Medical (MD) Curriculum

Overview of the Medical Curriculum

Grounding you in the sciences fundamental to medicine, our preclinical organ-based curriculum utilizes self-directed learning and trains you to think critically and solve problems individually or as a team - skills you will call on throughout your professional life to make informed decisions for your patients.  These skills prepare you for the clinical years where you will see a broad mosaic of human disease.  The impact of these diseases, processes, and systems on the patient and society are emphasized as you study the entire human condition.

Our first year curriculum introduces you to the role of medicine in society and concentrates on both the molecular aspects of disease and the human body as a whole.  Beginning in the second semester, students advance into the integrated organ-based modules covering the hematologic, gastrointestinal, renal, and musculoskeletal systems.  Your clinical experience begins within the first two weeks of classes with the Clinical Practice of Medicine 1 where you will learn the art of physical diagnosis and history taking along with direct patient contact over the entire first year.

Our second year curriculum expands your organ-based knowledge of cardiovascular, respiratory, behavioral and neurosciences, endocrinology, and reproductive medicine.  Your clinical skills also progress in the Clinical Practice of Medicine 2 course where you begin to master the art of both the history and physical exam while learning the presentations of disease states.  The synthesis of all this knowledge is culminated with your USMLE Step 1 examination after a dedicated study period of approximately 7 weeks.

The third year is all about the clerkships - intense experiences in both inpatient and outpatient arenas covering the specialties of Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, in six week blocks, while  Internal Medicine and Surgery occupy twelve-week rotations.  One month electives are offered during the medicine and surgery clerkships that allow exposure to areas of interest in the third year or the ability to fulfill some fourth year requirements. The importance of ethics in the clinical realm is emphasized during the year-long course in Dilemmas in Clinical Medicine.

Your fourth year provides ample opportunities for exploration and diversity with only three fourth year requirements: Advanced medicine, Surgical sub-specialties, and neurology, with the latter two being offered as third year elective options as well.  Flexibility of scheduling allows for opportunities to explore special interests through individualized selections at the Jacobs School and across the nation and world.

Graphic showing the general layout of the 4 year medical curriculum.

The general structure of the four year medical curriculum.


Curriculum Information by Academic Year

First Year

First year courses begin in August and continue through May of the following year. You will participate in a structured curriculum as outlined below. Elective courses are also available for you. Instructions for registration will be emailed to your UB email. You must report an accurate email address to the Offices of Medical Education, as well as your current home address and phone number.

Fall 2018 Course Schedule

Course Start date End date # of weeks
Orientation August 6, 2018 August 8, 2018 3 days
IMC500 Medicine and Society August 9, 2018 August 17, 2018 1.5 weeks
IDM520 CPM1 August 13, 2018 December 10, 2018 15 weeks
PAS500 Gross Human Anatomy August 16, 2018 December 12, 2018 16.5 weeks
IMC502 Fundamentals 1: Molecules, Cells and Molecular Genetics  August 17, 2018 October 12, 2018 8 weeks
IMC504 Fundamentals 2 October 12, 2018 December 17, 2018 8.5 weeks

Fall 2018 Tentative Exam Dates

IMC500 Medicine and Society

  • Monday, August 13: Midterm
  • Friday, August 17: Final Exam

PAS500 Human Gross Anatomy

  • Wednesday, September 19: Block 1 Exam
  • Wednesday, October 31: Block 2 Exam
  • Wednesday, December 12: Block 3 Exam

IDM520 Clinical Practice of Medicine I

  • Monday, October 1: Clinical Skills Midterm
  • Monday, December 3: Clinical Skills Final
  • Monday, December 10: Written Final Exam

IMC502 Fundamentals I

  • Tuesday, September 4: Molecular Exam 1
  • Tuesday, September 11: Histology Exam 1
  • Tuesday, September 25: Molecular Exam 2
  • Tuesday, October 9: Histology Exam 2
  • Friday, October 12: Molecular Exam 3

