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College of Medicine FLEX Curriculum

Launch Date: Fall 2018

In 2009 a new preclinical integrated curriculum was implemented in the college of medicine (COM) that replaced traditional basic science courses overseen by departments with a comprehensive, organ system-based integrated curriculum (IC) of basic science and clinical science content administered through a coordinated, central governance model. Building on the success and lessons learned from the IC, the new preclerkship (FLEX) curriculum seeks to merge foundational medical science concepts of the traditional year 1 and year 2, enhance problem-solving, increase active clinical application and earlier clinical immersion in the preclinical phase.

Image with full FLEX curriculum

FLEX Curriculum Phases

  • The Preclerkship Phase of the curriculum is designed in organ system blocks and cohesively blends learning of normal and abnormal to teach the spectrum of human health and disease in engaged learning formats. Learners engage in early clinical experiences in the hospital, community, and simulation settings to enhance application of basic science concepts in each block.
  • In FLEX Phase, learners choose a selective scholarly concentration that best meets their educational needs, professional interests and career aspirations.  Learners achieve distinction in one of the following scholarly concentration pathways: research, humanities, global health and medical education.  Alternatively, students who are eligible may apply for an existing accelerated pathway that leads to earlier graduation and entry into a residency position at MUSC (a parallel track approved by LCME).


Diagram of Flex pathways


  • The Immersion Phase (Year 3) is comprised of 7 core clinical clerkships in family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. Students choose up to 2 selectives for additional immersion in a specialty of their choice.
  • The Enrichment Phase (Year 4) is comprised of required advanced clinical rotations, a wide variety of electives and the Internship 101 Capstone course, all designed to prepare learners for the transition to increased levels of responsibility in their future specialties. While both the Immersion Phase and Enrichment Phase curricula undergo continuous quality improvement, these phases do not represent a major curriculum modification.


 Core Elements

Team-based Learning
Early Clinical Application
Ultrasound and procedures training
Health Systems Curriculum
Patient-centered medical home
Longitudinal Senior Mentor Experience
Clinical Immersion Experiences
Careers in Medicine program



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