The basic science value domain begins in the first four blocks (Year 1) by focusing on the normal structure and function of the human body, as approached from an organ systems perspective. All of the basic science fundamental to the learning of medicine are integrated into the first two years and include objectives in anatomy, physiology, histology, biochemistry, genetics, embryology, and immunology.
The second four blocks (Year 2) are focused on pathobiology and use an organ systems approach. Objectives focus on pathophysiology, pharmacology, microbiology, virology, and pathology. Basic sciences are revisited in Phase 2 using integrated patient cases and interactive sessions.
The clinical science value domain begins in Phase 1 using lectures, panel discussions, movies, reflection, simulation models, standardized and real patients, and objectives in Patient Case Work cases. Ample time will be dedicated to providing students with the opportunity to learn and practice clinical skills with faculty and standardized patients.
A unique feature of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine program, not seen in most other medical schools, is that a clinical skills exam will be administered following each block in Phase 1. This assures the progressive development in clinical skills competency for students preparing for the clinical rotations.
Each student is assigned to an ambulatory clinic for one-half day per month from the beginning of Phase 1. This longitudinal ambulatory care experience provides real clinical experience, physician role-modeling, interprofessional relationship building, and continuity of patient care from the beginning of the program. In addition, all students are assessed at the end of Year 3 with a multi-station objective structured clinical exam to assess clinical skills and provide formative feedback.
The clinical science value domain is emphasized during Phase 2, which includes the clinical rotations and electives during Years 3 and 4.
The research value domain will provide the fundamental principles and application of Research and will begin in Phase 1 using lectures, problems, experiential learning activities, and objectives in Patient Case Work cases. Students will be exposed to researchers from various disciplines in a longitudinal seminar series called “Research Live” and will learn the basics of various techniques in structured research rotations. Once a research project has been selected by the student at the end of Year 1, students will be guided in their project by a research mentor and small committee of basic and clinical scientists who will provide regular feedback to the student on their progress. Specific timelines and target goals have been established to help ensure continuous progress. Each student will be required to complete a scholarly project that is hypothesis-driven, provide a written document suitable for publication, and present their work in an appropriate venue in order to graduate.
Health Systems Science and Interprofessional Practice
The health systems science and interprofessional practice value domain emphasizes how health care is delivered with the end goal of improving the quality of health care for patients and populations as well as service learning and team building activities. Areas of focus are professionalism and ethics, roles of the health professions, community service, population health, quality and safety, health systems analysis, health care finance, value-based care, informatics, and health disparities. These principles are woven through all four years of medical school. Faculty from different professions at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Radford University Carilion, will be intimately involved in the delivery of this curricular component.