IMC504 Fundamentals II

  • Friday, October 26: Exam 1
  • Tuesday, Novermber 13: Exam 2
  • Tuesday, November 27: Exam 3
  • Thursday, December 6: Exam 4

Spring 2019 Course Schedule

Course Start date End date # of weeks
IMC516 Host Defenses and Hematology January 3, 2019 February 27, 2019 7.5 weeks
IDM521 CPM1 January 7, 2019 May 20, 2019 19 weeks
IMC510 Gastrointestinal System and Metabolism February 28, 2019 April 5, 2019 6 weeks
IMC512 Urinary Tract and Renal System April 15, 2019 May 13, 2019 4 weeks
IMC514 Musculoskeletal System and Integument May 14, 2019 May 31, 2019 3 weeks

Spring 2019 Tentative Exam Dates

IMC516 Host Defenses and Hematology

  • Friday, January 18: Microbiology Exam
  • Wednesday, February 6: Immunology Exam
  • Monday, February 25: Final Exam
  • Tuesday, February 26: NBME Exam

IMC510 Gastrointestinal System

  • Monday, March 18: Exam 1
  • Friday, April 5: Exam 2

IMC512 Urinary Tract and Renal System

  • TBD

IMC514 Musculoskeletal System and Integument

  • TBD

IDM521 CPM 1

  • Monday, March 4: Clinical Skills Midterm Exam
  • Friday, May 17: Final Written Exam
  • Monday, May 20: Final Clinical Skills Exam

Important Dates, Events, Holidays and Breaks


  • Labor Day: Monday, September 3, 2018
  • Humanities Day: Thursday, November 15, 2018
  • Thanksgiving Break: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - Sunday, November 25, 2018
  • Winter Break: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - Wednesday, January 2, 2019
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Monday, January 21, 2019
  • Spring Break: Saturday, April 6, 2019 - Sunday, April 14, 2019
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 27, 2019

Summer Opportunities

If you are seeking liability insurance for summer experiences outside the University, you must speak with one of the Associate Deans in the Office of Student and Academic Affairs (OSAA). 

Second Year

Second year courses begin in August and continue through April of the following year. You will participate in a structured curriculum as outlined below. Elective courses are also available for you. Instructions for registration will be emailed to your UB email. You must report an accurate email address to the Offices of Medical Education, as well as your current home address and phone number.

After the completion of courses, you will have an approximately 8 week "dedicated study period" to allow you time to study and sit for the USMLE Step 1 Exam. More information on this exam is below.  

Fall 2018 Course Schedule

Course Start date End date # of weeks
IMC602 Human Cardiovascular System August 8, 2018 September 28, 2018 7.5 weeks
IDM620 CPM 2 August 8, 2018 December 12, 2018 18 weeks
IMC604 Lung and Respiration October 1, 2018 November 2, 2018 5 weeks
IMC606 Neuroscience (pre-break) November 5, 2018 December 17, 2018 5.5 weeks

Fall 2018 Tentative Exam Dates

IMC602 Human Cardiovascular System

  • Monday, August 22: Quiz
  • Monday, September 10: Midterm
  • Thursday, September 27: Local Final
  • Friday, September 28: NBME Exam

IMC604 Lung and Respiration

  • Monday, October 15: Exam 1
  • Thursday, November 1: Exam 2
  • Friday, November 2: NBME Exam

IMC606 Neuroscience

  • Monday, December 3: Exam 1
  • Monday, December 17: Exam 2


  • Saturday, December 1: Clinical Skills Exam (Group 1)
  • Saturday, December 8: Clinical Skills Exam (Group 2)
  • Wednesday, December 13: Written Final Exam

Spring 2019 Course Schedule

Course Start date End date # of weeks
IMC606 Neuroscience (post-break) January 3, 2019 January 25, 2019 2.5 weeks
IDM621 CPM2 January 9, 2019 April 17, 2019 15 weeks
IMC610 Behavior January 28, 2019 February 15, 2019 3 weeks
IMC612 Endocrine February 18, 2019 March 22, 2019 5 weeks
IMC612 Reproductive Biology April 1, 2019 April 22, 2019 3 weeks
Procedures Week April 22, 2019 April 26, 2019 1 week

