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University Program Curriculum

The Western Reserve2 Curriculum (4-Year MD Training Physician-Scholars)

The Curriculum

  • Year 1
    Social and behavioral context of health and disease; Foundations of Medicine and Health
  • Year 2
    Continuation of Foundations of Medicine and Health and time to prepare for USMLE Step 1
  • Year 3
    MD thesis research block or clinical blocks (basic science experiences interwoven) Advanced clinical studies and seminars in medicine and health Electives
  • Year 4
    Research (as applicable) Advanced clinical studies and seminars in medicine and health

The Western Reserve2 (WR2) Curriculum is a much needed reform in medical education. The four-year curriculum unites the disciplines of medicine and public health into a single, integrated program that trains students to study the interplay between the biology of disease and the social and behavioral context of illness, between the care of the individual patient and the health of the public, and between clinical medicine and population medicine, to emerge as leaders in science, practice and health care policy.

4-Year MD Training Physician-Scholars

Four Themes

The Western Reserve2 Curriculum interweaves four themes - research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism - to prepare students for the ongoing practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Students are immersed in a graduate-school atmosphere characterized by flexibility, independent study and collegial interaction with faculty.

The Western Reserve2 Curriculum seeks to train physician-scholars who are prepared to not only treat disease and disease states, but to also promote health prevention and maintenance and to examine the social and behavioral context of illness. Scholarship and clinical relevance inform learning processes, and clinical experiences and biomedical and population science are integrated across the four years of the curriculum. The WR2 Curriculum also creates an independent, educational environment where learning is self-directed and where student education primarily occurs through:

  1. Faculty facilitated, small-group student-centered discussions (IQ Teams)
  2. Large group interactive sessions including didactic sessions that offer a framework (lectures)
  3. Interactive anatomy and histology sessions
  4. Clinical skills training
  5. Early and frequent patient-based activities

Program goal

To train students to treat disease, promote health, and examine the social and behavioral context of illness in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century.

Average annual entering class size

155 (not including students in the Medical Scientist Training Program)

Program duration

4 years


Years one and two are Pass/Fail

Third & Fourth year more individual assessment: Honors, Commendable, Satisfactory, & Unsatisfactory

Additional Information

Primary learning styles: about 50% small group, 50% lecture; MD thesis requirement

Resulting degree(s)

(opportunities exist to pursue additional degrees concurrently)

Ample opportunity to pursue dual degrees options