Standard Pathway (Australia, New Zealand, and beyond)

The Standard Pathway curriculum may be completed in four-and-a-half to five years. It is recommended for students who do not intend to practice in the United States and do not need to pass the USMLE.

The pre-clinical phase of the Standard Pathway, presented through OUM’s online classroom, lasts a total of 102 weeks, including a 12-week Introduction to Medicine prep course, 30 weeks of eFoundation 300 Standard Basic Science modules of varying duration, followed by 60 weeks of System-Based Modules. An OUM student may continue to work during this portion of the program if s/he is able to keep pace with the coursework. Some students opt for a reduced work schedule during this time.

The clinical phase consists of 72 weeks of clinical rotations at affiliated teaching hospitals and institutions. Outside employment is not allowed during the clinical phase.

12-week Introduction to Medicine

Students must complete the non-credit 12-week Introduction to Medicine before commencing the basic sciences. Students will be required to take pre- and post- exams and score 70% or higher in the post-exam to continue into the medical curriculum. The pre- and post-exams measure medical school readiness and should help students identify strengths and weaknesses.

Live Interactive Sessions Online

Throughout the pre-clinical phase, students attend live interactive sessions with an instructor four days a week. The live interactive lectures are offered via the Zoom virtual classroom. Live sessions are held:

  • Monday – Thursday, 8 pm to 10 pm Eastern Time (North America)
  • Tuesday – Friday, late mornings to Midday (Australia, New Zealand, and beyond)

“I like the flexibility that OUM offers. The autonomy of having your own career, continuing to work, and still being able to fulfill your dream of becoming a doctor. “

Firas H., Chiropractor, Class of 2019


Standard Pathway

Students begin the eFoundation 300 Standard Basic Science modules after completing the 12-week Introduction to Medicine medical school prep course with a post-exam score >70%. The basic sciences are presented in modules ranging from two to five weeks. The eF300 Standard Basic Sciences cover nine disciplines in 30 weeks.

Classic and molecular biochemistry, including structure, function, and biosynthesis of macromolecules, metabolic interrelations and control mechanisms, and biochemical genetics. Application of recent advances in knowledge of molecular bases for cellular function to disease states (diagnosis, prevention, and treatment).

The study of the structure and function of the genetic material, including DNA structure, DNA replication and recombination, regulation of gene expression, and protein synthesis. Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems are examined, including contemporary recombinant DNA technology and applications of molecular cloning procedures.

An introduction to human genetics. Topics include human gene organization and expression, chromosome structure, karotyping, chromosomal aberrations, sex determination and sex chromosome abnormalities, patterns of single gene inheritance, linkage analysis, human gene mapping, inborn errors in metabolism, human population genetics, polymorphic cell surface antigens, multifactorial inheritance genetics of cancer, prenatal diagnosis, and uses of recombinant DNA in medical genetics.

Functional features of the major organ systems in the human body. Emphasis on homeostasis and the interactions of organ systems in health and disease.

A systems approach to the analysis of human structure. Molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, and organ system levels of structure and organization are integrated throughout.

How neuroscience uses tools of many disciplines, from imaging to behavior, to develop and test hypotheses about functions of specific parts of the brain. Basic organization of nerve cells and the human nervous system, methods of visualizing nerve cells, neural connections, and neural activity patterns are covered.

Embryologic development from ovulation through birth is covered and is organized by organ systems. Topics are integrated with human anatomy to facilitate understanding of anatomic relationships, selected birth defects, and anatomic variants.

Microanatomy is designed to provide students with knowledge of the major features of the structural organization of cells, tissues, and organs, and how that organization is related to function. Cell biology involves an analysis of the basic structure and function of human cells, with an emphasis on the regulation of cellular processes. The basic features of membranes, cellular compartmentalization, protein trafficking, vesicular transport, cytoskeleton, adhesion, signal transduction, and cell cycle are covered.

The various classes of drugs that are used in medicine, particularly those used in specific or symptomatic treatment of disease states, are covered. Drugs of abuse are also covered. Emphasis is on the mechanisms of action of drugs at the organ and system level and on their use in medicine.

Comparative metabolism of small molecules and cell structure and relationship to microbial classification are covered, including macromolecule synthesis and regulation, cell division, growth, and effects of antibiotics.

A study of humoral and cellular immunology. Topics include lymphoid systems, cells, antigens, antibodies, antibody formation, cellular immunity, and tumor and transplantation immunology. Diseases and altered immune states associated with each topic are discussed in detail.

An overview of the molecular mechanisms of human diseases, including neurologic, hematologic, neoplastic, and infectious diseases.

Lectures in normal human development and psychopathology. The class focuses on biological, psychological, and social substrates of normal and pathological human behavior, including major the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

100-Level eFoundation Basic Sciences

The eF100 USMLE Basic Sciences consist of ten six-week classes in the basic sciences. The eF100 series covers the basic sciences in much greater depth than the eF300-series.