Spring 2019 Tentative Exam Dates

NBME Comprehensive Basic Science Exam (Step 1 Practice Exam)

Students will be assigned one of the following dates:

  • TBD
  • TBD

IMC606/610 Neuroscience and Behavior

  • Friday, January 25: Exam 3
  • Friday, February 15: Exam 4

IMC612 Endocrine

  • Monday, March 4: Exam 1
  • Thursday, March 21: NBME Exam
  • Fridat, March 22: Exam 2

IMC612 Reproductive Biology

  • Monday, April 22: Exam


  • TBD: Clinical Skills Exam (Group 1)
  • TBD: Clinical Skills Exam (Group 2)
  • TBD: Written Final Exam

Important Dates, Events, Holidays and Breaks


  • Labor Day: Monday, September 3, 2018
  • MS2 - IP Education Forum: Thursday, November 8, 2018 - Mandatory Attendance
  • Thanksgiving Break: Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - Sunday, November 25, 2018
  • Winter Break: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - Wednesday, January 2, 2019
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Monday, January 21, 2019
  • Spring Break: Saturday, March 23, 2019 - Sunday, March 31, 2019
  • STEP 1 must be taken by Tuesday, June 25, 2019
  • Third Year Orientation starts Wednesday June 26, 2019

USMLE Step 1

You can apply for the Step 1 exam online at or  Instructions for registration and many other helpful resources can be found in your Office of Medical Education course on UBLearns in the Step 1 Resources folder under Course Documents. After registering for the exam online, you must complete a verification page that can be completed by visiting the Office of Medical Curriculum (7th floor).  The office will have copies of your picture and additional directions to help you complete the registration process.  Dr. Frank Schimpfhauser, Carrie Gillings, Laura Willgohs and Kevin Hittle are authorized signatories.

Prior to beginning the third year, you are required to take Step 1 of the USMLE. The deadline for taking Step 1 will be established each year by the Offices of Medical Education. Failure of the Step 1 exam will result in you being held out of the next clerkship to allow for successful re-examination, which must be completed prior to the beginning of the next block. You will then be allowed to join the clerkship pending your examination result. A second failure requires you to be placed on a leave of absence. You will not be allowed to re-enter the curriculum until a passing grade is recorded. You are only allowed three (3) opportunities to pass Step 1 of the USMLE before a recommendation for a dismissal from the school is made.

Third Year Lottery

All students take the same 6 required clerkships during third year, but your third year schedule of clerkships is determined by way of the Third Year Lottery. The lottery is conducted in spring of your second year on MedHub. You will receive instructions and tips on how to complete the lottery and potentially structure your third year schedule during an information session before the lottery opens. More information will be sent to your UB email.

Third Year also has schedule space for two electives. These you will register for directly on a first come, first serve basis on Hub. Registration will be after your third year lottery results are released. Instructions will be sent to your UB email.

Third Year

General Third Year Curriculum Information

Third year is a full academic calendar year in length, beginning in July and ending in June. The third year begins with a mandatory 3-day orientation. Your first clerkship will begin the following Monday. Your third year schedule is assigned based on the Third Year Lottery completed in spring of the second year. Placements within the clerkships will be at hospitals, medical centers, and private offices throughout Western New York and will be communicated by the clerkship coordinator to your UB email; therefore you must report accurate email addresses to the Offices of Medical Education, as well as providing current home addresses and phone numbers.

Under direct supervision, you will have the opportunity to observe and participate in the care of patients with a wide variety of illnesses and will be given progressively more responsibility as your skill develops. Educational experiences also include emphasis on lecture demonstrations of clinical problems, small-group problem-solving, conferences, and ward rounds. Increasing emphasis is placed on disease prevention and primary care. Assessment of clinical competence is addressed through multiple mechanisms.

