What Makes Our Approach 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 Our Approach 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.

The USMLE Pathway is directed towards students who intend to practice in the United States. These students must pass the USMLE Step 1, heavily focused on the Basic Sciences, before beginning clinical rotations, and must pass USMLE Step 2 in order to graduate from medical school. This Pathway typically takes 4.5 to 5 years to complete.

Pre-Clinical Curriculum

The pre-clinical phase presented through OUM’s interactive virtual classrooms, lasts 90 weeks, and includes the 8-week General Principles Course and 82 weeks of System-Based modules.

Students attend live, instructor-led sessions four days each week, Tuesday through Friday, late morning to Midday for students in Australia/New Zealand/Samoa or Monday through Thursday 8:00-10:00 PM Eastern Time for students in North America. Upon completion of the pre-clinical curriculum, students must pass a pre-clinical exam (PCE).

Clinical Curriculum

Once students pass the USMLE Step 1 and the required Clinical Skills Course, they embark on 72 weeks of core and elective clinical rotations at affiliated teaching hospitals and clinics. Following the core rotations, students take the USMLE Step 2 Prep Course, the NBME Examination, and USMLE Step 2 before progressing to electives and then the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), required by regulatory agencies worldwide. This completes the clinical phase of the MD degree program.

USMLE Prep Program

Students intending to practice medicine in the United States must pass the USMLE Step 1 exam in order to begin clinical rotations, and the USMLE Step 2 exam in order to graduate from medical school. To ensure exam readiness, OUM has developed an extensive program to prepare its students for both examinations. The Prep Program consists of the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Prep Courses. The cost for both courses is included in student tuition.

As of 1 November 2022, OUM students have had a 100 percent pass rate for both USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 since launch of the Prep Program.

USMLE Prep Program Details

The pre-clinical phase of the USMLE Pathway includes:

  • General Principles Course
  • System-Based Modules
  • Pre-Clinical Exam (PCE)
  • United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 Prep Course, National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Examination, USMLE Step 1
General Principles Course

Study and critical thinking skills will be incorporated into an online Orientation prior to the commencement of the General Principles Course. After Orientation and before System-Based Modules begin, students commence an 8-week General Principles Course to assess their readiness for medical school. Students are required to take pre- and post-exams and score 70 percent or higher on the post-course exam in order to continue into OUM’s pre-clinical curriculum. The pre- and post-course exams help students identify strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. The General Principles Course subjects include Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Anatomy and Physiology, Immunology, Microbiology, Pathology and Pharmacology and will be an introduction to the general principles of each discipline.

System-Based Modules

The Basic Sciences are integrated into the problem-based learning cases and covered throughout the pre-clinical curriculum. The 10 System-Based Modules (SBMs) (including Rheumatology and Behavioral Medicine) vary in length from four (4) to twelve (12) weeks, providing the material that combines the basic and clinical sciences in a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) case format.

The ten (10) System-Based Modules (82 weeks) are:

  • Cardiovascular System (12 weeks)
  • Urinary System (10 weeks)
  • Pulmonary System (10 weeks)
  • Endocrine System (8 weeks)
  • Reproductive System (8 weeks)
  • Gastrointestinal System (6 weeks)
  • Hemi-Immune System (8 weeks)
  • Neurology & Neuroscience (12 weeks)
  • Rheumatology (4 weeks)
  • Behavioral Medicine (4 weeks)

As students progress through each System-Based Module, they develop and improve clinical reasoning skills and apply their knowledge to medical scenarios depicting unique, as well as common, human conditions and ailments.

Journal Club

Pre-clinical students must participate in Journal Club upon enrolling in the SBMs, and all students and faculty are invited to attend. Sessions involve the presentation and discussion of an essential peer-reviewed article and students must present at least one article during their SBMs. Faculty guide discussion about a student’s presentation and the subject associated with the article. Students must attend at least 75 percent of Journal Club sessions, either live or by viewing the recorded session and submitting a one-page review and critique of the article and presentation. Journal Club meetings are announced University-wide in advance and attendees are expected to read the article prior to the discussion.

The clinical curriculum then consists of a Clinical Skills Course (CSC), followed by 72 weeks of core and elective clinical rotations at affiliated teaching hospitals or clinics. USMLE Pathway students are required to pass USMLE Step 2. All students must pass the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), required by regulatory agencies worldwide, and complete a Research Project, which completes the clinical phase of the MD degree program.

Clinical Skills Course

Before progressing to clinical rotations, students from both pathways must complete an eight-week Clinical Skills Course (CSC) consisting of online academic instruction and a five-day, face-to-face practical instruction component. The CSC consists of four modules: online pathology (4 weeks), online radiology (2 weeks), online instruction (2 weeks), and the face-to-face course (5 days).

Students must pass the CSC before being permitted to begin clinical rotations. In addition to completing the pre-clinical modules and the CSC, students intending to practice in the US must also pass USMLE Step 1 before they are permitted to begin clinical rotations.

Clinical Rotations

OUM’s clinical curriculum involves 72 weeks of clinical rotations at OUM-affiliated teaching hospitals or clinics, at a number of global locations in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Samoa, and the US. The core clinical rotations cover 56 weeks, followed by 16 additional weeks of clinical electives. One four-week elective must be completed at OUM’s teaching hospital in Samoa.

Clinical students train in both ambulatory and in-patient hospital and clinic settings, and during core rotations students are assigned to a clinical supervisor at the teaching facility. Together with the hands-on training, students complete problem-based learning cases and other course activities, and attend lectures associated with the rotation, followed by a written final examination for each core rotation.

Core Rotations

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

  • Internal Medicine (12 weeks)
  • Surgery (12 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (8 weeks)
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology (8 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Community Medicine (8 weeks)
Elective Rotations

In addition to the core clinical rotations, MD students complete 16 weeks of university-approved elective rotations to round out the 72-week requirement. Electives expand further study into core subjects or introduce students to new disciplines to help them determine post-graduate study options, allowing them to focus on patient management problems, exposure to the specialties, and the acquisition of additional procedural skills before beginning a supervised internship/residency program.

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.