Problem-Based Learning

After completion of the basic science blocks, students proceed to the System-Based Modules, using problem-based learning (PBL) to demonstrate the practical application of the basic sciences through case-based study. Each case begins with a virtual patient presentation (or scenario) and follows patient progression through the following stages:

  • Patient presentation
  • History & physical examination
  • Differential diagnosis
  • Laboratory tests & diagnostic imaging
  • Provisional diagnosis
  • Short-term management
  • Long-term management

Modules 3 through 11: System-Based Preclinical Study

Each System-Based Module, six weeks in length, combines the basic and clinical sciences in a case format. During each week of the module, several cases and supporting materials are accessed online through Moodle and fully examined as the basis for classroom discussion. Students will also participate in interactive lectures covering additional key concepts, and engage in independent study.

The System-Based Modules include:

The cardiovascular cases include chest pain, arterial hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, arrhythmia, infective endocarditis, and congenital heart disease.

The endocrinology cases include thyroid disease, parathyroid disease, pituitary disease, adrenal disease, type 1 diabetes mellitus, and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The gastrointestinal cases include esophageal disorders, gastric and duodenal disorders, intestinal disorders, hepatic disorders, cirrhosis, and pancreatic and biliary disorders.

The hemic-immune system cases include immunodeficiency disorders, systemic lupus erythematosus, leukemia, lymphoma, anemia, and hemostasis.

The musculoskeletal cases include rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, osteogenesis imperfecta, gout, osteoporosis, and osteosarcoma.

The neurology and neuroscience cases include multiple sclerosis, bacterial meningitis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.

The renal module focuses on glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndrome, acute and chronic renal failure, fluids and electrolytes, acid-base balance, and nephrolithiasis via written case vignettes with a strong emphasis on the underlying basic science principles.

The reproduction cases include sexual development, amenorrhea, prolactinoma, cervical cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

The respiratory cases include asthma, tuberculosis, pneumonia, HIV, lung cancer, and COPD.

Module 13: Trends and Topics in Medicine

Students are required to take three additional modules to round out their pre-clinical experience and prepare for the clinical rotations. Trends & Topics is a stand-alone six week course that includes case studies in behavioral medicine, legal medicine, ethics, and integrative medicine, nutrition, and preventive medicine to offer the student a well-rounded exposure to current issues facing the medical profession.

Throughout the pre-clinical modules, each student meets regularly with an academic advisor who will help direct their studies as well as assess his/her progress. Before the System-Based Modules, students will be asked to select a physician mentor. Mentors do not teach case content or biomedical theory, but offer clinical experience and advice relevant to the student’s current System-Based Module. Learn more about Student Support.

Research Requirement

Prior to graduation, all students are required to complete an original research project and to publish the results in Medical Student International, the student research journal created by OUM faculty, or a peer-reviewed journal. Students will need to identify a faculty member who is willing to oversee their research project and manuscript preparation. The research course provides 20 hours of faculty time to work with the student on the research project.

Journal Club

Students are required to participate in Journal Club (JC) upon enrolling in the System-Based Modules, though all students and faculty are invited to attend JC sessions. Each student must present at least one article while enrolled in the System-Based Modules and once during the clinical phase.


Clinical Skills Course

Before progressing to the clinical phase, students must complete an 8-week Clinical Skills Course consisting of online academic instruction and a five day face-to-face practical instruction component. Students must pass this course before being permitted to begin clinical rotations.

Upon completing the pre-clinical modules and passing Clinical Skills Course, OUM students become eligible to begin 72 weeks of clinical rotations. The core clinical rotations cover 56 weeks, followed by 16 additional weeks of advanced and general electives. Students are required to begin clinical rotations within six months of completing the pre-clinical phase.

Clinical students will have an opportunity to train in both ambulatory and in-patient hospital settings. During core rotations, students are assigned to a clinical supervisor at the clinical site to complete clerkship training. Together with the hands-on work, students complete PBL cases, directed learning activities, and supportive lectures associated with the clerkship. Students are required to view clinical lectures and take a corresponding written final examination for each core clerkship.

The core clinical modules in OUM’s MD program and their durations are:

Internal Medicine12 Weeks
Surgery12 Weeks
Pediatrics8 Weeks
Obstetrics & Gynecology8 Weeks
Psychiatry4 Weeks
Emergency Medicine4 Weeks
Community Medicine8 Weeks

Elective Rotations

In addition to the core clinical rotations, MD students will take 16 weeks of university-approved elective rotations in order to complete the 72-week requirement. The electives may expand further study into core subjects or introduce students to new areas to help them with career decisions. They may focus on patient management problems, exposure to the specialties, and the acquisition of additional procedural skills prior to beginning a supervised internship/residency program.

Flexible Program

OUM’s flexible program allows students to complete the program in as few as four years, while working healthcare professionals who have been out of university for a while may need to take some additional basic sciences and complete the degree within five years.

Many OUM students continue to work and earn an income during the two years of pre-clinical years. During this time, students will study an average of 40-50 hours per week on their studies. OUM essentially becomes a second full-time job. Some students seek flexible work schedules during this time.

Flexibility allows OUM’s students to progress through the curriculum at their own pace. One of the keys to success at OUM is self-discipline and time management. OUM provides the necessary resources and support, but the student needs to secure the study time necessary to learn the material. Learn more about Student Support.