In Schulich Medicine, the first two years of the curriculum provide the student with a solid grounding in the basic and clinical sciences. These two years are each divided into a series of blocks: "Introduction to Medicine," "The Thorax," "The Abdomen," "Head and Neck," "Back and Limbs," and "Systems." Within each block, various subject areas are presented which integrate the basic and clinical sciences.
The weekly timetable is structured around a case presentation which is introduced at the beginning of each week. The case provides the stimulus for instruction, and is designed to highlight a number of objectives of the MD program. Throughout the week, the student is exposed to a variety of teaching methods including: small group tutorials, problem based learning, lectures and large group discussions, self-instructional materials, and laboratories. Time is also provided in the curriculum for students to explore career opportunities.
Students participate in early patient contact that emphasizes a patient-centred approach to medicine, beginning in Year 1. Part of being a good physician is understanding the community in which patients live, and the first two years of the program provide a variety of opportunities for student involvement in the community. At the end of the first year, all medical students participate in Rural Week to gain clinical experience and exposure to rural medicine in a southwestern Ontario community hospital.