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Year One - The Basic Sciences

The first year introduces students to the building blocks of medicine--the basic sciences. Duke pares these subjects down to the essentials you'll need in medical practice.

Basic science content is integrated into four interdisciplinary courses enabling students to learn the material within the appropriate context. Related materials are taught together -- for example, you might study anatomy and physiology of the heart at the same time. Classes are designed to suit all learning styles, ranging from lecture formats to case presentations to seminars, small groups, team-based learning, and computer-based learning. We also assign students to lab teams of 12 with whom you'll work throughout the year.

Is one year enough time to absorb all the basic sciences? Consider Duke students' performance on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) basic science exam: Virtually every student passes; in fact, our students score above the national average year after year.

First Year Course Work

Molecules and Cells
A6.5-week course integrating the topics of Biochemistry, Genetics, and Cell Biology.

Normal Body

A12.5-week course integrating the topics of Gross Anatomy, Microanatomy, and Physiology.

Brain and Behavior

A 4-week course integrating the topics of Neurobioloy and Human Behavior.

Body and Disease

A 20-week course integrating the topics of Microbiology, Immunology, Pathology, and Pharmacology.


Year Two: Clinical Rotations

"I love second year especially the one-on-one interaction with the faculty..."

Duke's unusual curriculum gets students on the wards a year earlier than their peers nationwide.
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Year Three: Research & Scholarship

"Everyone here does what they do very well..."

Duke's unique third year is a time of freedom to study an area of particular interest in depth--a time to gain special insight into your long-term career goals and mature your approach to medicine.
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Year Four: Advanced Clinical Rotations

"...Duke just makes taking the next step that much easier ."

Students complete 32 elective clinical science credits during the fourth year, including one sub-internship and one critical care elective. The year culminates with a four-week long Capstone course.
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