Third year is comprised of four 12-week blocks. Pediatrics, OBGYN, Psychiatry, and Family Medicine are all six weeks long, each making up half of one block. Medicine and Surgery are both 12 weeks long. Within both Medicine and Surgery is a 4-week module space for an elective. A list of available elective courses will be provided. An elective period during the fall semester (July-Dec) will be registered for in the spring of second year. An elective period during the spring semester (Jan-June) will be registered for in the fall of third year. Instructions for registration will be send to your UB email.

In addition, you will take Dilemmas in Clincal Medicine as an ongoing course throughout third year. This course will address medical ethics topics. You will have one class session in each of the 6-week clerkships and two in the 12-week clerkships. You will also have an assignment during each of the 12-week clerkships. More information will be on MedHub and sent to your UB email.

You will also have a 2-week course, Core Topics, during the intersession between fall and spring semesters. This is a classroom, small group, and simulation based course that will allow you to use the experience you have gained in clerkships to discuss and learn more about some important issues in clinical medicine.

2018-2019 Third Year Schedule

Block Schedule

  Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
7/2 - 7/29 7/30 - 8/26 8/27 - 9/23
9/24 - 10/21 10/22 - 11/18 11/19 - 12/16
1/14 - 2/10 2/11 - 3/10 3/11 - 4/7
4/8 - 5/5 5/6 - 6/2 6/3 - 6/30



7/2 - 8/12 8/13 - 9/23
9/24 - 11/4 11/5 - 12/16
1/14 - 2/24 2/25 - 4/7
4/8 - 5/19 5/20 - 6/30

2018-2019 Core Topics Schedule

Week 1: December 16, 2018 - December 20, 2018

Week 2: January 6, 2018 - January 12, 2018

Important Dates, Events, Holidays and Breaks

  • Third Year Orientation: June 27-29, 2018 - Mandatory Attendance
  • Thanksgiving Break: Close of Business on 11/21 - 11/25
  • Winter Break: December 21, 2018 - January 5, 2019
  • MS3 - IP Education Forum: Thursday, March 7, 2019 - Mandatory Attendance
  • Third Year Meetings - Mandatory Attendance
    • August 14, 2018
    • October 23, 2018
    • February 12, 2019
    • April 16, 2019
    • May 21, 2019

Third Year Clerkship/Course Descriptions


There will be two weeks of vacation for all students during the intersession period. The exact dates vary from year-to-year, but all students will be on vacation during this two-week period. You will not be permitted to take vacation time other than the two-week winter break, and no out-of-town electives will be allowed during the third year.

Remediation of Third Year Clerkship Failure(s)

All academic deficiencies from the third-year clerkships and courses must be removed before promotion to the fourth year. A student who fails a clerkship clinically must repeat the entire clerkship; this is done over a 6-to-8 week period during the first block following your third year. A student who passes the clerkship clinically, but fails the examination also requires remediation. In this case, the student can either repeat the entire clerkship (as above, over a 6-to-8 week period during the first block of the fourth year) or participate in a concentrated remedial experience (four weeks in duration offered at the end of the third year). This is available for a single clerkship failure only. Details of the remedial experience are at the discretion of the clerkship director.

Failure of a remedial experience will constitute a second clerkship failure and will make the student subject to dismissal from the school. If a student, who passed the clerkship clinically but elected to repeat the entire clerkship, fails the remediation, this will also count as a second clerkship failure and make the student subject to dismissal from the school.

You are required to pass all third year clerkships before being promoted to fourth year.

Third Year Clinical Competency Exam

All third year students will take the Third Year Clinical Competency Exam during spring of the third year. Passing of this exam is required for promotion to fourth year. It serves as a practice exam for USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS). More information about this exam will come from the Office of Student and Academic Affairs to your UB email.

Fourth Year Lottery

Required fourth year courses are scheduled by way of the lottery system in MedHub. The lottery is conducted in spring of your third year. You will receive instructions and tips on how to complete the lottery and potentially structure your fourth year schedule during an before the lottery opens. More information will be sent to your UB email.

