CDU/UCLA Medical Education Program

CDU/UCLA Medical Education Program



Years One and Two

Students matriculate to the David Geffen School of Medicine and complete two years of coursework at the UCLA campus. The block-based curriculum for years one and two has been designed to increase integration of normal human biology with disease processes and clinical skills from the first week of medical school onward. Basic Science is taught in the context of its application with planned reiteration. Instruction is coordinated through sequentially-taught blocks. Students develop history-taking and physical examination skills and learn to interpret scientific laboratory data. During the first year, students in the CDU Program are required to take a selective covering the topic of health disparities. There are various events in which students will find themselves back on the CDU Campus.

Year Three

Year three begins with the Clinical Foundations course. At this time, students transition to a closer relationship with the CDU student affairs office and administration. The Third-Year Core Clinical Clerkships phase is designed to enable students to interact and work with patients under the supervision of experienced senior colleagues and faculty. After the Clinical Foundations orientation, students rotate through forty-eight weeks of core required clerkships. The core clerkships include: Family Medicine, Ambulatory Medicine, Inpatient Internal Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Radiology, Surgery (which includes six additional specialties or subspecialties: Anesthesiology, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology and Urology).

The wide variety of patients encountered throughout the third year provides students with ample opportunity to maximize their history-taking and physical examination skills as well as pathophysiologic basis of disease to patient care to help formulate appropriate differential diagnoses and consider appropriate diagnostic studies as needed.

Longitudinal Primary Care Clinic

The Longitudinal Primary Care Clerkship introduces students to the concepts of longitudinal and comprehensive health care in a primary care setting in a medically underserved community. Students learn to address complex social issues and family dynamics in their patient interactions, and to consider the varied cultural attitudes, values and ethnic backgrounds in individualizing care.

During the third year, students spend one-half day twice per month in a multi-disciplinary clinic providing patient care under the supervision of a Charles R. Drew University faculty physician.



Core Clinical Clerkship Curriculum – 48 Weeks

  • Ambulatory Internal Medicine – 4 weeks
  • Family Medicine – 4 weeks
  • Internal Medicine (Inpatient) – 8 weeks
  • Psychiatry/ Neurology – 8 weeks integrated clerkship
  • Surgery – 12 weeks
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology – 6 weeks
  • Pediatrics – 6 weeks
  • Longitudinal Primary Care Continuity Clinic (spans entire third year)


Year Four: Urban/Underserved College

During the fourth year, students enjoy flexible schedules while enrolled in the Urban/Underserved College at Charles R. Drew University. The Urban/Underserved College is committed to providing superior, coordinated, didactic and practical training and career counseling for individuals interested in serving urban and medically underserved populations.

The Chair of the Charles R. Drew/Urban Underserved College is charged with planning, scholarly development, providing counseling and mentorship to the fourth-year students enrolled in the College.

After a one-week course entitled College Foundations, students choose from a variety of required and elective courses. They also participate in research including completion of a required research thesis; or pursue a master or doctoral degree in one of the three joint programs.

Urban/Underserved College Curriculum – 30 weeks

  • 3 week Medicine Selective (300 level)
  • 3 week Intensive Care Unit Selective (400 level)
  • 3 week Clinical Senior Selective (300 or 400 level)
  • 15 weeks of clinical electives
  • 6 weeks of non-clinical electives


Additional Requirements:

  • Primary Care Research Thesis
  • Passage of CPX
  • Passage of USMLE Step 2 CK
  • Passage of USMLE Step 2 CS




Medical Student Research Thesis Program (MSRTP)

A distinguishing component of the Charles R. Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program is the required medical research thesis. The thesis requirement places CDU among a few select medical programs nationally providing research training as a requirement in the medical education curriculum. The Medical Student Research Thesis Program (MSRTP) assists students in the third and fourth years in developing and completing an independent research project.  While the overall theme of the MSRTP is health care disparities, students have wide latitude to choose research projects including bio-behavioral/psychosocial research, health services research, and public policy with application to underserved communities. Fourth year students present their research findings at the annual Medical Student Research Colloquium held each spring.

For information regarding the MSTRP, please contact:
Dr. Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi, Ph.D., Thesis Chair


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