Essentials Core

Phases I and II

The Essentials Core (Phases I and II) is home to our medical students during their first 18 months of training. The goal of this Core is to provide students with a solid foundation in scientific principles and evidence-based inquiry that they can build on throughout their career, along with updates on existing and emerging technologies that are likely to impact the future of medicine. Of equal importance, this Core nurtures the ethical and humanistic qualities of our students by introducing them to compassionate, personalized patient care in their Foundations of Doctoring program.

The Essentials Core consists of nine interdisciplinary blocks, each with a unique theme that integrates the basic, clinical and social sciences. Each block is directed by clinical and basic science co-directors with the goal of presenting basic and social sciences in a clinical context. Most sessions are confined to the morning, allowing students afternoon study time and opportunities for electives and service activities. Lecture hours have been reduced to make way for interactive small groups, labs, team projects and problem based learning activities. In addition, students begin to explore personal interests with a mentor through the Mentored Scholarly Activity program, and may choose to participate in tracks​ that allow them to interact with like-minded faculty and students in an area of interest outside the standard curriculum.

The leadership of the Essentials Core interacts closely and collaboratively with the leadership of the Clinical Core as well as with the directors of all affiliated programs. Students play a key role in curriculum oversight and policymaking and are active, valued members of the Essentials Core Block Director committee. 


student in human anatomy lab laughing

Please note: The School of Medicine’s Curriculum has undergone reform. Please visit this page for more information on how curriculum looks for the 2025 student class and beyond.

Office of Curriculum Contact Information —Classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024  

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