Fourth year electives are registered for on a first come first serve basis in Hub, after the fourth year lottery results are finalized. Instructions on registration will be sent to your UB email.

USMLE Step 2

Passing both Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS are requirements for graduation. In order to be eligible to participate in the Match, students must meet the following deadlines:

  • Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK): must be taken by Dec. 31 of the 4th year.
  • **Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS): must be taken by Dec. 31 of the 4th year.

** The Office of Medical Education highly recommends taking Step 2 CS immediately after completion of the third year.

Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) Letters

All students applying to residency will need an MSPE, also known as a dean's letter. The Office of Student and Academic Affairs will send more information abot the MSPE to your UB email. A meeting between you and one of the Student and Academic Affairs deans will be scheduled during the spring of your third year. There will also be time to review your MSPE before it is submitted during your fourth year.

Fourth Year

Important Dates

Modules Begin: Monday, July 2, 2018

Main Residency Match ERAS Registration Opens: September 15, 2018

Main Residency Match ERAS Registration Deadline: November 30, 2018

Complete Step 2 Exams by: December 31, 2018

Main Residency Match Rank Order List Deadline: February 20, 2019 by 9:00pm

Match Day: Friday, March 15, 2019

Graduation Day: Friday, May 3, 2019

General Fourth Year Curriculum Information

The curriculum is designed so you may plan, with faculty advisement, a significant part of your educational program. The elective approach to curriculum affords students with different backgrounds and aspirations an individual educational experience. Through the elective program, you are able to try out possible career choices, gain additional clinical experience, embark upon or conclude research, or re-examine the basic medical sciences. Instructions for registration will be emailed to the your UB email.

The fourth year schedule is broken up into eleven 4-week modules (Modules A-K). You are required to take eight (8) four-week courses. Required courses in the fourth year include Neurology (NEU 801), Advanced Clerkship in Medicine (MED 802), and Surgical Specialties (SUR 800). Transition to Residency (IMC 810) is also required but does not count towards the 8 total courses. All required courses must be taken in Buffalo. Students who complete NEU 801 and/or SUR 800 during the third year are still required to take 8 courses. The fourth year schedule of required courses is determined based on the fourth year lottery, which takes place in spring of your third year.

You may fill the rest of your fourth year schedule with electives, both at UB and away. Electives at UB can be registered for on Hub on a first come, first serve basis. Away electives must be applied to via VSAS. More information on both UB and away electives will be sent to you via UB mail in the spring of third year. The schedule also allows for three modules of unscheduled time. Module L may only be used to remediate a course failure or if your progress was delayed because of a leave of absence, for example.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society created a Fourth Year Survival Guide, which can be found on UBLearns in your Office of Medical Education class under Course Documents. It provides helpful tips and more detailed information on many topics relevant to fourth year medical students.

Fourth Year Module Schedule 2018-2019

Module Dates
A July 2, 2018 - July 29, 2018
B July 30, 2018 - August 26, 2018
C August 27, 2018 - September 23, 2018
D September 24, 2018 - October 21, 2018
E October 22, 2018 - November 18, 2018
F November 19, 2018 - December 16, 2018
Module Dates
G December 17, 2018 - January 13, 2019
H January 14, 2019 - February 10, 2019
I February 11, 2019 - March 10, 2019
J March 11, 2019 - April 7, 2019
K April 8, 2019 - May 5, 2019
L May 6, 2019 - June 2, 2019
M June 3, 2019 - June 28, 2019

Fourth Year Course Descriptions

Note: If Surgical Subspecialties and/or Basic Neurology were taken as a third-year elective, additional electives must be completed during fourth year. A total of 8 courses must be completed during fourth year.

