence, Ethics, Policy and Social Medicine
TBD Homeostasis I
TBD Professional Development Week 2
TBD Homeostasis II
TBD Mind, Brain, Behavior and Development
TBD Professional Development Week 3
TBD Transition to the Principal Clinical Experience (PCE)
In order to proceed to the Principal Clinical Experience all students must complete certified training sessions in Mask Fitting and Basic Life Support, HIPAA and OSHA requirements, an annual TB test, and required immunizations must be up-to-date. Students may need to meet other hospital-specific requirements as well, such as mandatory flu vaccines. Students in the Pathways curriculum must meet these requirements prior to beginning the Practice of Medicine course in the second week of August, Year I.
The London Society of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST)
Basic Science and Pathophysiology Course Requirements -
IN555 Introduction to the Profession
HT015 Matlab for Medicine
HT190 Introduction to Biostatistics
HT010 Human Anatomy
HT160 Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in Modern Medicine
HT020 Musculoskeletal Pathophysiology
HT164 Diagnostic and Molecular Methods of Medicine
HT090 Cardiovascular Pathophysiology
HT100 Respiratory Pathophysiology
HT110 Renal Pathophysiology
HT220 Introduction to the Care of Patients
HT934 Introduction to Global Medicine
HT040 Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis
HT070 Human Reproductive Biology
HT130 Introduction to Neurosciences
HT150 Principles of Pharmacology
IN710 Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM)
PS700M.J Psychopathology & Introduction to Clinical Psychiatry
Due by the first Monday in February of Year IV.
In order to proceed to the Principal Clinical Experience all students must complete certified training sessions in Mask Fitting and Basic Life Support, HIPAA and OSHA requirements, an annual TB test, and required immunizations must be up-to-date. Students may need to meet other hospital-specific requirements as well, such as mandatory flu vaccines.
Principal Clinical Experience (PCE) Requirements
Year III (New Pathway and HST); Year II (Pathways)
Transition (3-5 days in the week prior to the beginning of the PCE)
Medicine I (12 weeks)
Surgery (12 weeks)
Obstetrics and Gynecology (6 weeks)
Pediatrics (6 weeks)
Neurology (4 weeks)
Psychiatry (4 weeks)
Radiology (4 weeks – may be deferred to Year IV, beginning with New Pathway Class of 2015)*
Patient-Doctor III (longitudinal)
Primary Care Clerkship (longitudinal; varies by site)
Principal Clinical Experience course (longitudinal)
*Beginning with the Class of 2015 (students who matriculate in August 2011 and later), students in the New Pathway curriculum may defer the Radiology clerkship to Year IV to provide a 4-week block in Year III for work on a project to meet the Scholars in Medicine requirement, following the same guidelines as those outlined below for students who begin the PCE after the April rotation.
Students whose entry to the PCE is delayed beyond April should consult with their Academic Society and the HMS Registrar regarding their PCE schedule and a plan for fulfilling their requirements for the MD degree.
For students who are unable to start their PCE clerkship rotations in April, attendance at the longitudinal sessions is required beginning in April (starting with orientation to the PCE and including the multidisciplinary PCE course). It is anticipated that all students will complete the PCE core clerkships prior to entering the Advanced Experiences in Clinical Medicine and Basic Science curriculum.
Students who begin PCE clerkships after the April rotation may request permission to take advanced electives before completing the core clerkships when there is a compelling academic reason to do so. This request will be subject to the approval of the Council of Academic Societies (CAS – see Section 3.06), the PCE Director, and the HMS Registrar. To qualify for this exception, a student must have completed the equivalent of 12 months of PCE longitudinal experiences and 10 months of core clerkship experiences. In this case, students will be required to complete one of the two remaining one-month core clerkships no later than June following the PCE and the other one-month core clerkship no later than November following the PCE. PCE core clerkships are the prerequisites to advanced electives; in the rare instance a student is missing a core clerkship, he/she will be required to complete the core clerkship prior to enrolling in the advanced elective (i.e., core psychiatry is a prerequisite to any of the advanced psychiatry electives).
Because the PCE is designed as a continuous, longitudinal block, every effort will be made by the faculty to help students complete the full 12-months of clerkships in sequence. Occasionally, however, students may have academic or personal difficulties that result in interruption of the PCE. In such cases, the following guidelines apply:
- Students are required to complete the Primary Care Clerkship and all components of the PCE longitudinal curriculum. Arrangements for meeting these requirements will depend on the length and timing of the interruption and will be made in conjunction with the PCE director and the HMS Registrar.
