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Preclinical Sciences

American University of Antigua College of Medicine (AUA) uses a unique curriculum, Curriculum Next, that is based on recent curriculum developments in US medical education. The structure of this curriculum is organ-system-based, preceded by a foundations block in which students are taught the discipline-based sciences underlying the organ systems.

The format of this education is primarily small-group active learning — including modified case-based and problem-based studies — as well as large group active learning techniques such as team-based learning and flipped classroom lectures.

Students spend the first year learning about the normal structures and functions of each organ system. In year two, students focus on disease-based pathologies of the same organ systems.

Small-Group Learning 

In the first academic period, AUA places students into small groups, typically 10 students or less. Each group has its own small-group learning center to assist with the learning activities. Each setting is equipped with the digital tools necessary to access learning resources, and serves as an academic base of operations for the individual student groups. By having a permanent study center within campus and a close-knit group of classmates and facilitators, students keep each other accountable, support each other, and get a medical education that maintains the highest standards while still being able to be adjusted to suit a student’s individual learning style.

In the first year, students focus on the normal foundations of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and cell biology behavior in the eight organ systems. In the second year, the emphasis is on pathophysiology, microbiology and pharmacology of those same organ systems. Clinical skills are also incorporated into the preclinical curriculum.  first two years of the Preclinical Sciences.

Students need to complete 86 credits from Year 1, Year 2, and the Basic Science Integration Course (BSIC). This curriculum is effective as of Fall 2020. All courses are graded on a pass/fail system: Honors (H), High Pass (HP), Pass (P), and Fail (F).

FIRST ACADEMIC YEAR

  • Med 1 (Period 1)
    CourseNo. of Credits
    Preclinical Science I19
    This yearlong course in the preclinical sciences is based on an integrated, organ-system-based structure and gives the student an understanding of the embryology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, neuroscience and behavioral science, and introduction to clinical medicine, in the context of organ systems of the human body.
  • Med 2 (Period 2)
    CourseNo. of Credits
    Preclinical Science II19
    This yearlong course in the preclinical sciences is based on an integrated, organ-system-based structure and gives the student an understanding of the embryology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, neuroscience and behavioral science, and introduction to clinical medicine, in the context of the organ systems of the human body.
 

SECOND ACADEMIC YEAR

  • Med 3 (Period 3)
    CourseNo. of Credits
    Preclinical Science III-IV19
    The second yearlong course begins Preclinical Science III-IV, which is based on an integrated, organ-system-based structure and gives the student an understanding of pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, microbiology, and immunology, as well as clinical medicine topics, including evidence-based, community and preventive medicine, ethics, and clinical skills acquisition.
  • Med 4 (Period 4)
    CourseNo. of Credits
    Preclinical Science III-IV19
    The second year begins Preclinical Science III-IV, which is based on an integrated, organ-system-based structure and gives the student an understanding of pathology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, microbiology, and immunology, as well as clinical medicine topics, including evidence-based, community and preventive medicine, ethics, and clinical skills acquisition.
  • Basic Science Integration Course (BSIC)

    The Basic Science Integration Course (BSIC) is designed to synthesize, integrate, and reinforce what students have learned during their studies in the Preclinical Sciences. It is offered on AUA’s campus in Antigua over a ten-week period.

    Students must achieve a certifying score on the Comprehensive Shelf Exam and, then, must also pass Step I of the USMLE before they can proceed to the Clinical Clerkships.

    Students are given six months from the end of BSIC to pass the Comp Shelf Exam, but must achieve an acceptable score on the exam and pass Step I of the USMLE within one year of completion of their Preclinical Sciences courses.

    In 2019, 95% of AUA students passed Step 1 on their first attempt.

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