California Northstate University College of Medicine is a four-year MD program dedicated to educating students to become competent, patient-centred healthcare professionals. Education will be provided using an innovative, integrated basic and medical science system-based curriculum.
Service will be encouraged with faculty-supervised service-learning clinics. The scholarship will be encouraged by hypothesis-driven Self-Directed Student Scholarly Research. Social Accountability, both locally and globally, will be the focus of the Master's Colloquium Course and Global Health discussions and opportunities, with the goal of graduating healthcare providers who can meet the challenges in the 21st century.
Commitment to Success
California Northstate University College of Medicine is committed to delivering an educational experience to ensure the student’s goal of becoming a confident and skilful physician. The curriculum at the College of Medicine is based on Clinical Presentations (CPs); symptoms or conditions that cause patients to seek the help of a physician. Examples include “sore throat”, “headache” or “chest pain”. At the College of Medicine, basic science, clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning, ethics training, hands-on learning of medical skills, and participation in patient care at our Sacramento affiliate hospitals and clinics will help our students become patient-centred, confident leaders in medicine.
Program Learning Objective
Students must provide evidence-based care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the promotion of health and the treatment of illness. Students should be able to evaluate relevant diagnostic information.
Medical and scientific knowledge
Students must demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences. They must showcase an ability to apply this knowledge to the practice of medicine. Students should be able to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence into their own ongoing learning, research, and patient care.
Communication and interpersonal skills
Students should demonstrate compassionate and effective interpersonal communication skills toward patients and families. They need to be able to articulate information (written and oral) in an organized and clear manner in order to educate and inform patients, families, and colleagues.
Students must demonstrate a commitment to the highest standards of professional responsibility and adhere to ethical principles. Students should display the personal attributes of compassion, honesty, integrity, and cultural empathy in all interactions with patients, families, and the medical community.
Health care systems
Students must demonstrate knowledge of and responsibility to the larger context of health care (social, behavioural, economic factors). They should have the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide optimal care.
Reflective practice and personal development
Student must be able to reflect upon their experiences with the goal of continual improvement. They must also demonstrate habits of analysing experiences that affect their well-being, relationships with groups and individuals, and self-motivations and limitations.
Phase A (Year 1 & 2)
Each week of the systems-based courses consists of 1 to 2 Clinical Presentations (CPs). Each CP is accompanied by an algorithmic scheme. The scheme consists of a branching diagram to aid the student in reaching a diagnosis via deductive reasoning. Medical science faculty and/or clinical faculty from the community will walk the students through the scheme(s), emphasizing critical decision points and setting the framework for the integration of the basic sciences. Basic science faculty will subsequently present the fundamental principles from the basic sciences (anatomy, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, nutrition, pathology, pharmacology, physiology) to supply the student with the adequate knowledge and comprehension required to arrive at a correct diagnosis. These basic science sessions will highlight the normal structures and functions of the system, as well as various disease states, including care and treatment options. Following a CP and its accompanying basic science content, students will participate in work case examples. Work case examples are clinical scenarios providing the student with an opportunity to employ the CP scheme and basic science knowledge to arrive at a diagnosis and propose treatment options. Concurrently, students will participate in the longitudinal medical skills and masters colloquium sessions also related to the CPs.
The Systems-based Courses Include
Foundations of Clinical Medicine
Integumentary and Musculoskeletal Systems
Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems
Stages of Life
The Medical Skills course is designed to teach each medical student the basic clinical skills needed for medical practice. These skills include communication, physician-patient rapport, history taking, physical examination, interpretation of diagnostic studies, note writing, oral presentations, use of patient care teams, application of medical and scientific knowledge in patient management, cost-effective comparisons in treatment approaches, mastery of selected procedures and professionalism. In addition, we expect students to understand the use of counselling and feedback, both with their future patients and in their own growth as future physicians.Learning will be accomplished using a combination of
1) self-directed study of preparatory materials,
2) surface anatomy sessions with body painting
3) hands-on demonstrations,
4) paired or standardized patient practice sessions,
5) simulated clinical procedures,
6) team-based problem-solving exercises,
7) small group training using partial task simulators,
8) interactions with real patients with real medical problems or physical findings as appropriate
9) experiential education on relevant topics in nutrition, and
10) journal club.
