The Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons' unique approach to medical school education begins with part one, the Fundamentals curriculum (pre-clinical). The major courses include:

  • Molecular Mechanisms and Disease (Semester 1): biomolecules and cells, healthy and diseased tissues, pharmacology, developmental biology, and genomics
  • Histology and Pathology (Semester 1): microscopic structure and functional correlates of the major tissues and organ systems in the body and the basic pathologic processes of inflammation, repair and neoplasia
  • Clinical Gross Anatomy (Semester 1): structure and radiologic clinical correlation of the head, neck, thorax, abdomen, pelvis, and extremities
  • Foundations of Clinical Medicine Seminars (Semesters 1, 2, 3): the doctor-patient relationship, medical interviewing, ethics, health-care systems, health promotion, narrative medicine, and evidence-based medicine/epidemiology
  • Foundations of Clinical Medicine Tutorials (Semesters 2, 3): physical examination and introduction to clinical skills and reasoning
  • The Body: In Health and Disease (Semesters 2, 3): microbiology and infectious disease, immunology, cardiology, pulmonology, nephrology, endocrinology, neural science, gastroenterology and hepatology, hematology, oncology, and rheumatology
  • Psychiatric Medicine (Semester 2): psychiatric syndromes, treatment, and interviewing