- If a student misses up to 3 months of the PCE, generally (and with the permission of the PCE Director), he/she can re-enter the PCE with his/her class. The months of clerkships missed (but not the longitudinal curricular components of the PCE) will be made up at the end of the PCE, preferably at the original PCE site, if space is available. If the interruption occurs during a four-week or six-week clerkship, the entire clerkship must be repeated. If the interruption occurs during a 12-week clerkship, the student will re-enter at the beginning of a 4-week block of the 12-week clerkship, depending on when the interruption occurred. For example, if the interruption occurs during the second 4-week block, the student would re-enter at the beginning of the second 4-week block.
- If a student misses 4-5 months of the PCE, a committee of PCE leadership will consider the optimal approach for the student to fulfill core clerkship and PCE requirements and will design an alternative schedule that ensures fulfillment of the educational requirements for the MD degree. The guidelines for up to 3 months will apply.
- If a student misses more than 5 months of the PCE, re-entry is not an option, and the student will be required to restart the longitudinal components of the PCE during the next class cycle. Clerkships that were completed before the interruption need not be repeated unless there is an academic reason to do so. The guidelines for up to 3 months will apply in such cases as well.
Advanced Experiences in Clinical Medicine and Basic Sciences Course Requirements
Year IV or final year
- Medicine II or Advanced Pediatrics (subinternship, 4 weeks): Students are advised to complete the subinternship between April and November of HMS IV; limited subinternship assignments are available in February and March. Students deferring the subinternship until spring must meet with their Society Master or Associate Master and the Registrar for preapproval. A second subinternship in a surgically-oriented discipline is highly recommended but not required.
- Clinical Electives(CE) (8 weeks) [Must be completed at an HMS clinical affiliate]
- Unspecified (CE or nonclinical elective [NCE]) (20 weeks)
Beginning with the advanced electives (Year IV, or Year III for Pathways), full-time status requires a minimum of twelve-week equivalents (generally, this is three 4-week equivalent clerkships) per semester. See Section 2.07 for more information about requirements for full-time status.
NB: students are limited to no more than two clinical electives representing the same course in the same medical/surgical discipline. Students who choose to take more than two will not receive additional academic credit to meet clinical elective and/or unspecified elective requirements.
Examination Requirements for Graduation
The following examinations must be passed to receive the MD degree:
- New Pathway and HST: HMS Patient-Doctor II/ICM Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) [Year II]*
- Pathways: Professional Development Weeks 1-3 (PDW)
- HMS Comprehensive Examination - (OSCE) [June following PCE]
- United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE):**Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), and Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS)
* PDII/ICM OSCE and PDWs are formative exercises that must be taken in order to proceed to the PCE.
**USMLE examinations are scheduled by, and are entirely the responsibility of, the individual student.
USMLE Step 1
Students in New Pathway entering the PCE in 2016 will take USMLE Step 1 following completion of the PCE, and students in HST are required to take USMLE Step 1 prior to entering the PCE. Students who are unable to complete this requirement must obtain prior approval from their Society Master or Associate Master and the Office of Advising Resources. Students entering a PhD program after Year II are required to take Step 1 prior to beginning the PhD.
USMLE Step 2 – Clinical Knowledge and Clinical Skills
Students are required to pass both parts of Step 2 in order to graduate. Because of limitations in the availability of test slots and the extended reporting timeline for Step 2 test results, students are required to complete Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) by late October/early November (see USMLE Step 2 Scheduling Report for calendar-http//www.usmle.org/step-2-cs/#reporting) and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) by December 31 of their final year. Test scores must be reported to the HMS Registrar in order to receive the MD degree. If a student’s passing scores are not reported to the HMS Registrar before the last date of attendance in the graduating year as published on the academic calendar, that student will not receive the MD degree at graduation. Because failure to receive an MD degree will have an impact on a student’s ability to start postgraduate training, the Academic Societies require students to confirm their test schedules as they prepare the MSPE (Medical Student Performance Evaluation, or Dean’s Letter); failure to schedule the test before the HMS deadline will be noted in the MSPE. To learn more about resources available to help with study strategies, exam taking, etc., see Section 3.03, Office of Advising Resources.
Students should be aware that some residency programs may require that students have passing scores available for all parts of USMLE, including Step 2CS, by the rank order deadline for the residency match (late February) in order to be considered for ranking by the program. Therefore, HMS now requires students to take Step 2CS by early to ensure the results will be posted prior to rank. Students should check directly with the residency programs for specific requirements. For the USMLE CS Reporting Schedule, please refer to www.usmle.org/Examinations.
Other Graduation Requirements: For New Pathway and classes matriculating in August 2011 and later and Pathways classes beginning in August 2015 and later, a scholarly project must be completed prior to graduation. Students in the HST program must complete a thesis.