A closeup of the Penn State College of Medicine logo is seen on the jacket of a white coat, draped over the arm of a medical student who is also holding a White Coat Ceremony program. The student was part of the July 2016 White Coat Ceremony, in which incoming medical students at the College receive their short white coats signifying their status as future doctors.

MD Programs

MD Curriculum Details

The central curriculum and the two parallel tracks share numerous curricular elements, the result of deliberate educational program design that ensures comparability. At the core, they share the same vision, core curriculum, four-phase curriculum framework and the same graduation and education program competencies.

MD Program Vision

To guide the development of a humanistic, systems-ready physician who is adaptive, critical thinking, collaborative and scholarly

Core Curriculum 

The core curriculum, defined by the Committee on Undergraduate Medical Education (CUMED) is built on a four-pillar framework of 1) Biomedical Sciences, 2) Health Humanities, 3) Clinical Sciences, and 4) Health Systems Sciences. 

Four-Phase Curriculum Framework

The central curriculum and the two parallel curricula are designed around a four-phase framework:  

  1. Phase I - Foundations
  2. Phase II - Clinical Core
  3. Phase III - Discovery
  4. Phase IV - Residency Prep.

The phases intersect and transitions are flexible, depending on the curriculum option. 

View course details for all curricula 

Core Competencies

The 10 core competencies for Penn State College of Medicine are

  1. Patient care
  2. Knowledge for practice
  3. Practice-based learning and improvement
  4. Interpersonal and communication skills
  5. Professionalism
  6. Systems-based practice
  7. Inter-professional collaboration
  8. Personal and professional development
  9. Medical humanities
  10. Critical thinking

The central Hershey Curriculum and the two parallel curricula share, in addition, the following:

  • Governed by the same curriculum committee (CUMED)
  • Participate in the same course and clerkship directors' subcommittees of CUMED
  • Report to the same Vice Dean for Educational Affairs
  • Grades reported through a single individual
  • Use the same curriculum management system
  • Use the same student assessment system
  • Use the same standardized approach to formative feedback
  • Use the same mid-rotation feedback forms
  • Use the same school-wide policies on mistreatment and respect in the learning environment
  • Use the same criteria for grades in courses and clerkships
  • Have the same clerkship requirements, NBME shelf exams and methods of grade calculations
  • Use the same evaluation system for end of course and clerkship student feedback
  • Require the Medical Student Research Project (MSR) for all students