Curriculum Overview

The Highways to Excellence curriculum develops more individualized educational experiences. The organ systems-based curriculum blends and reinforces basic sciences and clinical experiences from day one, integrating classroom, self-directed learning and small-group learning with clinical skills, cases, experience and training. The curriculum enables physicians-in-training to customize their studies, with time for electives and career choice exploration, including opportunities to focus on the health of underserved populations through community impact missions and partnerships.

Highways to Excellence Curriculum This is the curriculum track for students who entered Wayne State University School of Medicine after June 2018. Learn more about the new Highways to Excellence Curriculum.

WSU SOM Curriculum This is the curriculum track for students who entered Wayne State University School of Medicine before July 2018. Students who matriculated before the summer of 2018 may be enrolled in the WSU SOM Curriculum. New students cannot enter this track; it has been succeeded by the Highways to Excellence Curriculum track since July 2018.

Pre-Clerkship Curriculum

The Year 2 program is primarily devoted to understanding the effect of disease processes on organ structure and function and the actions of drugs. In the course of achieving this objective the curriculum is designed to help the student prepare for their role as a problem solver. This will involve acquiring basic information, but, more importantly, it will also involve understanding concepts and relationships. A clinical medical course, called Population, Patient, Physician, runs through both years, integrating many curricular topics such as: Introduction to the Patient, Evidence-Based Medicine, Medical Ethics, Human Sexuality, Preventive Medicine, Cultural Competence, Public Health Interviewing and Physical Diagnosis into a sequence of case-based teaching modules taught in small groups.

Year 2 - Curriculum

  • Microbiology/Infectious Disease & Immunology
  • Clinical Medicine 2 / Physical Diagnosis
  • Medical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
  • Pathobiology
  • Psychiatry
  • Translational Medicine II
  • Pathphys - Cardio
  • Pathphys - Respiratory
  • Pathphys - Hematology
  • Pathphys - Urinary Tract/ Renal
  • Pathphys - GI
  • Pathphys - Neuro
  • Pathphys - Derm
  • Pathphys - Endocrine
  • Pathphys - Connective Tissue


MD2 Class of 2022 (2019-2020) - Fundamentals of Human Disease
MD2_Foundations (c/o 2022)
MD2_P4_Population, Patient, Physician & Professionalism (c/o 2022)
MD2_Clinical Skills (c/o 2022)
MD2_Clinical Experience Curriculum (c/o 2022)
MD2_ Musculoskeletal System (c/o 2022)
MD2_Cardiopulmonary System (c/o 2022)
MD2_Gastrointestinal System (c/o 2022)
MD2_Renal System and Urinary Tract (c/o 2022)
MD2_Endocrine & Reproductive Systems (c/o 2022)
MD2_Blood and Lymphatic Systems (c/o 2022)
MD2_Central Nervous System (c/o 2022)
MD2_Elective_Community Engagement (c/o 2022)
MD2_Elective_MPAC (c/o 2022)
MD2_Elective_Medical Research (c/o 2022)


Clinical Science Curriculum

The third year of medical school includes 11 or 12 months of study, encompassing 8 required clerkships. The Primary Care block includes: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, and Continuity Clinic Clerkship. The Non-Primary Care block includes: General Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Psychiatry, and Neurology. The Continuity Clinic Clerkship (CCC) is a longitudinal, six-month experience with a consistent half-day assignment to a primary care office; CCC can only be done during the Primary Care block of clerkships unless special permission is given by the School of Medicine. The third year elective month can be deferred into the fourth year, allowing a month of vacation during the third year. In the fourth year of medical school, students are required to complete at least 8 months of study, assuming that an elective was done in your third year. There are 3 required clerkships of one month duration each: Inpatient Medicine (your Sub-internship, in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, or Surgery), and Emergency Medicine. The other 6 months include elective courses, with the requirement that you plan a balanced program of study to complete your medical school education. If you deferred your third year elective into the fourth year to take a month of vacation in the third year, you must complete 7 elective months (9 months in total) in your fourth year.


Year 3 - Curriculum

  • CCC (1/2 day per week for 6 months)
  • Family Medicine (Elective 4 weeks)
  • General Surgery (8 weeks)
  • Internal Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Neurology (4 weeks)
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology (8 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (8 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)

Schedule will vary based on group assignment.

Year 4 - Curriculum

  • Electives (6 x 4 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Sub-Internship (Medicine, Surgery, Family Medicine, Pediatrics) (4 weeks)

Schedule will vary based on group assignment.