Live interactive sessions online
Throughout the preclinical phase, students attend live interactive sessions with an instructor four days a week. Lectures are offered live via the Collaborate virtual classroom and recorded for students who have a scheduling conflict or who wish to listen to the lecture a second time. Live sessions are held Monday – Thursday, 8 pm to 10 pm Eastern Time (USA), and Tuesday – Friday, late mornings to midday (Australia/New Zealand).
“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
Module 1: Introduction to Medicine (e-ITM)
Introduction to Medicine, or e-ITM, begins the preclinical phase of study. Entering students are oriented to OUM’s self-directed learning system (Moodle) during the e-ITM module, which offers a solid background and understanding of the basic sciences.
The e-ITM is offered online over 20 weeks, beginning with a compulsory orientation program held online. The orientation will present strategies for success in medical school, an introduction to required IT modalities, and a “meet and greet” forum for students, faculty, administrators, and academic advisers.
Students are tested through a quiz at the end of the first week and an exam at the end of the second week of each two-week basic science block. Students who do not pass an e-ITM block may be recommended to take the corresponding 100-level e-Foundation Sciences block. The 100-series e-Foundation Sciences blocks consist of four-week, intensive classes in each of the basic sciences.
In the e-ITM Track, basic sciences are presented via Collaborate in two-week blocks, some individually and others combined, as follows:
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.
Module 2: e-Foundation Sciences
Upon completing the e-ITM, students take two five-week 200-series e-Foundation Sciences blocks:
- e-Foundation Sciences 201 covers molecular biology, biochemistry, and human genetics.
- e-Foundation Sciences 202 covers gross anatomy, general pathology, microbiology, immunology, and general pharmacology.
MD students scoring less than 60 percent in the e-Foundation Sciences 200-series will be required to take the corresponding 100-level e-Foundation Sciences block prior to enrolment in the system-based modules. For example, a student scoring less than 60 on e-Foundation Sciences 201 will have to pass the 100-level Biochemistry and Molecular Biology & Medical Genetics blocks before progressing in the program.
100-Level e-Foundation Sciences Series
The e-Foundation Sciences 100-series consists of ten four-week classes in the basic sciences. The 100-series covers the basic sciences in much greater depth than the 200-series.
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.
Modules 12 through 14: Trends, Research Methodology, and Clinical Skills
Students are required to take three additional modules to round out their preclinical experience and prepare for the clinical rotations. Trends & Topics is a stand-alone six week course. The Day-One Clinical Skills Course introduces foundational clinical skills on the first day of medical school. Along with research methodology, the clinical skills module spans the entire preclinical curriculum and is taken concurrently with other modules.
- Trends & Topics in Medicine: Trends & Topics in Medicine 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 medicine.
- Research Methodology: Students learn the language and methods of research as they prepare their research project, working directly with a research adviser who will help them choose a research topic, design and conduct the study, and prepare the manuscript.
- Clinical Skills: Throughout the preclinical curriculum, students will build upon their clinical skills, especially in history taking and physical examination. As students prepare to enter clinical rotations, they complete an in-person, on-site assessment of a “patient.”
Throughout the e-ITM and the preclinical modules, each student meets regularly with an academic adviser 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.
Students are required to participate in Journal Club (JC) upon enrolling in the system-based preclinical 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.
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.
Upon completing the preclinical modules and passing their preliminary exams, 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 preclinical 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:
|Obstretics & Gynecology
The Samoa Rotation Requirement
Students are required to complete at least one four-week clinical rotation at OUM’s teaching hospital in Samoa. If a student commences the clinical phase by enrolling in the 12-week Internal Medicine module at Tupua Tamasese Meaole (TTM) Hospital in Samoa, then the Clinical Skills course requirement may be waived, which will save time and money. Basic clinical skills instruction is included in the Samoa-based 12-week Internal Medicine module, and in Samoa, students are given ample opportunity to develop their clinical skills in a closely supervised environment. The tuition fee saved by not having to take the Clinical Skills course will cover much of the travel and accommodation expenses in Samoa.
For more information about clinical rotations in Samoa:
Office of the Vice Chancellor
Oceania University of Medicine
PO Box 232 Moto’ otua
Phone +685 30036
Fax +685 30035
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.
Full-Time or Part-Time?
OUM’s flexible program allows full-time students to complete the program in as few as four years, while part-time students—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 preclinical 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.
For full-time students, OUM’s MD program may be completed in as few as four years, as the student is able to study the requisite 80-100 hours per week that successful students in a traditional medical school need to fully absorb the material.
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.