Xavier University School of Medicine has adopted a modern, innovative and dynamic curriculum aimed at providing highly qualified physicians to US health care system and worldwide. The curriculum of XUSOM is prepared in alignment with its Mission, Vision and Educational Objectives.

The students learn Medicine via a well-organized system- based –curriculum, which closely correlates to the way the medicine is being practiced in the hospital. Innovative feature of XUSOM lies in its Curricular integration with well-organized Vertical (Collaboration between Basic and Clinical Sciences) and Horizontal integration (Collaboration between different disciplines of Basic Sciences). Vertically integrated Curriculum ensures that the students learn Basic Science from a clinical perspective from the first day of their medical school.

The total duration of the MD program is 4 years of which student spends first 2 years in the Aruba campus to learn the basic sciences and then proceeds to US for his clinical clerkships. During the Basic science program students are exposed to 9 organ systems. Each organ system is Integration of all the basic science subjects around the concepts of ICMPD (Integrated Clinical Medicine and Physical Diagnosis) and Objective structures Clinical Examination (OSCE) program. The curriculum ensures that, the students learn and theory and relevant clinical examination always in parallel to make learning complete and appropriate.

The students are also dealt with ethics of clinical practice, career counseling, Medical Humanities and professionalism for their holistic development. Teaching learning sessions like Clinical Case presentation, Team Based Learning and Problem Based learning help them to be an independent learner and imbibe the art of lifelong learning in them.

Pre-Medical Program – 16 months

Introduction to Chemical Properties of Matter

The course aims to prepare tomorrow’s doctors by setting the foundation of chemistry concepts and emphasizing how to utilize the information, and how to incorporate into medical training. This course introduces basic chemistry concepts such as types of chemical reactions, thermodynamics, orbitals, chemical bonds, and chemical calculations.

Energy and the Universe

This course will expose students to college level mathematics followed by some exciting areas of Physics such as Kinematics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Optics, Vibration, Waves, Electromagnetism Quantum Mechanics, and Fluid Mechanics.

Medical Communications

The purpose of the medical communications course is to provide the student with an understanding of the role of communication skills and the ability to apply this knowledge to diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Medical Communications is the study of communicating within the medical community while obtaining better usage and style within the English language. This course will explore the biopsychosocial needs of patients, families, and the multidisciplinary team.

Organ Structure and Function I

This course consists of fundamental concepts, musculoskeletal, and the renal systems. Each system will cover the fundamentals of normal structure and function with an introduction to clinical concepts and abnormal structure and function. Instructional methods will include lecture, small-group sessions, problem-based learning (PBL), laboratory work, self-study and clinical experience with real and simulated patients.

Basic Principles of Chemical Reactivity

This is the second half of a two-semester sequence designed for the non-chemistry major to gain a basic understanding of general chemistry. It is the continuation of Introduction to Chemical Property of Matter. Basic Principles of Chemical Reactivity introduces additional fundamental chemistry concepts such as kinetics, acids and bases, and nuclear reactions. This course also introduces the student to some Organic Chemistry concepts such as nomenclature and structures.

Organ Structure and Function II

This course consists of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and the respiratory systems. Each system will cover the fundamentals of normal structure and function with an introduction to clinical concepts and abnormal structure and function. Instructional methods will include lecture, small-group sessions, PBL, laboratory work, self-study and clinical experience with real and simulated patients.

Inheritance and Evolution

This course will continue with classical and molecular genetics processes learned in Cells and Cellular Processes, and explore how genes relate to disease. The relationship between genes, transcripts, and proteins, and how it affects an individual’s health will be explored. A critical component will be understanding the inheritance mechanisms of genes through utilization of human pedigrees. In addition, the course will look at micro and macro evolution.

Ethics and Behavioral Sciences I

This course, along with Ethics and Behavioral Sciences 2, is a broad survey of the history and theory underlying behavioral science and psychology, and medical ethics. This course is a preparatory course designed to prepare the student for the study of Medical Psychology and Ethics in the medical curriculum. Specific topics covered will include an overview of those ethical principles which will govern all medical practice, with specific application to ethics in the practice of psychiatric and behavioral medicine. Additionally, this course will cover the history of psychology and psychological research, lifespan development, sensation, learning, consciousness and cognition, all as they relate to human behavior in the medical setting. The course will conclude with an overview of the primary psychiatric pathologies that students will be studying in the medical curriculum, as well as those which will most often be encountered during clinical training in preparation for Step 1 of the USMLE .

