The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has a well-developed curricular infrastructure that combines a lecture- and problem-based curriculum with early and in-depth clinical experiences and an integrated organ systems approach to the preclinical sciences. You can read more about the educational opportunities at Pitt Med and recent student stories in the UPSOM Annual Report

Curriculum Descriptions

Curriculum architecture, courses, clerkships, areas of concentration, and elective experiences:

Learning Objectives

The curriculum of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is intended to foster the development of the competencies that the faculty considers to be essential for attainment of the MD degree and for graduates to enter the next stage of professional training.

Learning Objectives of the MD Curriculum »

UPSOM Curriculum Committee

The curriculum committee of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is comprised of faculty and students who work together to fulfill the charter of this committee to monitor, govern, and maintain the currency of the four-year curriculum.

In-Depth Study & Research Opportunities

The UPSOM offers medical students a wide range of options for pursuing a deeper study of an area of interest.

Training in Primary Care

The UPSOM curriculum includes in-depth experiences in primary care within both required and elective portions of the curriculum. 

In addition to the general goal of preparing all students to have a well-developed foundation in primary care, an additional agenda is to promote development of the next generation of leaders in primary care.

Primary care experiences are distributed throughout the curriculum, beginning with the Clinical Experiences course that spans the first and second years. Classroom sessions introduce key topics before students proceed through a sequence of clinical experience months, including one month each in primary care, subspecialty care, and in working with underserved populations. Third and fourth year clinical clerkships in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics-gynecology provide a solid foundation in primary care. These ambulatory and inpatient rotations stimulate student interest in these disciplines, and they comprise nearly half of the core clerkship curriculum. Multiple hospitals and a range of ambulatory sites are available for primary care rotations and elective experiences, including those in rural locations and underserved communities.

Many students opt to make primary care their major focus. The Areas of Concentration in Service Learning – Global Health & Underserved Populations, Geriatrics, and Women's Health – are longitudinal programs where students pursue these subjects in far greater depth. As part of these programs, students have didactic and clinical experiences and undertake a substantial scholarly project on a subject within the Concentration area. These projects, and the overall AOC curricula, help these students hone their critical thinking skills and further enhance their preparation to become the next generation of leaders in primary care.