More Important Course Information:

  • Required courses in Medicine, Neurology and Surgery will be determined by lottery. 
  • Students must be registered for a course at least 4 weeks prior to the start date of the module.
  • A course/elective cannot be taken more than once.
  • No more than three courses/electives can be taken in any single department.
  • Up to two modules of research can be taken in the fourth year; this is not available to MD/PhD students.
  • No more than four away electives are allowed (See Away Electives below).
  • Only two away electives may be taken at any one institution.
  • A maximum of one international elective is allowed. An international elective also counts as one of the four away electives allowed.
  • All drop and add forms must be approved and signed by the course director (not the department chair); it must then be sent to the registrar in the Office of Student and Academic Affairs.
  • All drop and add forms must be completed and returned to the registrar no later than 4 weeks before the module begins.
  • Double registration is not allowed; the only exception is when an away elective is pending. Once the away elective is confirmed, the other course/elective must be dropped using the drop/add form.
  • Any course or elective failure must be made up within 2 modules.
  • No retroactive registration is permitted for any course (local or away).

Away Electives

Only fourth-year students in good standing are eligible to take an away elective.

A current affiliation agreement must be in place between UB and the training institution.

A student wishing to participate in an away elective must discuss with UB’s appropriate department chairperson or course director the possibility and advisability of taking an away rotation in a comparable department. If there is agreement that such an elective is possible and advisable, then the student will apply via VSAS. More information on VSAS will be sent to your UB email in the spring of third year. If the away elective dates do not correspond with UB's module dates, a student must register for an away elective course during both of the modules with which the away course overlaps. However, this will still only count as one of your eight required fourth year courses.

Clinical Affiliation Agreements and Student Liability Insurance


The purpose of an affiliation agreement between UB and an affiliated institution is to advance UB students’ educational programs in a particular educational discipline.

The State University of New York is considered an agency of the State of New York, and therefore, its liability is the same as the State of New York.  The affiliation agreement sets forth the educational purposes of the arrangement; the responsibilities of each party; allocation of the risks; any insurance covering any risks; duration of the agreement; and how the parties will coordinate the clinical experience.  Without an affiliation agreement, no academic credit can be earned and no medical liability coverage is provided.

SUNY’S Insurance for UB Students

If you are participating in health-related clinical experiences, especially those with hands on in either patient care or laboratory testing, there is a risk of a lawsuit.  Pursuant to the mandates of the policy, UB must have a written agreement between itself and the Host Institution in order to have insurance coverage extended to you when you are participating in that particular clinical program. Therefore, for health-related student affiliation agreements, SUNY purchases commercial insurance to cover malpractice claims against students.  Both defense costs and indemnification in the event of judgment or settlement are covered in the event of a lawsuit being filed naming you as a Defendant.  Without a written Affiliation Agreement in place, you will not have coverage for either defense costs or indemnification if such a suit is brought by a third party. 

You are not covered when you shadow or do any type of health related clinical experience with a physician, nurse or any other health care provider who is a friend, relative or neighbor of the student, without a written agreement between UB and the Host Institution. In these cases, you are solely liable for your actions because your activities are not under authority or consent of UB. 

Policy Limits

The current policy is a typical professional insurance contract with an amount not less than $3 Million aggregate for bodily injury and property damaged combined single limit, the standard of the health care industry as determined by the New York State Health Department. 

Clinical Experiences outside of the US

SUNY’s student liability policy does not cover affiliation agreements outside the continental United States. If you wish to do a clinical experience outside the US would have to obtain their own policy of insurance, which can be quite expensive.  Liability exposure is not limited just to professional liability.  Insurance also covers legal defense costs, which can be quite expensive.   In the past, SUNY has entered into several affiliation agreements with agencies in Ontario, Canada so long as the Host Institution signs SUNY’s Standard Affiliation Agreement complete with the Exhibits.

Establishing an affiliation agreement

If you wish to work in a physician’s office, a research laboratory, or a hospital/clinic, you must do the following:

(1) Check in the Office of Student and Academic Affairs (OSAA) to determine if an Affiliation Agreement with the host institution is currently in place.

(2)  If there is an Agreement in place, see number (4).

(3)  If currently there is no Affiliation Agreement, obtain and complete a “Student Affiliation form” from Office of Student and Academic Affairs (OSAA) and return it to the Office of Student and Academic Affairs (OSAA) at least 12 weeks before the experience is to begin.

