MD Curriculum Highlights

The College of Medicine at CDU is seeking approval to offer a four-year doctor of medicine (MD) degree. This is a clinical doctorate that will emphasize training for entry-level practice, leadership in the medical profession, and dedication to social justice and health equity. The program learning outcomes and curriculum are aligned with the practice-based competencies specified by the medical profession and anchored in the mission and strategic plan of the college and institution.

Mission Statement

Our mission at the College of Medicine is to provide education, research and clinical service in the context of community engagement in order to train physician leaders who promote wellness, who provide care with excellence and compassion, and who are committed to transforming the health of diverse and underserved communities.

Vision Statement

Excellent health and wellness for all in a world without health disparities.

Proposed Curriculum 

MD Program

Proposed Admissions Timeline

Admissions Flow Chart

CDU Advantage 

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science ADVANTAGE (or the CDU Unique Advantage) represents the University’s promise to the world and a defining set of characteristics of our graduate and undergraduate education.

The CDU student experience is defined by RESEARCH training and engagement; education in and for SOCIAL JUSTICE and DIVERSITY; GLOBAL and INTERNATIONAL education; COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT; and HEALTH POLICY knowledge and advocacy. 

In essence, the CDU Advantage is a promise of specialized education that cultivates medical and health LEADERS who are able to conduct and translate empirical works in their never‐ending quests for social justice and health equity “glocally” and who in partnership with the community serve as agents, activists, and advocates for policy reform and catalysts for societal transformation, especially for the underserved populations.


CDU Advantage

Proposed Medical Education Program Objectives

The MD Program curriculum is based on the CDU Advantage, which has five areas of focused content across the undergraduate and graduate training. These five domains include: excellence in specialized knowledge and research, social justice, global-international experience, community and experiential education, and health policy. The MD Program curriculum is designed to integrate the institutional learning objectives (ILOs) of the CDU Advantage into the medical education curriculum and ensure graduates meet the MD Program’s required competencies and educational program objectives. Additionally, Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) for entering residency have been added to the medical education program objectives and linked to the relevant competences.

Patient Care

Student must demonstrate patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Conduct patient-centered encounters that balance the needs of the patient with the time constraints of practice
  2. Accurately perform and document both complete and focused histories and physical examinations that are based on the pathophysiology of presenting complaints and that address relevant psychosocial and family needs
  3. Prioritize patient’s problems, formulate appropriate differential diagnosis, and develop plans for diagnosis and/or management
  4. Perform basic diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  5. Discuss the principles of and relative advantages and disadvantages of various therapeutic modalities, including pharmacology, physical rehabilitation, indications for surgery, mental health care, behavioral modification and complementary and alternative medicine, as applied to common clinical situations
  6. Apply epidemiological principles and data to formulate measures for the care of individuals and communities and be able to read the medical literature
  7. Evaluate the roles that unemployment, poverty, and lack of education play as obstacles of quality health care
  8. Develop and implement individualized risk reduction plans based on a culturally sensitive assessment of important medical and social conditions including sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse, and interpersonal violence
  9. Compose orders and prescriptions efficiently and effectively, appropriate to patient-specific factors and diagnostic factors
  10. Recognize a patient requiring urgent or emergent care and initiate evaluation and management

Medical Knowledge

Student must apply medical knowledge about established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate (e.g., epidemiological and social-behavioral) sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Describe the scientific principles that underlie current understanding of normal human development, function, and disease
  2. Express and use scientific principles in discussing health maintenance, common disease processes, and disease evaluation and management
  3. Analyze and accurately interpret new developments in the medical and scientific literature
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of social and behavioral factors that include patients’ responses to health and disease
  5. Discuss the scientific basis and interpretation of common diagnostic modalities
  6. Discuss the indications, contraindications and cost-effectiveness of common diagnostic studies
  7. Demonstrate the knowledge of common problems and diseases for diverse populations
  8. Discuss the basic issues for promoting health and preventing disease, including nutrition, exercise, psychological health, preventive pharmacology, genetic predisposition to disease, sanitation, environmental and workplace hazards, lifestyles, and immunizations and apply this understanding to patient management
  9. Assess the health status, demographics, and socioeconomic characteristics of medically underserved populations
  10. Recognize differences in belief systems, values, languages, religions, and health practices that impact the medical care of culturally diverse, medically underserved populations
  11. Explain when and how to report incidents of domestic violence including child, elder, and spousal abuse

