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Phases of the Curriculum

Phases at a Glance

Our three-phase structure across the four-program organize our various curricular threads and learning strategies. This visual shows, at a high-level, how all these components connect and complement each other. Learn more about the phases below.


Across All Phases

Longitudinal experiences are part of every phase of the curriculum. The colleges at the Feinberg School of Medicine provide each student with a familiar social and academic community that lasts throughout medical school.

Area of Scholarly Concentration

In Phase 1, all students begin their four-year Area of Scholarly Concentration project. AOSC is an opportunity for students to personalize their studies, gain expertise in an area of investigation of their choosing and work with an expert faculty mentor as they design and conduct a research project across their four years at Feinberg.

Education-Centered Medical Home

Immediate immersion into clinical training encourages professional development, skill acquisition and informs a student’s learning of basic science, medical ethics, social determinations of health and the principles of quality and safety. Education-Centered Medical Home provides students with early and comprehensive educational exposure to team-based medicine in an authentic outpatient environment. Students work with the same preceptor and peers over four years to help care for patients and measure their progress.

Phase 1 – Years M1 & M2


Phase 1 includes the first 20 months of instruction. Training includes 14 modules of varying lengths that are organized by organ systems. Each module contains all four elements so that learning in context is emphasized. The modules contain all four elements of the curriculum, with a dominant focus on Science in Medicine. Learn more about Phase 1 modules.

Week-long Synthesis & Application Modules (SAMs) are interspersed with the organ-based modules to allow time for spaced repetition, reflection and integration of content.


Phase 2 & 3 – Years M3 & M4

Phase 2

Phase 2 focuses on immersive clinical experiences via core clerkships that are department-based and span multiple disciplines. Clerkships include:

Each student has an individualized schedule in which they explore various medical specialties through early electives. SAM weeks continue, with additional opportunities to develop skills and knowledge that will benefit students in their clerkships and electives.

Phase 3

The final phase focuses on advanced clinical rotations as well as professional development in the area of medicine chosen by the student. Rotations include:

Each student has the opportunity to develop teaching skills through participation in the Teaching Selective.

Students complete their  scholarly projects as part of the AOSC and finish with a two-week Capstone module, tailored to their chosen area of medicine which ensures their preparation for internship.