The SMP Curriculum and the School of Medicine
Like most major medical schools, Georgetown University School of Medicine is continually reforming the curriculum to produce a more integrated program that will enhance the student's problem-solving abilities, and build a strong connection between the basic and clinical medical sciences. Major curricular changes were instituted in 2008-2009, and were very successful-- the SMP students did a great job with the rigorous integrated curriculum, and the new non-cadeveric gross anatomy was a huge success. We continue to make minor modifications in the curriculum with structure noted below:
General Structure of the SMP:
- SMP students take six medical courses, and the courses are integrated with material from the different disciplines.
- Grades from 3 medical courses are available to medical schools after the fall semester, and all of the medical courses are completed by the end of March. This is great for the medical application process.
- The medical curriculum includes Biochemistry, Physiology, Microanatomy (Histology), Embryology, and Gross Anatomy. SMP students receive the systems Gross Anatomy components (full lectures with faculty facilitated labs and multiple on-line resources, but without cadaveric dissection-- however, prosected cadavers are viewed). Gross anatomy is a great addition to the SMP educational experience.
- Medical courses have many integrative case-based workshops and small group sessions to reinforce concepts. The information base builds over the year.
- SMP students take a graduate Introduction to Neurophysiology course in the spring. In addition, there is a Principles of Gross Anatomy course given in the Fall, before the gross anatomy begins in the systems-based medical courses.
- Several other graduate courses including Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology are given to complement the medical courses and provide a strong foundation in the biomedical sciences.
This program continues to serve the SMP students well, providing the finest medical and graduate education and support towards your career and academic goals.
Integrated SMP Curriculum (includes 6 medical courses)
Medical courses are in BOLD, and the curriculum integrates relevant concepts of gross anatomy, histology, embryology, biochemistry, and physiology. Graduate courses are italicized.
Fall Semester 2013
Molecular & Cellular Physiology (MCP), 3 cr
Metabolism, Nutrition & Endocrinology (MNE), 4 cr.
Medical Immunology & Micro, 2 cr
Fundamentals of Molecular Biology & Genetics, 1 cr
Biomedical Career Pathways, 1 cr
Physiology Forum, 1 cr
Principles of Gross Anatomy (PGA), 1 cr
Cardiopulmonary Biology (CP), 5 cr (Cardiopulmonary finishes after winter break)
Total Fall Credits = 18
Spring Semester 2014
Gastrointestinal Biology (GI), 2 cr
Renal Biology (Renal), 2 cr
Sexual Development & Repro. (SDR), 3 cr
Adv. Physiol & Pathophysiology, 3 cr
Intro to Neuroscience, 3 cr
Library Research Paper, 2 cr
Total Spring Credits = 15
Total SMP Credits = 33
Class Schedule/Curriculum Format for 2013-2014
Summary of curriculum:
- The overall content for Biochemistry, Embryology, Microscopic Anatomy, and Human Physiology, is integrated into the medical courses.
- The curriculum also includes medical Gross Anatomy (with innovative non-dissection lab curriculum and prosected cadavers) in the Cardiopulmonary, Gastrointestinal and Sexual Development & Reproduction modules.
- The graduate courses include Medical Immunology & Microbiology, Nutrition, Biomedical Career Pathways, Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology, Intro to Neuroscience and Library Research Paper. These courses all support the physiologic science training available for the MS degree.
Grading for SMP students will remain unchanged: it is done in such a way that grades illustrate competence in medical school courses. This is achieved because the SMP student's grades are based on the medical school grading curve. At Georgetown, medical students are graded on a Honors, High Pass, Pass, Low Pass, Fail grading curve. Physiology students are graded based on the medical school scale. The following grade conversion chart illustrates this.
Grade on Graduate Transcript Interpretation
A Honors for medical students
(top 10 to 15% of med class)
A- or B+ High Pass for medical students
(next 10 to 15% of med class)
B or B- Pass for medical students
(majority of first year med class)
C Unsatisfactory performance
F Unsatisfactory performance
No credit given for grad course
The daily schedule varies throughout the year, depending on the classes that are being taken at any given time. However, in general, students can expect to spend 8-12 hours per week in morning classes and 4 hours per week in afternoon classes. All classes take place between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Most of the students spend a majority of the rest of the day studying.