MD Curriculum Overview

JABSOM Academics – Curriculum

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The MD Program is a four-year curriculum which includes an initial two-year preclinical portion followed by two years of clinical activities in hospitals and clinics. The curriculum is guided by the school’s educational philosophy and designed to help students achieve its graduation objectives.

The preclinical years are divided into eight instructional units, six of which are organized around problem-based learning (PBL) tutorials. Within each of these segments of the curriculum, students can look forward to active and engaging PBL tutorials, supplemented by lectures, labs, standardized patients, and advanced simulation experiences.

Throughout the first year, a Community Health course provides service-learning opportunities and information on valuable community resources. Across both the first and second-year of the curriculum, a series of Clinical Skills courses provide students with regular exposure to actual patient care-related learning activities, and offer students the opportunity to practice and develop their medical interviewing and physical examination skills under the direct supervision of practicing physicians. Electives in a variety of disciplines are also available to students. Clubs, interest groups, and traditional events like the annual medical school lūʻau complement the preclinical academic experience at JABSOM.

In the third year, students participate in clinical “clerkships”. These courses, ranging from seven to eleven weeks in length, immerse learners in the important clinical disciplines of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery. Students participate in the care of patients under the supervision of medical school faculty and resident physicians.

The fourth year of medical school offers an opportunity for students to explore potential careers in medicine. In addition to required experiences in the fields of Emergency Medicine and Geriatrics & Palliative Care, students may spend up to 24 weeks in electives designed to explore various clinical and biomedical research disciplines.

The University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine is internationally known and respected for its outstanding educational programs. Combining an innovative problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum in the first two years with outstanding, community-based clinical training in the third- and fourth-years, JABSOM provides students with a highly-effective, thoughtfully-designed educational experience.