Organ Structure and Function III

This course consists of nervous, endocrine and reproduction, and the immune systems. Each system will cover the fundamentals of normal structure and function with an introduction to clinical concepts and abnormal structure and function. Instructional methods will include lecture, small-group sessions, PBL, laboratory work, self-study and clinical experience with real and simulated patients.

Biostatistics

This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of statistics and how they are used in medicine and the biological sciences.

Ethics and Behavioral Sciences II

This course is a continuation of Ethics and Behavioral Sciences 1. It is a broad survey of the history and theory underlying behavioral science and psychology, and medical ethics. This course is a preparatory course designed to prepare the student for the study of Medical Psychology and Ethics in the medical curriculum. Specific topics covered will include an overview of those ethical principles which will govern all medical practice, with specific application to ethics in the practice of psychiatric and behavioral medicine. Additionally, this course will cover the history of psychology and psychological research, lifespan development, sensation, learning, consciousness and cognition, all as they relate to human behavior in the medical setting. The course will conclude with an overview of the primary psychiatric pathologies that students will be studying in the medical curriculum, as well as those which will most often be encountered during clinical training in preparation for Step 1 of the USMLE .

Basic Sciences – Years 1 & 2

Fundamental concepts: This 15-week course involves the study of foundation sciences in medicine, which enables students to understand the concepts and functioning of various organ systems in the body. The students learn topics relating to basic concepts of each medical subjects encompassing Anatomy, Embryology, Physiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology and ICMPD. The students are oriented to the basics of history-taking and examination in ICMPD. This course introduces the students to the art of co-learning with their fellow students. The teaching and learning methods in this system include interactive lectures, flipped classroom sessions, team-based learning, problem-based learning, seminars and small group discussions. The assessment includes both summative and formative assessment. The system ends with a system ending exam conducted by the NBME board.

Patient, Doctor, and Society I: This is the first course in a five-part series which includes Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Critical Appraisal of Scientific Literature (CASL), medical professionalism, humanities, early clinical exposure, and classroom activities. Students visit local general practitioners for their early clinical exposure during this semester. In the local clinics, they observe the interaction between the patient and the doctor and get firsthand information on patient communication.

Healthcare Quality Improvement I: This is the first course in a five-part series which includes the online Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) module and medical ethics.

Musculoskeletal system: This is an interdisciplinary integrated module of musculoskeletal system. Basic sciences of anatomy, biochemistry microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology of the musculoskeletal system are correlated with clinical disorder of this system under ICMPD. The goal of this integrated course is to provide the student with comprehensive knowledge about bones, joints muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin and associated soft tissues related to clinical manifestations of diseases. The teaching methods include lectures and small group discussions of clinical-oriented problems to enhance self-directed learning. Relevant clinical examination of integumentary system is discussed and the same would be evaluated through OSCE program.

Endocrine and Reproductive System: The system is designed and taught from multidisciplinary perspectives and will model the kinds of creative partnerships among our students as they learn to work as a group . It integrates in a systematic approach the study of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology, pathology, and the clinical presentation of the Endocrine and Reproductive systems. Students get to learn the principles of human growth, control of food intake, physiological management of stress, maintenance of serum electrolytes, human reproduction, fertilization, and contraception. The presentation of Endocrine and reproductive system disorders along with clinical features with reasoning is are discussed under ICMPD. Thyroid and Breast clinical examination along with appropriate history taking would be discussed and evaluated through OSCE program.

Patient, Doctor, and Society II: Using the foundation from the first part of this course, students move on to more advanced components. The students again learn critical analysis of scientific literature, participate in discussions involving medical humanities and professionalism. They also learn concepts of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in this course.

Healthcare Quality Improvement II: More advanced issues in medical ethics will be discussed, using the foundation from the first part of this course.

Renal and Metabolic System: The Renal and metabolic system introduces the students to the basic understanding of the normal structure and functions of the kidneys along with the principles involving the renal handling of salt and water. Students also get to learn about the various principles and latest methods of managing renal disorders along with relevant metabolic and electrolyte abnormalities associated with the renal system. The teaching methods entwine knowledge, skills and attitude, thus giving a holistic approach to learning the renal system. The teaching methods include interactive lectures, problem based learning (PBL), construction of concept maps and clinical vignettes, small group sessions and case presentations. Students will summarize and discuss the relevant clinical findings and presentation of renal diseases under ICMPD.