(4)  If an Affiliation Agreement is currently in place or if a new one has been established, you must register for an appropriate course through appropriate channels.

(5)  Under no circumstances are you permitted to begin an experience without confirmation of an Affiliation Agreement.

Applying to Residency

Most students will be applying to residency via the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS).The MSPE letter will be an important part of your application and will be discussed with you during spring of your third year. Letters of Recommendation and a personal statment are also important pieces of the application. Students applying to Opthalmology, Urology, or the military match should contact the Office of Student and Academic Affairs for more information on the process special to these fields.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society created a Fourth Year Survival Guide, which can be found on UBLearns in your Office of Medical Education class under Course Documents. It provides helpful tips and more detailed information on many topics relevant to fourth year medical students.

Program Planning

Advisers and faculty as well as members of the dean’s staff in the Office of Medical Education are available to assist third-and fourth-year students in the program-planning process. Requests for special scheduling (such as participation in a program of more than two months in duration or spending more than one month at the same institution) must be brought to the attention of the Office of Student and Academic Affairs and must be approved. When determined to be of educational beneficial for you, individual programs may be modified by the Office of Student and Academic Affairs.

Graduation Honors

You may qualify for Latin, research or thesis honors at graduation.

You have the opportunity to apply for both research and thesis honors prior to graduation. If you are interested in these honors, you must write a thesis for review by a special committee. Research honors simply require evidence of continuous research that has resulted in either publication(s) or presentation(s) at national meetings.

Visiting Students

Visiting students from other medical schools within the U.S. must successfully complete an application process in VSAS in order to take fourth year clinical electives at any of the school’s affiliated hospitals or institutions. The Office of Student and Academic Affairs administers this program. The tremendous demand for educational experiences by students’ trained elsewhere, especially foreign-trained students far exceeds our ability to accommodate them. We have, therefore, established a policy that will keep open visiting student opportunities for domestic medical students only. For more information, potential visiting students should call (716) 829-2802.

Medical Education Program Objectives


Educational Objective Competency
K1 Knowledge of the normal structure and function of the body as an intact organism and of each major organ system. Medical Knowledge
K2 Knowledge of the molecular, biochemical and cellular mechanisms which are important to maintaining the body’s homeostasis Medical Knowledge
K3 Knowledge of the causes of disease (genetic, developmental, metabolic, toxic, microbiologic, autoimmune, neoplastic, degenerative and traumatic) and the ways in which they affect the body (pathogenesis). Medical Knowledge
K4 Knowledge of altered structure and function (pathology and pathophysiology) of the body and its major organ systems in various diseases and conditions Medical Knowledge
K5 Knowledge of biostatistics and the epidemiology of common diseases within a defined population and the systematic approaches useful in reducing the incidence and prevalence of those diseases. Medical Knowledge
K6 Knowledge of gender, ethnic and age-specific issues that affect disease across the lifespan with particular emphasis on pregnant, newborn, child and geriatric patients. Systems‐Based Practice
K7 Knowledge of the principles of pharmacology including understanding of drug actions and interactions, rational drug therapy, and monitoring of patient response. Medical Knowledge
K8 Knowledge of appropriate diagnostic tests and their interpretation as related to common clinical, laboratory, radiologic and pathologic findings in common disease states. Medical Knowledge
K9 Knowledge about relieving pain and suffering of patients including those who require palliative care at the end of life. Medical Knowledge
K10 Knowledge of the important non-biologic determinants of health and the economic, psychological, social and cultural factors that contribute to the development and/or continuation of maladies including violence and abuse. Medical Knowledge
K11 Awareness of state and federal regulations regarding reporting of domestic violence, child abuse, criminal activity, fraud, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as well as laws related to public health and health care implementation. Systems‐Based Practice
K12 Knowledge of the importance of exercise, nutrition and lifestyle in maintaining health and well-being. Medical Knowledge
K13 Knowledge of the principles of preventive medicine. Medical Knowledge
K14 Knowledge of the scientific method in establishing the basis of disease and of the scientific evidence supporting the efficacy and role of traditional therapies and complementary/alternative medicine. Medical Knowledge
K15 Knowledge of the basic principles of clinical and translational research, including how such research is conducted, evaluated, explained to patients and applied to patient care. Medical Knowledge
K16 Knowledge of the emerging fields of personalized medicine, stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine as they relate to translational research and patient treatment. Medical Knowledge
K17 Knowledge of the theories and principles that govern ethical decision making, and of the major ethical issues in medicine, particularly those that arise at the beginning and end of life and those that arise from the rapid expansion of our knowledge of genetics. Medical Knowledge
K18 Knowledge of the various approaches to the organization, financing and cost effective delivery of health care. Systems‐Based Practice
K19 Knowledge of the principles of patient safety, health care professional safety, and quality improvement. Systems‐Based Practice


