The first academic year is 51 weeks, which includes 13 weeks of selective opportunities. Students begin patient contact early in Year 1.
The primary academic focus of the first six blocks is on the basic sciences:
- Basic Principles and Structure — microscopic anatomy (histology), and genetics and biochemistry
- Human Structure — gross anatomy and radiology
- Normal Function — pathology and cell biology, and immunology
- Principles of Disease — microbiology, and pharmacology and therapeutics
The Year 1 course "Basic Doctoring" teaches basic principles of interviewing, taking histories and conducting a physical examination. Students also become certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and participate in public health and growth and development courses.