Nervous System: This system is considered one of the most vital and challenging organ systems. This is an interdisciplinary integrated module on the nervous system. Basic and clinical science are taught in a coordinated manner, so the anatomy, physiology histology, neuroscience, microbiology, pathology, and pharmacology of the nervous system are effectively correlated with clinical disorders. The goal of this integrated course is to provide the medical student with comprehensive knowledge about central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems in relation to clinical manifestations and treatments for neurological disorders and diseases. The teaching methods include interactive lectures of preclinical subjects and integrating them with clinical exposure through ICMPD to various clinical neurological disorders, Team Based Learning, Clinical Case Presentations, and small group discussions of clinically oriented problems. Students also receive support and guidance to enhance their self-directed learning. Students learn to take a detailed history and perform an extensive neurological examination from the ICMPD subject experts. The student’s clinical skills are assessed under OSCE.

Patient, Doctor, and Society III: After a review of the skills developed in Patient, Doctor, and Society I & II, students will begin to delve deeper into the aforementioned components. The students will critically review the scientific literature and have a movie screening activities as part of this course.

Healthcare Quality Improvement III: This course will provide a comprehensive study of the legal and ethical issues involved in the practice of medicine, after a review of the skills developed in Healthcare Quality Improvement I & II.

Gastrointestinal System: The student learning in Gastro intestinal system is related to gaining comprehensive knowledge about the oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, pancreas and then relate that information to clinical manifestations of diseases. Contribution of various glands of gastrointestinal tract in digestion by secreting the appropriate digestive enzymes and consequences of its disease process is described in detail to all the students. The students learn presentation, pathogenesis, work up and treatment of all the gastrointestinal diseases under ICMPD. The teaching methods include lectures, TBL, clinical case presentation, small group discussions. gastrointestinal clinical examination and history taking is discussed in ICMPD. These skills are assessed by OSCE.

Respiratory System: This is an interdisciplinary and integrated module on the Human Respiratory System designed to explore and apply the principles of functioning, tests of healthy lung function, and the mechanisms of disease development and management. With the goal of providing comprehensive knowledge to the medical student, subjects of basic sciences including anatomy, histology, physiology, pathology, microbiology, pharmacology, public health and clinical medicine are integrated into respiratory-system-based modules with emphasis on the pathology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of patients with respiratory diseases. The teaching methods include lectures, TBL, clinical case presentation, and small group discussions. Respiratory system history taking and clinical examination is discussed under ICMPD and these skills are assessed by OSCE.

Patient, Doctor, and Society IV: After a quick review of the first three parts of this course, students will be moving into the more advanced components. The students will also review and analyze scientific literature during this course.

Healthcare Quality Improvement IV: Students will explore the advanced legal and ethical issues that arise in the practice of medicine, after a quick review of the first three parts of this course.

Cardiovascular System: The cardiovascular system module is an integrated presentation of the principles of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and how these subjects are integrated in clinical medicine. This module builds upon an understanding of the structure and function of the cardiovascular system and enables students to integrate basic science and clinical concepts related to this system with emphasis on the pathology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiovascular diseases. The teaching and learning process of Cardio-vascular system module is well designed and provides a solid base in paramedical disciplines to prepare students for clinical practice. The teaching methods include lectures, TBL, clinical case presentation, small group discussions. Cardiovascular system history taking and a thorough clinical examination is discussed under ICMPD and these skills are assessed by OSCE.

Hematopoietic System: The hematopoietic module embraces interdisciplinary and integrated teaching and learning in order to support our students’ approach to patient care from their earliest courses. It involves the study of blood forming elements, blood constituents, coagulation, and/ organs involved in, or that interact with, these physiologic functions. As defined by the American Society of Hematology (ASH), “a hematologist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and/or investigation of disorders of the hematopoietic, hemostatic, and lymphatic systems, and disorders of the interaction between blood and blood vessel wall.” The teaching methods entwine knowledge, skills and attitude, thus giving a holistic approach to learning Hematopoietic. The teaching methods include interactive lectures, Team based learning (PBL), construction of concept maps and clinical vignettes, small group sessions and case presentations.

Patient, Doctor, and Society V: After reviewing all the skills learned up to this point, students will focus on advanced appraisal of scientific literature. The students will also visit the hospital and get experience of working with different medical professionals. This course will also help them to apply their history-taking skills on the live patients and review the basics of clinical examination.

