What Makes OUM’s Approach to Medical School Different?

Virtual Classrooms, Hands-On Experience

Two Curriculum Pathways

Twenty years ago, OUM emerged as a trendsetter, blending distance learning and traditional hands-on clinical training to bring medical education to students around the globe.

What Makes OUM’s Approach to Medical School Different?

Virtual Classrooms, Hands-On Experience

Twenty years ago, OUM emerged as a trendsetter, blending distance learning and traditional hands-on clinical training to bring medical education to students around the globe.

What is OUM’s Standard Pathway?

  • The Standard Pathway curriculum is typically completed in 4 to 4.5 years.
  • The Standard Pathway is recommended for students who do not intend to practice in the US.

Standard Pathway Students, Graduates, and Faculty

  • See our Graduate Success Stories page for graduate testimonials and videos, the Student Life page for student testimonials and videos, and our upcoming live webinars and on-demand webinars to meet faculty, deans, students, and graduates.
  • The Standard Pathway curriculum is typically completed in 4 to 4.5 years. It is recommended for students who do not intend to practice in the US.

Pre-Clinical Phase
(2 years)

This phase, presented through live, interactive, instructor-led, virtual classrooms includes:

  • General Principles Course
  • 9 Organ Systems
  • Pre-Clinical Exam (PCE)
  • Approved Research Proposal*

*Students must have their research prospectus approved by the Director of Research and presented at the Research Club before they may begin the Transition Phase.

Transition Phase
(6 Months)

This phase is intended to prepare students for a successful transition to clinical rotations and includes:

  • Clinical Transition Units
  • Clinical Skills Course (CSC)

Clinical Phase
(~1.5 Years)

This phase includes:

  • Clinical Core Rotations (56 weeks)
  • Elective Rotations (16 weeks — one elective to be taken in Samoa)
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Final Clinical Exam (FCE)
  • Research Methodology and Published Research Project

The Standard Pathway typically takes 4 to 4.5 years to complete.

The Pre-Clinical Phase includes:

  • General Principles Course
  • 9 Organ Systems
  • Pre-Clinical Exam (PCE)
  • Approved Research Proposal

General Principles Course

The 8-week General Principles Course, following Orientation, provides introductions to a number of basic sciences, including Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Anatomy and Physiology, Immunology, Microbiology, Pathology, and Pharmacology.

Organ Systems

In 9 Organ Systems, students build on the foundational knowledge gained during the General Principles Course. As students progress through each Organ System, they develop and improve clinical reasoning skills and apply their knowledge to medical scenarios depicting unique, as well as common, human conditions and ailments. Basic sciences are integrated throughout the units, providing students with material that combines the basic and clinical sciences in a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) case format.

  • Cardiovascular
  • Urinary
  • Pulmonary
  • Endocrine
  • Neuroscience
  • Heme-Immune
  • Reproduction
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Musculoskeletal

Journal Club

Once in practice, doctors must be able to read and understand the implications and possible role in patient care of information found in medical journals. OUM pre-clinical students must participate in Journal Club meetings, which involve the presentation of a peer-reviewed article, followed by faculty-led discussion. Students must present at least once during Organ Systems and attend a minimum of 50 sessions during the pre-clinical years.

The Transition Phase includes:

  • Clinical Transition Units
  • Clinical Skills Course (CSC)

This phase is intended to prepare students for a successful transition to clinical rotations. Students begin Clinical Transition Units after passing the PCE, and the phase concludes with the Clinical Skills Course (CSC).

The Clinical Transition Units emphasize integrating clinical skills and knowledge, including the interpretation of lab data and the formulation of clinical hypotheses and differential diagnosis, by incorporating previously acquired knowledge in the Organ Systems.

The Clinical Phase includes:

  • Clinical Core Rotations (56 weeks)
  • Elective Rotations (16 weeks — one elective to be taken in Samoa)
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Final Clinical Exam (FCE)
  • Research Methodology and Published Research Project 

CLINICAL ROTATIONS

The clinical curriculum consists of 72 weeks of core and elective clinical rotations at affiliated teaching hospitals or clinics.

Core Rotations

The core clinical rotations take 56 weeks to complete and their durations are:

  • Community/Family Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Internal Medicine (10 weeks)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (8 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (8 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (8 weeks)
  • Surgery (10 weeks)

Elective Rotations

Students complete 16 weeks of elective rotations, all 4 weeks in duration, one of which is a mandatory elective rotation in Samoa. 

Research Project

Completing a research project, including the writing of a manuscript accepted for publication, is a graduation requirement. Several resources are available to assist students in preparing for and completing their project including the Research Methodology Unit, Research Advisors, Research Club, Journal Club, Library, and the Research Committee.

FINAL CLINICAL ASSESSMENTS

Once the core and elective rotations are completed, the knowledge/skills-based Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) — required by regulatory agencies worldwide — complete the Clinical Phase of the MD degree program and meet OUM’s graduation requirements for Standard Pathway students.

Completing a Research Project, including the writing of a manuscript accepted for publication, is a graduation requirement at OUM.

Doctors read published research throughout their careers. Understanding the research process and being able to critically analyze results and draw conclusions about whether or not to apply a new drug or new procedure to a patient’s care underscores its importance. Research experience during medical school also strengthens a student’s residency or internship application.

Several resources are available to assist students in preparing for and completing their project including the Research Methodology module, Research Advisors, Research Club, Research Symposium, Journal Club, Library (for assistance with literature searches), and the Research Committee.

Students must have their Research Prospectus approved by the Director of Research and presented at the Research Club before they may begin clinical rotations.

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