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Medical Education
Medical Student Education

Foundations 1

Foundations 1 (F1) is the first phase of the Bridges Curriculum in which students draw upon core scientific information and principles to provide the highest quality patient care and to advance health care for future generations. Beyond the F1 core curriculum, students may enroll in electives for additional learning in specific topics and clinical experiences through volunteer work with UCSF-affiliated projects. Information on the Foundations 1 faculty leadership can be found on the Foundations 1 Faculty Leadership and Topic Stewards pages. For a glossary of Bridges Curriculum terms visit here.

Foundations 1 Elements

Clinical Microsystems Clerkship: In the longitudinal Clinical Microsystems Clerkship (CMC), students are introduced to how healthcare delivery systems impact quality, patient experience, and clinical outcomes. The CMC day is divided into two components: microsystem systems work and learning direct patient care skills. In their microsystem systems work, assume authentic roles within health systems improvement teams. To acquire direct patient care skills, students first learn in small groups and the Kanbar Center for Simulation, and subsequently work with patients in their microsystem and other settings. In the CMC, students’ Coaches guide them every step of the way.

ARCH Weeks: ARCH (Assessment, Reflection, Coaching, and Health) Weeks support students’ professional development by providing structured time to reflect on their progress in competency development and to plan for future learning. Students participate in formative and summative assessments, holistically review performance data, reflect on professional identity formation, meet with Coaches to develop IDPs, and engage in wellness activities with peers.

Inquiry: Inquiry in the Bridges Curriculum is a habit of mind, a commitment to lifelong learning, identifying the limits of our current understanding and developing new knowledge. In the Core Inquiry Curriculum (CIC), students participate in weekly, faculty-facilitated small groups to explore cutting-edge scientific or healthcare problems. In dedicated two-week Inquiry Immersion block, students build their inquiry skills by participating in mini-courses to explore a cutting-edge topic with a faculty expert.

Foundational Sciences: In F1, foundational sciences are presented in blocks that are highly integrated with respect to the broad range of science domains relevant to healthcare practice and to the accompanying F1 elements (CMC, Inquiry, ARCH Weeks):

  • Ground School: Core principles of anatomic and histologic structure, principles of biochemistry, pharmacology, and pathology.

  • Airways, Blood, & Circulation (ABC 1 & 2): Cardiovascular/pulmonary physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology; red blood cell/ platelet function and dysfunction.

  • Health & the Individual (H&I): The experience of health and illness from the individual, family, and provider perspective through the social and behavioral sciences.

  • Renal, Endocrine, GI, and Nutrition (REGulatioN): Function, dysfunction, and pharmacology of the gastrointestinal, endocrine, and renal systems.

  • Health & Society (H&S): The context in which individuals experience health and healthcare, with an emphasis on health and healthcare disparities, health policy, and social epidemiology

  • Pathogens & Host Defense (PHD): Immunology/rheumatology, microbiology/infectious diseases, and leukemia/lymphoma.

  • Life Stages: Healthy aging and development.

  • Brain, Movement, & Behavior (BMB): The human nervous system and current concepts in consciousness, perception, emotion, and other aspects of the mind.

  • Diagnostic Reasoning (DR): Advanced clinical reasoning at the individual patient level.