NYU School of Medicine

Michael LoCurcio, MD, FACP, Associate Chair for Education,<br /> Department of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine.
Associate Chair for Education: Michael LoCurcio, MD, FACP

A core goal of the Department of Medicine is to train outstanding physician-scientists. Our mission is to teach every medical student to practice medicine with compassion, intellectual discipline, lifelong curiosity and professionalism. To achieve this, the Department plays a vital role in each of the four years of medical school.

During the first 18 months of medical school, students take two courses, Foundations of Medicine and Practice of Medicine, which are vital to this mission. The Practice of Medicine (POM) course consists of three elements: Introduction to Bedside Diagnosis (IBD), Patient Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (PLACE), and Patient Physician and Society (PPS). The Foundations of Medicine (FOM) course provides students with newly organized organ-based modules that introduce clinically relevant basic scientific principles. All of the leadership and more than 80% of faculty for these courses are members of the Department of Medicine. The Department is also directly responsible for four of the nine clerkships: Medicine, Ambulatory Care, Critical Care, and Advanced Medicine. These clerkships rely on supervised patient care responsibility that fosters the development of each student into a mature and professional clinician.

White coat ceremony in Farkas Auditorium (from above).
The 2011 White Coat Ceremony in Farkas Auditorium.

The implementation of The Curriculum for the 21st Century (C21) has expanded the Department of Medicine’s teaching roles. In addition to a large number of electives, the Department offers four newly organized “Selectives” in Cardiology, Palliative Care, Health Policy, and Global Health. Each selective is designed to be more rigorous than traditional electives. The Department is also at the forefront of developing innovative interdepartmental curricula, and holds leadership positions in every newly developed “Pillar” (a pillar is a core topic such as colon cancer that is revisited multiple times during the career of each student) and the “intersessions” (one week courses that students take between clerkship blocks).  

A packed conference room with faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students.
A packed conference room with faculty, fellows, residents, and medical students.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in research with mentoring departmental faculty members. Sometimes their participation is limited to summer projects, but in many cases their research activities continue beyond that period, as, for instance, in fulfillment of the Honors Program requirement for an eighteen week commitment. The Department also provides a mentor to all students who wish to have a career in medicine during the residency application process.

Jennifer Adams, MD, Director of the Summer Research Fellowship Program for medical students.
Jennifer Adams, MD, Director of the Summer Research Fellowship Program for medical students

The Department is continually reassessing and improving its teaching programs during the monthly Education Council Meetings. With the ongoing efforts to implement C21 and all future challenges, the faculty members of the Department of Medicine are dedicated to training future generations of physicians. The rest of this document is divided into three sections. The six major Courses and Clerkships section are described in the next section. The second section describes the Firm System and the Department of Medicine’s tradition of excellence in education. The final section details the challenges and new teaching programs in The Curriculum of the 21st Century.

Michael LoCurcio, MD, FACP
Associate Chair for Education, Department of Medicine
NYU School of Medicine