School of Medicine

M.D. Program Clinical Curriculum

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Texas Medical Center
This view of the Texas Medical Center shows the City of Houston in the background.

Training in the facilities of the Texas Medical Center, the world's largest medical complex, presents you with a variety of settings and patient populations that is hard to match anywhere in the world. Exposure to a variety of clinical settings and patient populations throughout your clinical rotations will prepare you to succeed in any situation your career presents. 

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Core Clerkships


The clinical curriculum begins in January of your second year. This phase of your training uses patient-centered learning techniques, which include taking histories, performing physical examinations, reviewing laboratory results, and working with faculty physicians to manage patients through diagnosis and treatment.

Learn About Core Clerkships

The Clinical Years


The charts below show an M.D. students typical path through the clinical curriculum.


Year 2 - Spring


Year 3 - Fall


Year 3- Spring


Year 4 - Fall to Spring


Customizing Your Education


You may tailor your clinical experience to your interests by pursuing other specialties through rotations called “selectives," a sub-internship, and through lots of electives.

Pathways span the four years of medical school and include both classroom, clinical and/or research activities in the specific areas of interest.

View Selectives and Sub-Internships

Required Courses


The required courses within the clinical curriculum provide you the opportunity to build skills and explore various issues.

Patient, Physician and Society (PPS) 1-2: MBPP1-MAIN, MBPP2-MAIN
The goals of this course are to provide students with basic interviewing, physical examination and medical communication skills; allow students to correlate anatomy and physiology with normal physical exam findings in ambulatory patients; reinforce the fundamental values of medical professionalism; and to help students view the broader context of health care using the relationship-centered care and integrated interviewing models.
Credits: MBPP1 (2.25) MBPP2 (3.00) 
Course DirectorAlicia Kowalchuk, D.O.
Associate Course DirectorShruti Varadarajan, M.D.

Patient, Physician and Society (PPS) 3: MBPP3-MAIN
This course teaches students the foundational clinical skills necessary for entering clerkships.  The goals of this course are to continue to develop patient-centered interviewing skills to obtain a complete history; correlate pathophysiology learned in the morning classes with abnormal physical findings on hospitalized patients; and to inculcate altruistic and compassionate patient care.
Credits: 2.50 
Course DirectorAnita Kusnoor, M.D.
Associate Course DirectorRajeev Balchandani, M.D.

Determinants, Disparities, and Social/Population Health (DDASH): MCDSH-MAIN
The over-arching goals of DDASH is to prepare learners to care for patients in vulnerable populations and promote health equity. The course allows students to discuss major social and structural determinants like social class, race, gender, poverty, housing, community cohesion, and influencers such as health policy. Health outcomes are interpreted through the lens of upstream factors while exploring the intersection of public health and medicine. By the end of the course, students will be able to discuss societal issues, implicit bias and foundational principles of providing culturally humble and resource-rich care, suitable for the complex social needs of patients. Finally, in examining these concepts, students will develop core professional attributes (e.g. integrity, respect, compassion, justice, empathy) necessary for assuming the role of a health advocate.
Credits: 2.5
Course DirectorMalvika Juneja, M.D. 
Associate Course Director: Claudine Johnson, M.D.

The goal of this course is to provide an effective transition for a fourth-year graduating student to a professional physician in training. The course provides both generalized and specialized content, personalizing the educational experience to meet students’ chosen fields. It offers a unique, practical and interactive focus on solidifying students' medical school experiences while developing and fine-tuning skills that will help them enter their internship with confidence.
Credits: 2.0 
Course DirectorUma Ayyala, M.D.
Associate Course DirectorLoan Nguyen, M.D.
Associate Course DirectorAnita Rohra, M.D.




View requirements for Degree Doctor of Medicine and Core Competency Graduation Goals.




View Compact Between Teachers, Learners and Educational Staff.


Progress Notes


Progress Notes is the student magazine of Baylor College of Medicine. In it, students of the College share their stories from the clinics, their thoughts on medicine and healthcare, and stories from the frontlines of research.

Read Progress Notes
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Read this third-year medical student's reflections on a patient encounter that led to the realization that simple acts of compassion can have a significant impact on a patient and a physician.

The article is published in Progress Notes, the student magazine of Baylor College of Medicine. In it, students of the College share their stories from the clinics, their thoughts on medicine and healthcare, and stories from the frontlines of research.


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Doctor putting on gloves

A third-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine reflects on hospital training during COVID-19. Read the article.