I think that the new curriculum at UHS very conducive to the learning and retainment of the basic sciences as well as allowing the integration of the basic sciences with the clinical sciences.
I want to stress that as an MS1 at UHS, I know nothing but the new curriculum. In other words, I don't know what it was like to learn under the old curriculum. With that understanding, I will try to keep my comments as unbiased as possible and to give you my overall opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of the new curriculum.
First of all, last time I checked, there were a few schools (both MD and DO) that were either converting or already had in place a systems based curriculum. Supposedly, the board tests are geared toward a systems based approach.
Some of the major strengths of our curriculum include; 1)it allows us to be presented with clinical scenarios from day one. This makes us think of the BIG picture (such as what we will encounter on rotations etc.) instead of shear memorization of details which sooner or later will have to be integrated anyway, 2)the way the testing is set up, we are presented with important information on our weekly quizzes, and then again on our final systems examination and then again on a final yearly examination. The weekly quizzes help me to keep on top of the information and to not get behind. And.....If you are anything like me, the more times you are presented with information or tested over that information, the better you retain it. 3) I personally believe that the integration of ALL of the basic sciences into one clinical presenting pathology allows you to better understand the clinical concepts which are critical to the understanding of medicine. I could continue on,.... if you have any questions as to what I perceive to be the assets of our school, send me an e-mail.
One weakness of the curriculum (which is also an asset), is that taking a quiz every single week can burn you out if you're not careful. But, again, the weekly quizzes help you to keep on top of your studies.
There are three test/system blocks per semester. Our first three were; Foundations of Medicine, Musculoskeletal, and Skin, Blood and Lymph. We get a grade for each section, so three grades per semester. This semester we have Respiratory, Cardiovascular (right now) and GI blocks. Here is my schedule for this week. Monday: 8 Internal Med (dyspnea/weakness CHF), 9 Anatomy (middle mediastinum), 10 Physiology (cardiac cycle), 11 OPP (neurology of somatic dysfunction), 1-3 OPP lab, 3-4 path lab. Tuesday: 8 Physio (cardiac output and contactility), 9 OPP, 10 Histology (heart), 2-3 Intro to clinical med lab (hypertension). Wednesday: 8 Anatomy (heart interior), 9 Anatomy (heart interior), 10 Histology (vascular systems), 11 Physio (flow and resistance), 1-4 Mock patient interviews. Thursday: 8 Embryology (vascular systems), 9 Pharmacology (cardiogenic agents), 10 Pharmacology (cardiac glycosides) 11 Pathology (cardiomyopathies), 1-3 Intro to clinical medicine lab (BP), 3-5 Anatomy Lab. Friday: 8 Physio (cardiac cycles abd heart sounds), 9 Anatomy (posterior mediastinum), 10-12 Interdepartmental review, 1-5 independent study.
This schedule is only a representation of this week (2/19-2/23). Labs are different for different sytems. We had a lot more anatomy labs in the musculoskeletal section etc. etc.
If anyone has any questions, feel free to e-mail me.