The foundation of the undergraduate medical student curriculum at the University of Missouri School of Medicine is patient-based learning, a style of medical education introduced more than 20 years ago at MU that allows students to work through real clinical cases to foster skills individually and in interdisciplinary teams. With an emphasis on clinical reasoning, self-directed and collaborative learning, and early clinical experiences, the curriculum prepares students to deliver care that improves the health of individuals and communities.

Thanks to our class-expansion project, students now have the option to spend their last two years of training at our Springfield Clinical Campus, which operates in partnership CoxHealth and Mercy health systems. Learn more about our campus in Springfield, Missouri, and our class-expansion project.

We’re guided by a strong commitment to our students and ensuring they have a strong commitment to the patients they serve. Learn about key characteristics of our graduates. View our mission and educational goal statements for medical education, our vision statement for medical education and our foundation values for medical education.

Years One and Two

During the first and second years, an emphasis is placed on small-group learning. In favor of patient-based learning methods that are based on real-patient scenarios in actual clinical contexts, there is minimal lecture-based learning. There are no department- or discipline-based courses.

Year Three

During the third year, seven core clerkships are required in family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery. All of the seven core clerkships will be taken at either the Springfield or Columbia campus. The neurology clerkship is five weeks, the psychiatry clerkship is six weeks, and all others are seven weeks. During these clerkships, students learn the fundamentals of good patient care, and faculty assesses student competencies. All students may take up to four core clerkships developed and approved by School of Medicine departments through the MU Rural Scholars Program.

Year Four

During the fourth year, two four-week advanced clinical selectives, four four-week general electives, one two-week general elective and one four-week Advanced Biomedical Sciences course are required. One of the required selectives must be a surgical selective, and one must be a medical selective. These electives/selectives can be completed in Springfield, Columbia, or during an away rotation.