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 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.

What is OUM’s USMLE Pathway?

  • The USMLE Pathway is for students who intend to practice in the United States.
  • USMLE Pathway students must pass the USMLE Step 1, heavily focused on the Basic Sciences, before beginning clinical rotations, and must pass USMLE Step 2 to graduate from medical school.
  • USMLE Pathway students typically complete OUM’s MD Program in 5 years.

What is OUM’s USMLE First-Time Pass Rate?

OUM students have had a 100% first-time pass rate for USMLE Step 2 since the launch of the USMLE Prep Program and our first-time USMLE Step 1 pass rate is 84% as of June 2024.

USMLE Pathway Students, Graduates, and Faculty

See the following pages to find out more:

Pre-Clinical Phase
(2 Years)

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

  • General Principles Course
  • 9 Organ Systems
  • 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
(~1 Year)

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

  • Clinical Transition Units
  • United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 Prep Course
  • National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Examination
  • USMLE Step 1
  • Clinical Skills Course (CSC)

The Transition Phase is up to 180 days longer for USMLE Pathway students, who must take the USMLE Prep Course, NBME Exam, and USMLE Step 1. After passing Step 1, students who wish to practice in the US will take the CSC and enter clinical rotations.

Clinical Phase
(~2 Years)

This phase includes the following requirements:

  • Clinical Core Rotations (56 weeks)
  • Elective Rotations (16 weeks — one elective is to be taken in Samoa)
  • USMLE Step 2 Prep Course
  • NBME Examination
  • USMLE Step 2
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) or the National Assessment Collaboration Exam (NAC)for students who reside in Canada.
  • Research Methodology and Published Research Project

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.

The USMLE Pathway typically takes 5 years to complete..

The Pre-Clinical Phase of the curriculum includes:

  • General Principles Course
  • 9 Organ Systems
  • 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
  • USMLE Step 1 Prep Course
  • NBME Examination
  • USMLE Step 1
  • Clinical Skills Course (CSC)

This phase is intended to prepare students for a successful transition to clinical rotations.

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.

USMLE Pathway students will be enrolled in the USMLE Step 1 Prep Course, which is provided for these students at no additional charge and adds up to 180 days to the program. They must prepare for and pass NBME, USMLE Step 1, and the CSC.

The program’s Clinical Phase includes:

  • Clinical Core Rotations (56 weeks)
  • Elective Rotations (16 weeks – one elective to be taken in Samoa)
  • USMLE Step 2 Prep Course
  • NBME Examination
  • USMLE Step 2
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • 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.

The Clinical Phase of the program is up to 100 days longer for USMLE Pathway students, who must take the USMLE Step 2 Prep Course, NBME Exam, and USMLE Step 2.

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 core rotations are completed, USMLE Pathway students must pass the USMLE Step 2 and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) as graduation requirements. Completion of elective rotations, also a graduation requirement, can be facilitated throughout one’s clinical curriculum, dependent upon possible prerequisites and/or permission from the student’s Regional Dean.

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.

Students must also complete and publish the manuscript for the required research project.

The University reserves the right to change its program offerings and policies without notice.

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