Patient Assessment and Application of Medical Knowledge

Through Problem and Practice-Based Learning, students must demonstrate improvement that involves investigation and evaluation of their own patient care and appraised and assimilation of scientific evidence and improvement in patient care.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Justify the importance of life-long learning to adequately care for patients to participate in patient education, and to pursue creative scholarly endeavors
  2. Identify and use reliable, authoritative sources of medical information including PubMed to acquire new information and resources for learning
  3. Organize personal resources efficiently and systematically using electronic technology
  4. Describe and assess common scientific methodologies used in clinically relevant medical research
  5. Identify the evidential value, organization, and logistics of various types of clinical trials and be able to advise patients concerning their participation in or interpretation
  6. Read, summarize and critique research and disease review articles in peer-reviewed journals 
  7. Use evidence-based approaches as tools to decide whether to accept new findings, therapies, and technologies for incorporation into medical practice
  8. Utilize decision-support systems and guidelines for clinical decision-making, including an understanding of the roles of preference and probabilities
  9. Demonstrate and appropriately utilize continuous quality improvement practices in their health care setting
  10. Translate questions that arise from daily clinical practice into formal research hypotheses
  11. Utilize computer technology to aid in the design, writing, analysis, and presentation of data from a clinical research project
  12. Design, implement and complete a clinical research project that will meet the criteria for a thesis

Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal and Communication Skills 

Students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange and teaming with patients, their families, and other health professionals.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Demonstrate interpersonal skills that build rapport and empathic communication with patients and their families across socioeconomic, racial, and cultural boundaries
  2. Formulate complete and focused case presentations that are accurate and well-organized; prepare and maintain complete, accurate, well-organized medical records
  3. Demonstrate a commitment to and skill in teaching medical students, colleagues, and other members of the allied health profession using the concepts and vocabulary of contemporary basic and clinical science
  4. Function as a productive member of a team and be able to give or receive a patient handover to transition care responsibility
  5. Work respectfully and collaboratively with medical colleagues as well as health professionals from other disciplines
  6. Skillfully address sensitive issues in an effective, compassionate, non-judgmental manner
  7. Describe and use sound principles for changing patient’s behavior in order to promote and improve health
  8. Inform patients and their families about health and illness in a way that is culturally sensitive, jargon-free and appropriate to their needs, including counseling on prevention and psychosocial issues
  9. Obtain informed consent from patients by clearly explaining the risks, benefits, and alternatives for common medical and surgical procedures in a jargon-free culturally sensitive manner


Students must demonstrate professionalism as manifested through a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivity to a diverse patient population.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Demonstrate reliability, dependability, and integrity in interactions with colleagues and patients
  2. Examine professional mistakes openly and honestly in ways that promote patient trust and self-learning
  3. Assess one’s personal strengths and limitations, relevant to one’s practice of medicine and continued learning
  4. Demonstrate the ability to receive and provide constructive feedback as part of peer and self-assessment of professional behaviors
  5. Discuss appropriate coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, intellectual uncertainty, interpersonal conflict, and issues related to power
  6. Use basic ethical concepts and approaches to identify and analyze the ethical dimensions of common situations in medical practice, health policy, and research in caring for a community
  7. Discuss how to apply ethical principles in morally ambiguous situation, e.g., distribution of scarce medical resources during pandemics
  8. Discuss how ethical principles apply across cultures and internationally
  9. Demonstrate the obligation to treat the individual patient and be able to discuss the conflicts between caring for a patient and caring for a population
  10. Recognize an obligation to the health of society, locally, regionally, and nationally
  11. Demonstrate the ability to provide leadership to groups of colleagues or patients

System Based Practice

Students must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care and the ability to effectively call on system resources to provide care and that is of optimal value.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Function under common time constraints in outpatient primary care settings, including managed care groups and underserved populations
  2. Discuss changing social, economic, and political factors that are affecting the patterns of health care delivery in the United States and specifically in Southern California
  3. Identify the structure and function of health care delivery and insurance systems currently used in the United States
  4. Discuss how payment systems for medical care affect decision-making and care provision and discuss strategies for delivering quality care in the face of reimbursement restrictions
  5. Apply cost-effectiveness analysis to specific instances of diagnosis and treatment of disease and of health promotion
  6. Discuss the principles of medical record-keeping and the use of electronic medical records 
  7. Demonstrate how and when to appropriately use consultants
  8. Identify and use resources and ancillary health care services for patients in situations in which social and economic barriers to access exist
  9. Identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement

Specialized Knowledge and Research 

Students must demonstrate excellence in specialized knowledge and research.  

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Develop and conduct research using various methods, concepts, ethics, and theories pertinent to under-resourced communities
  2. Demonstrate excellence in medical knowledge

Social Justice 

Students must understand and practice the principles of social justice and leadership within the context of cultural diversity.  Students must be able to provide examples of strategies and models to promote social justice, understanding the direct impact on health and health outcomes.  

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Design and implement a project using principles of social justice and leadership within the context of cultural diversity
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of competing theories of justice

Global International Experience

Students must evaluate the intersection of the social determinants of health on health disparity at the local, national, and global levels.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Design and plan a project that offers solutions to local, national, or global health challenges

Community and Experiential Education

Students must evaluate the principles of community engagement through experiential education in under-resourced communities.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Design and plan a project that applies knowledge, values, and skills gained in the classroom to address community wellness

Health Policy

Students must evaluate the influence of policy on the dynamics of health and health systems.

Medical EPO(s) Linked to the Competency

  1. Evaluate and propose a policy using principles of policy development to advance health promotion initiatives.