Educational Objective Competency
S1 The ability to obtain an accurate medical history which is thorough and includes issues related to age, gender, cultural background and socioeconomic status. Patient Care
S2 The ability to perform both a complete and an organ-specific examination, including a mental status exam. Patient Care
S3 The ability to perform routine technical procedures, such as venipuncture, inserting an intravenous catheter, arterial puncture, lumbar puncture, inserting a nasogastric tube, inserting a Foley catheter, and suturing lacerations. Patient Care
S4 The ability to reason deductively using critical judgment based on evidence and experience in solving clinical problems. Patient Care
S5 The ability to construct appropriate management strategies (both diagnostic and therapeutic) for patients with common acute and chronic conditions, including medical, psychiatric and surgical conditions, and those requiring short- and long-term rehabilitation. Patient Care
S6 The ability to recognize and outline an initial course of management for patients with serious conditions requiring critical care. Patient Care
S7 The ability to work and solve problems in large and small groups, interdisciplinary teams, and other collegial forums. Interpersonal & Communication Skills
S8 The ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with patients, patients’ families, colleagues and other health care professionals with whom physicians must exchange information in carrying out their responsibilities. Interpersonal & Communication Skills
S9 The ability to identify factors that place individual at risk for disease or injury, to select appropriate tests for identifying patients with specific diseases or in the early stage of disease and to determine strategies for responding appropriately. Patient Care
S10 The ability to review critically the medical literature based on evidence. Practice‐Based Learning & Improvement
S11 The ability to retrieve (from electronic databases and other resources), manage and utilize biomedical information for solving problems and making decisions that are relevant for the care of individuals and populations. Practice‐Based Learning & Improvement


Educational Objective
A1 Compassionate treatment of patients and respect for their privacy and dignity. Professionalism
A2 Sensitive and respectful attitudes to patients from diverse gender, cultural, economic, educational, and family backgrounds. Professionalism
A3 Honesty and integrity in interactions with patients and their families, colleagues and others with whom physicians must interact in their professional lives. Professionalism
A4 An understanding of, and respect for, the roles of other health care professionals, and of the need to collaborate with others in caring for individual patients and in promoting the health of defined populations. Systems‐Based Practice
A5 A commitment to advocate at all times the interests of one’s patients over one’s own interests. Professionalism
A6 An understanding of the threats to medical professionalism posed by the conflicts of interest inherent in various financial and organizational arrangements for the practice of medicine. Professionalism
A7 A commitment to excellence and an understanding of the need to engage in lifelong learning with the goal of recognizing limitations to one’s knowledge and clinical skills, and a commitment to continuously improve one’s knowledge and ability. Practice‐Based Learning & Improvement
A8 A commitment to provide care to patients who are unable to pay, to be advocates for access to health care for members of traditionally underserved populations, and to provide effective care in a multi-dimensionally diverse society. Professionalism
A9 An understanding of one’s duties and responsibilities and a sense of accountability for one’s actions. Professionalism
A10 Participation in all assigned activities in a reliable and timely manner. Professionalism
A11 An understanding of the unique ethical obligations of being a physician. Professionalism