Formative feedback/assessment will include
2) self-assessment (videotapes),
4) faculty observation with checklist assessment,
5) peer feedback, and
6) standardized patient assessment.
The CPs presented in the Systems-based courses will be used to focus the selection of the “skill of the week”.
The Master's Colloquium course is a biweekly 2-hour seminar presented to medical students in Years 1 and 2. At the beginning of Year 1, students will be divided into groups of 20 and each group will constitute a college. Students will remain in their assigned college for the first two years of Medical School. Each college will be led by a College Master. College Masters will be responsible for delivering the content of the Master's Colloquium course to their college. The colloquia are conducted in a discussion or workshop format and cover complex, multidisciplinary aspects of professional development. The course also includes invited presentations by an expert followed by discussion. The purpose of this course is to address important issues that the students will encounter in the practice of medicine and to prepare them to become compassionate, trustworthy, well-informed medical doctors who understand the challenges of this profession and can face them with confidence and honour.
Self-Directed Student Scholarly Project Course
The required Self-Directed Student Scholarly Project (hereafter referred to as the Scholarly Project) is a one-year, research-based program to be completed during the 2nd year of medical school. To assist in the development of collaborative skills, students will work in groups of three to identify research interests, gaps in knowledge, explore hypotheses and develop a research plan. Scholarly Project will allow students to hone their analytical and investigative skills by participating in an active research project under a faculty advisor to produce usable data sets, public presentations, and abstracts suitable for publication. The requirements for the project will be explained to students during the Orientation. The following are examples of broader categories that are considered to be suitable for a scholarly project:
Public and Environmental Health
History of Medicine
The student group will develop a hypothesis/question and devise the methods and steps appropriate for answering the question/hypothesis with the guidance of their chosen mentor. They will then generate a suitable research project proposal with corresponding planned analysis and outcomes.
Depending on the type of project, the students may have to complete required training (for example, laboratory biosafety training, blood-borne pathogen training, radiation safety training, IRB and HIPAA training for working with human subjects or accessing patient data, or IACUC training for working with laboratory animals). Projects that include human research subjects will require approval by the CNU IRB. Similarly, if laboratory animals are used, approval by the CNU IACUC will be required.
Phase B - Clinical Clerkships
The clerkship curriculum begins in the third year of medical education and is 46 weeks long. Clerkship rotations are a time for students to reinforce their first two years of medical training and apply their knowledge to patients in outpatient and inpatient settings.
Prior to each clerkship, students will return to the College of Medicine for clerkship-specific didactics. These sessions include readings and discussions on wellness, determinants of health, and health promotion. Clinical faculty in the respective disciplines will guide the discussions and assess the students based on participation and weekly audience-response quizzes. Included in the didactics are important aspects of preventative, acute, chronic, continuing, rehabilitative, and end-of-life care.
California Northstate University College of Medicine prefers a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited, four-year institution within the United States; or a non-U.S. equivalent institution.
Required minimum coursework:
2 semesters, 3 quarters, or 1 year of college-level English (IB or AP credits may be considered if they are accepted by the undergraduate program)
IB or AP credits not accepted for the following:
2 semesters, or 3 quarters, or 1 year of Biology with Laboratory
2 semesters, or 2 quarters of Inorganic (General) Chemistry with a minimum of 8 units with Laboratory
2 semesters, or 2 quarters of Organic Chemistry with a minimum of 8 units with Laboratory
2 semesters, or 3 quarters, or 1 year of Physics
2 semesters, or 3 quarters of college-level Math (Statistics and/or Calculus preferred)
1 semester, 1 quarter, or 3 units of Biochemistry