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The Medical Curriculum

The Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences defines its curriculum as a competency-based curriculum built on the 6 ACGME (American Council of Graduate Medical Education) core competencies of medical knowledge, patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice, and professionalism to ensure that students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes by the end of the MD program .

The MD program is a four-year-program consisting of two years of basic or pre-clinical sciences, MED I and MED II, and two years of clinical clerkships, MED III and MED IV.

The MED I curriculum consists of a horizontally integrated organ system model supported by clinical correlations. The gross and microscopic morphology of each organ system is blended with physiology and embryonic development to allow students to learn structure and function as one continuum. This curriculum provides students with the appropriate knowledge in basic biomedical sciences, medical biostatistics and epidemiology, behavioral sciences, and medical ethics and jurisprudence, as well as a hands-on ultrasound experience to correlate their basic sciences didactic lectures with diagnostic imaging. In MED I, students also spend a total month in the University Hospital attending a Clinical Skills I course consisting of lectures and supervised rotations where they learn history taking and performing a comprehensive physical exam.

The MED II curriculum is a horizontally integrated modular system consisting of didactic lectures and clinical cases to provide students with a comprehensive and detailed knowledge in the fields of basic biomedical sciences (Pathology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology and Therapeutics). The curriculum also consists of a month of University Hospital-based training during which students undergo a course of Clinical Skills II to further consolidate their history taking and detailed physical exam performance, in addition to basic nursing skills (IV line-insertion and medication administration for instance) and attending and passing a basic life support (BLS) course.

MED I and MED II students undergo direct assessments such as formative and summative written examinations in multiple choice question (MCQ) format as well as practical examinations in Human Gross Anatomy in MED I or simulation for basic life support (BLS) certification in MED II.

The MED III and MED IV curriculum is patient-centered and consist of core clerkships as well as elective rotations to offer students an exposure to all specialties and subspecialties in a supervised academic setting. Thus, the curriculum features an extensive development of the different clinical sciences encompassing all core specialties (MED III year) and subspecialties (MED III and MED IV) to strengthen the students’ knowledge, shape their clinical skills, and mold their attitudes into professional and competent physicians.

Students in MED III are subject to a one-month-vacation and 11 consecutive months of supervised bedside training, regular in-house calls, daily didactic lectures and attending rounds, in addition to outpatient exposure in the OPD and the multispecialty clinics. MED III students are also required to complete the American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course by the end of their year.

T he MED III curriculum consists of 5 clinical clerkships as follows:

  1. Internal Medicine Clerkship for 12 weeks
    1. Community Health Clinic, 4 weeks
    2. Inpatient services, 8 weeks
  2. Surgery Clerkship for 12 weeks
    1. General Surgery, 4 weeks
    2. Orthopedic Surgery, 2 weeks
    3. Urology, 2 weeks
    4. Neurosurgery, 2 weeks
    5. Cardiothoracic Surgery, 1 week
    6. Vascular Surgery, 1 week
  3. Pediatrics Clerkship for 8 weeks
  4. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clerkship for 8 weeks
  5. Psychiatry Clerkship for 4 weeks

The curriculum in MED III also incorporates a “Preventive Medicine and Health Administration” course that exposes students to the topics of health systems and administration, planning and policy making in Lebanon, healthcare and public health services, disease surveillance and outbreak monitoring, the role of physicians in society, and the complexities of clinical practice. Moreover, a course in “The Ethics of Public Health” is presented to students in a series of seminars that addresses clinical case scenarios as in the real clinical practice within the Lebanese context.

The MED IV curriculum is a combination of core mandatory elements and electives and selectives. The MED IV curriculum allows three months of electives open to all specialties, one month selective in surgical specialties, one month selective in medical specialties, and one month-vacation.

The MED IV year consists of the following clinical clerkships:

  1. Internal Medicine Clerkship for 4 months
    1. ER, 1 month
    2. CCU/6FN, 1 month
    3. ICU, 1 month
    4. Ward, 1 month
  2. Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery Clerkship for 2 weeks
  3. Anesthesiology Clerkship for 2 weeks
  4. Ophthalmology Clerkship for 2 weeks
  5. Medical ImagingClerkship for 2 weeks
  6. Three elective rotations, 4 weeks each
  7. One month-selective rotation in one of the following: Pediatric Surgery, Neurology, Dermatology, Infectious Diseases, Endocrinology, and Medical Lab
  8. One month-selective in Surgery

MED III and MED IV clerkships take place at the University Hospital. Elective rotations can take place at the University Hospital, the American University of Beirut Medical Center, Hospitals affiliated with the University of Balamand in the US, or any hospital that the student chooses in Europe, Australia, Canada, or the US if he/she gets an official acceptance.