Healthcare Quality Improvement V: Students will move on to the most advanced, medically relevant, ethical questions, after reviewing all the skills learned up to this point.

Subject based review by Kaplan: This MD6 module is a subject-based discussion facilitated by Kaplan involving Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, Immunology, Behavioral Science, Pathology, Pharmacology, ICMPD and Public Health conducted by Kaplan. This module is 18 credit hours and is designed to enhance the student’s knowledge of the fundamental concepts of Basic Sciences in order to prepare students for USMLE STEP I and to enter clinical rotations. It is a comprehensive review that unites the structure of live online lectures with faculty/student interaction and daily Q & A sessions. Application of concept integration using the formation of small groups and problem-based learning cases will be structured to meet the student’s individual needs based on diagnostic tests and ongoing performance. USMLE-style timed practice tests at intervals throughout the course will provide feedback on the continued progress of each student. Every student receives access to over 200 hours of updated video lecture content with online streaming and over 300 hours of interactive live lectures. The student will also have access to question bank questions and simulated exams for home-based study. Along with these resources students are trained with Basic Life Support techniques and principles of HIPAA.

Assessment: There is both Formative and Summative Assessments in the MD6 program. As a part of the summative assessments the students are administered NBME Subject Assessments in Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology and Pharmacology. The course ends with a Kaplan Exit Exam. The summative scores are prepared with contributions from NBME and Kaplan Exit Exam which will decide the academic outcome.

Comprehensive Clinical Skills Assessment 1 (CCSA-1): The chief clinical component of MD6 includes Clinical Skills Training and CCSA-1. This course incorporates previously acquired knowledge and skills and augments them to create a bridge to further learning. It is intended to prepare students for a successful transition to clinical clerkships through additional patient contact in US clinical facilities. Emphasis is placed on improving techniques of the physical examination and diagnostic skills. Students are trained to formulate rational clinical hypotheses and differential diagnoses.

The student then proceeds to write Comprehensive Basic Science Examination and USMLE step 1 before they start with clinical rotations in US.

Clinical Sciences – Years 3 & 4
  • Introduction to US Clinical Research (8 Weeks)
  • Introduction to US Clinicals (4 Weeks)
Core Rotations – 48 Weeks

The 12 weeks of the internal medicine rotation aims at teaching students with core clinical skills in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of medical problems. Students are guided on developing logical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of patients’ complaints. The core competencies that the students learn in Internal Medicine are:

  1. Art of eliciting and assessment of Patient information.
  2. Performing an accurate and relevant physical examination.
  3. Integration of History, Physical Examination and Diagnostics in formulating the differential diagnosis and problem list. The students are also exposed on how to construct a diagnostic work up and a plan of management for these cases.

In addition, the student learns effective communication with patients and with medical, nursing, and other ancillary staff.

The students are rotated among different sub-specialties of Medicine as per the table shown below.

Week Sub-specialty

  1. Approach to History taking and Physical Examination, Dermatology
  2. Cardiology
  3. Otorhinolaryngology rotations
  4. Endocrinology
  5. Pulmonary Medicine
  6. Gastrointestinal Medicine
  7. Urology
  8. Infectious diseases
  9. Neurology
  10. Ophthalmology
  11. Toxicology
  12. Hematology

Students are expected to present cases every week to the preceptors, who will further give feedback on how to improve their clinical skills.

The surgical clerkship is an integrated, clinical experience designed to introduce the student to the basic concepts of surgical practice. This clerkship encompasses both in- patient and outpatient clinic experience based on a student-resident-attending physician teaching team. The duration of this clerkship is 12 weeks.

The emphasis during the rotation is NOT on surgical technique but on the understanding of the pathophysiology of disease, the use of surgical intervention, and the management of pre- and post-operative problems. Through work in this clerkship, the student becomes familiar with proper consultative practices and understands the basic routines and sub-routines of surgical management. The student are expected to assist in the operating room to gain an understanding of basic surgical techniques, surgical discipline in relation to asepsis, and care of the unconscious patient.

Students learn procedures involving manual skills such as catheterization, venipuncture, placing and removing sutures. Instructional methods include series of lectures, group discussions, observation, Grand Rounds, clinical/hospital interaction, assignments, and case studies under the direction of the doctors and/or senior residents at the hospital, clinic, or private office. Students will further demonstrate knowledge of the core through completion of case studies and assignments as determined by the doctors and/or senior residents.

