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Educational Program

The College of Medicine focuses on educating outstanding physicians for practice in community settings.

It is located on the campus of one of the nation's elite research universities, Florida State University (FSU), a public institution that has the Carnegie Foundation's highest designation (Doctoral/Research University-Extensive) and offers a distinctive academic environment built on its cherished values and unique heritage.

The college is designed as a community-based medical school, where students spend their first two years taking basic science courses on the FSU campus in Tallahassee and are then assigned to one of the regional medical school campuses for their third- and fourth-year clinical training. The 2+2 pre-clerkship/clerkship year’s structure is distinguished by the extent and diversity of clinical training and experiences across the four-year continuum.  

Years 1 and 2

Courses in Years 1 and 2 cover the biological, behavioral and social sciences essential to the practice of medicine. Training in communication skills, epidemiology and biostatistics, and societal and public health issues occurs as specific course content and is integrated into patient encounters. Student organizations and interest groups expose students to physicians from primary care, specialty and subspecialty disciplines.

Years 3 and 4

Year 3 comprises the six required clerkships in addition to a longitudinal, continuity-of-care experience devoted to the management of chronic illness and a community medicine course that exposes students to community-based resources that assist in the care of patients. Through the Doctoring Continuum, which spans Years 1-3, students developmentally acquire clinical skills and integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes in a biopsychosocial model of patient care.

During Year 4 students complete advanced clerkships and are actively encouraged to use their elective time to identify knowledge gaps, explore different specialty areas and broaden their experiences to fulfill a general professional education.

Curriculum in general

Across the curriculum students receive instruction and experience with multidisciplinary content and themes, including ethics, geriatrics, diagnostic imaging, evidence-based medicine, and the appropriate use of bioinformatics and technology. Thus, graduating students have a depth and breadth of knowledge and experiences that makes all career options possible. College of Medicine students also match in residencies across all specialties. Approximately half pursue primary care specialties (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN), consistent with the school’s mission.

Regional campuses

The original regional campuses opened in Orlando, Pensacola and Tallahassee in 2003, followed by Sarasota in 2005. Additional campuses in Daytona Beach and Fort Pierce opened in July 2007, reaching a clinical faculty of more than 1,600 physicians throughout the state to assist in the clinical training of students in Years 3 and 4.

Rural medicine

The college’s first Rural Educational Program opened in 2005, offering a limited number of third-year students the option to spend an entire year completing rotations in Marianna, approximately an hour’s drive west of Tallahassee. In 2006, a satellite site to the Tallahassee Regional Campus opened in Thomasville, Ga., 45 miles north of Tallahassee. Four to six students complete their third- and fourth-year of training there, supplemented by training activities in Tallahassee.

In addition, in 2007 the college opened a rural clinical-training site in Immokalee, a migrant farm community on the edge of the Everglades in South Florida. There, third- and fourth-year students from the six regional campuses have the option to take required or elective rotations in a setting with a strong tie to the college’s mission of working with the medically underserved.