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M.D. Program - Class of 2017 & Earlier

Second Year Curriculum

Second year curriculum consists of Medicine, Patients and Society II, an introductory clerkship, and two core basic science courses. The core basic science courses are taught sequentially as integrated blocks on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from late August to early April. Medicine, Patients and Society II is taught every Tuesday from August to March. The Introductory Clerkship is offered just prior to the beginning of third year clinical courses.

Brain and Mind

August through November
The Brain and Mind course is a multidisciplinary approach to medical education that incorporates elements ranging from basic neuroscience and the gross anatomy of the head and neck, to neurological diagnosis and psychopathology. It is offered to medical students during the fall semester of their second year.

Basis of Disease

November through April
Basis of Disease is fundamentally a survey course about human disease, arranged by organ system (modules). Within each module, several disciplines (e.g. pathophysiology, pathology and pharmacology) combine to present an integrated view of clinical disorders. Basis of Disease utilizes several learning modalities including lectures, problem-based learning (PBL), laboratories, small group sessions and journal clubs.

Medicine, Patients and Society II

Tuesdays, August through March
This course builds upon the principles introduced in Medicine, Patients and Society I, incorporating skills including doctor-patient relationship establishment, medical history documentation and physical examination.

The Advanced Biomedical Sciences Requirement is designed to give each medical student the opportunity to pursue a personal scholarly experience in biomedical sciences (broadly defined) and to develop fundamental understanding in new areas of biomedical science relevant to clinical medicine.

The research experience grants students additional understanding of biomedical research principles. Research opportunities include clinical, laboratory, social science, public health and other translational projects. By conducting small research projects, students gain critical judgment skills for evaluating research evidence and its application to patient care.

Advanced Biomedical Sciences

The Advanced Biomedical Sciences Course at the end of medical school is the culmination of a longitudinal curriculum designed to give medical students the ability to apply scientific principles and emerging knowledge to clinical practice. They learn, for example, how to use scientific principles and concepts to address contemporary problems of health and disease. They strengthen their ability to gain new knowledge and to evaluate emerging evidence by following faculty presentations.

In these ways, students acquire new fundamental knowledge that can inform clinical experience and also help them to develop as leaders in their chosen area of medicine. Meeting these requirements also strengthens their attitudes toward biomedical science as it relates to medicine.

Components of the Advanced Biomedical Sciences (ABS) Requirement

In order to graduate, students are required to have completed the Advanced Biomedical Sciences Requirement. The ABS requirement is comprised of two phases: 1) participation in meaningful ABS research or teaching as part of the ABS Research/Teaching Experience, and 2) cutting-edge applications of biomedical science to clinical practice in the Fourth year ABS Course. All students must obtain approval for one of three options (teaching, tutorial or research) by completing and submitting the ABS Requirement Pre-Approval Form. This form should be submitted at least two weeks before the start of your ABS Experience, with the last possible submission date corresponding to the due date of your Fourth Year Plan of Study Form (typically mid-March of your third year).

1) ABS Teaching/Tutorial/Research Experience

To fulfill the ABS Teaching/Tutorial/Research Experience Requirement, students must choose one of the options below. All options satisfy the first phase of the ABS requirement. The eight-week research option (option three) is eligible for an additional four weeks credit toward elective requirements. For other options, a tutor or mentor will develop with a student the specific learning objective(s), knowledge, skills, attitudes, and the form of the final work product.

There are three options for the ABS Research/Teaching Experience:

  1. Teaching: four weeks of teaching in the medical school curriculum.
    This option involves teaching in any of the following: the anatomy laboratory course, a PBL classroom or pathology laboratory course, as well as attendance at a series of teaching seminars. In addition, written assignments are required. Pre-approval by Dr. Capello is required.
  2. Tutorial: four weeks of a biomedical science tutorial.
    Tutoring is administered by a member of the medical college faculty and will follow a format agreed upon by the tutor and student. Students select a subject in which they desire advanced training, and request permission to be tutored from a faculty member expert in the subject. Tutorials are given for a minimum of four consecutive weeks, and often include extensive readings, discussions, and hands-on practice in clinical or scholarly pursuits germane to the subject matter. A written work product is required at the completion of the tutorial experience. Pre-approval by the Director of the Office of Medical Student Research is required.
  3. Research: eight weeks or more (at least eight weeks must be continuous) of biomedical science research in any year, one through four.
    Biomedical research conducted over the course of medical school satisfies the ABS requirement. This includes research done during medical school or during the summer between first and second year. Research must be consecutive and must be at least eight weeks in length to qualify. Students who take a year-long fellowship also qualify under this option. Biomedical research is broadly defined and includes hypothesis-driven research in clinical medicine, community health, epidemiology, medical ethics and basic molecular science. This option will meet the ABS requirement and may be applied as four credits toward the 16 elective credits that are required for graduation. A written work product is required at the completion of the research experience. Pre-approval by the Director of the Office of Medical Student Research is required.
2) ABS Course (Today's Science for Tomorrow's Medicine)

In addition to research, tutorial and teaching options, medical students are required to participate in the ABS Course (Today's Science for Tomorrow's Medicine) held for two weeks in the spring term of the fourth year. Completion of option one, two or three does not exempt a student from the ABS Course. Verification of course completion by Dr. Cunningham-Rundles and Dr. Reidenberg is required.


M.D.-Ph.D.s are exempt from the ABS Requirement (both the ABS course and the ABS research/teaching experience requirement.)

Students who hold a biomedical science Ph.D. are also exempt from the ABS requirement (both the ABS course and the ABS research/teaching requirement.) If a student holds a Ph.D. in a non-biomedical science area (e.g. physics, mathematics, education, social science) the student must fulfill all aspects of the ABS requirement.

All exemptions require the approval of the Director of the Office of Medical Student Research.

The Advanced Biomedical Sciences (ABS) Course

The Advanced Biomedical Sciences (ABS) Course presents the latest developments in a range of medical fields led by distinguished faculty, and is designed especially for the graduating class. The course's learning objective is the enhancement of fundamental understanding of the integration of science and medicine. The course, "Today's Science for Tomorrow's Medicine", is held annually in May. The modules are listed below. For more information, please refer to the Weill Cornell Course and Training Management System (Canvas).

  • From Neuroscience to Neuropsychiatry: human behavioral genetics, stress, neurogenesis, states of consciousness and recovery from coma
  • Regulation of Musculoskeletal Tissue, Injury, and Repair: fracture, tendon and ligament injury and repair, biology of skin injury and repair
  • Stem Cells: Generation and Regeneration: biology of assisted reproduction, stem cells, tumor angiogenesis and metastasis
  • Cancer Genetics and Genomics: genetics, genomics in cancer treatment, hereditary breast cancer, genetic counseling, ethics, oncogenic mutations in human cancer
  • Basis of Shock and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: congestive heart failure, acute respiratory distress
  • Emerging Infections: public health issues, treatment
  • Mechanisms of Vascular Health and Disease: atherosclerosis, angiogenesis, hypercoagulable states, cryptogenic stroke
  • Global Pharmacology: essential drugs, WHO
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions: running out of antibiotics, HIV and drug resistance
  • Optical Imaging, Nanotechnology, and Computational Biology: advances, early detection of lung cancer, computational biology in medicine
  • Advances in Obesity and Metabolism: endocannabinoids, behavior, metabolism, Type 2 diabetes
  • Role of Clinical Research in Medicine: medical ethics, postgraduate medical experience, clinical research in medicine

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