Family Medicine is an essential component of the primary care infrastructure of the US health care system. This primary care specialty provides first contact, ongoing, and preventive care to all patients regardless of age, gender, culture, care setting, or type of problem. Family Medicine clinical experiences allow students to understand how context influences the diagnostic process and management decisions. Students learn the fundamentals of an approach to the evaluation and management of frequently occurring, complex, concurrent, and ill-defined problems across a wide variety of acute and chronic presentations.

The Family Medicine Clerkship is designed to provide medical students with the knowledge and skill to competently manage medical patients, as well as knowledge about how family dynamics and behavioral medicine principles apply to caring for the health and well-being of the family unit.

During the clinical rotation in the obstetrics/ gynecology students gain the knowledge and experience in managing the normal and abnormal changes that occur during pregnancy and lactation, delivery, and the puerperium. They also understand the principles involved in diagnosing and treating gynecologic disorders.

Students understands the process and important concepts like art of history-taking, and skills of clinical examination of patients. These includes basic skill acquisition training like performing pelvic examinations, passing a speculum, obtaining cervical smear. Students must attend the pre and post-natal care, family planning, infertility and such specialty clinics. They attend patients in the labor delivery room, get to monitor them and record partograms.

This didactic and clinical experience will be in an academic atmosphere which includes residents, house officers, and attending faculty. This curriculum is intended to provide objectives for the medical student who may enter any discipline and is divided into units and sections with specific objectives.

This course will be taught through a series of lectures, group discussions, observation, Grand Rounds, clinical/hospital interaction, assignments, and case studies under the direction of the doctors and/or senior residents at the hospital, clinic, or private office. Students will further demonstrate knowledge of the core through completion of case studies and assignments as determined by the doctors and/or senior residents. Students will be expected to observe minor and major surgical procedures and learn basic surgical techniques.

This 6 weeks core rotation primarily focuses on aspects related to collection of proper history (either from child or their care takers), a through pediatric clinical examination, Diagnosis, work up and treatment of pediatric diseases. The adequacy as well as accuracy of the students is checked by the resident physicians and preceptors. Fundamentals of pediatric management are learned from the resident staff. Attendance at lectures, seminars, and conferences expands the student’s view of the sick and well children.

In the well child outpatient services, the student learns the milestones of growth and development, infant feeding, child nutrition, preventative pediatrics including immunization, and the common minor ailments of childhood. In the pediatric specialty clinics, the student observes the management and progression of a wide variety of serious and chronic illnesses.

Emergency department and urgent care experience permits the student to be the first to evaluate infants and children with previously undiagnosed acute illness, such as asthma exacerbation, otitis, pneumonia and similar problems.

The initial management of the newborn is learned in the delivery room. In the nurseries, the student practices the examination of the newborn and learns about the initiation of feeding, neonatal physiological changes, and minor difficulties. In the newborn intensive care unit, the student is an observer of the management of the premature and term infant with a serious or potentially serious aliment.

This course will be taught through a series of lectures, group discussions, observation, Grand Rounds, clinical/hospital interaction, assignments, and case studies under the direction of the doctors and/or senior residents at the hospital, clinic, or private office. Students will further demonstrate knowledge of the core through completion of case studies and assignments as determined by the doctors and/or senior residents.

The clerkship in Psychiatry familiarizes the student with the psychological aspects of human behavior in health and disease, and the diagnosis and management of psychiatric interviews and on performing mental status examinations. The student observes interviews and conducts psychiatric examinations under supervision.

During the clinical rotations, students spend a period of time on an inpatient psychiatric service where they apply the training received under supervision of house staff and clinical faculty. In most instances students also receive experience with outpatient psychiatry, child psychiatry, and substance rehabilitation programs.

This course will be taught through a series of lectures, group discussions, observation, Grand Rounds, clinical/hospital interaction, assignments, and case studies under the direction of the doctors and/or senior residents at the hospital, clinic, or private office. Students will further demonstrate knowledge of the core through completion of case studies and assignments as determined by the doctors and/or senior residents.

Elective Rotations – 24 Weeks
  • Cardiology
  • Family Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Anesthesiology
  • Intensive Care Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Pathology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Radiology
  • Urology
  • Vascular Surgery

These rotations are generally pursued in the field appropriate to career interest and they provide a greater amount of showcasing and networking experiences.

A student will generally select an elective sub-internship, where they will perform the role of an intern or first-year medical graduate, under the supervision of senior staff and attending physicians.

Preclinical Clerkships

Core Rotations

Elective Rotations