Clinical training is supervised in all clerkships and student acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes is evaluated via internal (bedside MiniCEX, written and oral, and NBME exams) and external (USMLE I & II, IFOM, National Qualifying Exam or Colloquium) assessment tools.

Medical students in pre-clinical and clinical years are given opportunities to be involved in ongoing research projects with Faculty members. Students are also required to follow clinical pathways and provide evidence from medical literature in all their patients encounters, diagnosis, assessment, and plans. Moreover, the Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences provides medical students with unlimited access to the Up-To-Date online medical database in the University Hospital and remotely to support them to think and practice by evidence.

Please refer to the Catalogue for the description of courses.


The aim of the MD program is the preparation of physicians that demonstrate upon graduation the following competencies in medical education:
  • - Medical knowledge
  • - Patient care
  • - Interpersonal and communication skills
  • - Practice-based learning and improvement
  • - Systems-based practice
  • - Professionalism

Program Learning Outcomes

Medical Knowledge

Medical students will demonstrate a basic understanding of the physical, psychological, pharmacological, and ethical matters that impact patient care.

By the time of graduation, students are expected to:
  1. Discuss the normal structure and function of the human body at the whole body, organ system, organ, tissue, cellular and molecular levels.

  2. Define the genetic and biochemical basis of cellular function.

  3. Identify the fundamental concepts in biochemistry and immunology.

  4. Apply the basic principles of epidemiology and statistics to determine illness within a population.

  5. Recognize normal psychological development.

  6. Identify the main pathological mechanisms that underlie cellular injury, neoplastic and hemodynamic derangements with nutritional and environmental pathology.

  7. Apply the clinical, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, pathology and pathophysiological principals to diseases.

  8. Analyze the principles of both curative and palliative therapeutics necessary for providing the best therapeutic options.

  9. Analyze the ethical issues governing the medical profession.

Patient Care

Graduates will demonstrate the fundamental skills needed to be a compassionate physician and a scientist effective and efficient at prevention, diagnosis, and management of diseases.

By the end of the program, graduates will be able to:
  1. Generate a complete patient history.

  2. Perform a complete or focused physical exam in context of the patient's age and subspecialty.

  3. Analyze the patient's information gathered through clinical assessment.

  4. Develop differential diagnosis.

  5. Design an optimal treatment in clinical medicine and patient care.

  6. Plan the patient's investigations and management needs depending on the level of acuity.

  7. Generate a management and diagnostic plan while being able to discuss principles, advantages, and disadvantages of all modalities with the patient.

  8. Perform common clinical procedures.

  9. Communicate the results of medical investigations or the progress of a patient in the hospital orally or in writing.

  10. Appraise the need for requesting consultation with other health professionals for the well-being of patients. 

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Graduates will communicate effectively with their patients, their families, their colleagues, and members of the healthcare team.

By the end of the program, graduates will be able to:
  1. Conduct a thorough medical history.

  2. Communicate effectively orally and in writing the medical information to colleagues and attendings.

  3. Communicate in a clearly articulated way the medical diagnosis and the management plan to patients and families.

  4. Work effectively with other health care professionals in caring for patients.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
Graduates will effectively use resources and conduct a critical analysis of health care practices to continuously improve patient care.

By the end of the program, graduates will be able to:
  1. Utilize information technology and other resources in management of the patient.

  2. Identify, evaluate, and manage problems in their learning of patient care practices.

  3. Promote continuous self-education.

Systems-Based Practice
Graduates will identify and evaluate issues in the health care system and effectively use resources to deliver optimal health care to their patients.

By the end of the program, graduates will be able to:
  1. Discuss different health care systems, specifically the Lebanese one.

  2. Discuss the role of health care policy in improving patient care.

  3. Use system resources available to patients for health education, treatment and rehabilitation.

  4. Discuss the non-biological determinants of health and the economic, psychological, social and cultural factors that contribute to the development of diseases.

  5. Interpret information about health indicators to identify needs of communities and plan appropriate interventions.

  6. Apply the principles of cost-effectiveness in patient care.

  7. Analyze the organization, financing, and delivery of health care.

  8. Discuss the role of medical jurisprudence in health care.

  9. Demonstrate understanding of and respect for the roles of other health care professionals and the need to collaborate with others in caring for patients and in promoting the health of the population.


Graduates will demonstrate the ability to place the interests of patients above those of the physician and set and maintain standards of competence and integrity.

By the end of the program, graduates will be able to:
  1. Determine personal and professional conflicts of interest.

  2. Demonstrate a commitment to scientific knowledge, patient confidentiality, physician accountability, and improvement of care quality.

  3. Demonstrate honesty and integrity in all interactions with patients, families, colleagues, and the healthcare team.

  4. Apply the ethical principles governing the medical profession.

  5. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity when dealing with patients.

  6. Manage a just distribution of finite resources.

  7. Promote access to medical care.


Click here to view the catalogue.