Curriculum Overview

Wake Forest School of Medicine offers a transformational and supportive educational experience. Our MD Program develops physicians who:
  • Set the standard for compassionate, collaborative care.
  • Lead the way in socially responsible health care and biomedical sciences locally, nationally and globally.
  • Learn, discover and apply innovative knowledge and skills to the art of medicine.

Students and faculty are equal and active partners throughout the learning process

The “Wake Ready!” Curriculum

The newly redesigned “Wake Ready!” curriculum provides more individualized approach to prepare our students towards a medical career, instead of the traditional 2 preclinical + 2 clinical years curriculum. It advances Wake Forest School of Medicine's national reputation for graduating first-rate clinicians, educators and scholars. It provides students with increased flexibility to explore their interests and positions graduates for outstanding performance in the top residency training programs in the nation.

Foundations (Preclinical):

In the first phase of study, which is 18 months, students master the foundational sciences that are necessary for the successful practice of medicine, including anatomy, biochemistry, embryology, histology, microbiology, immunology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, and public health sciences. Students also achieve competence in the foundations of clinical medicine including bedside clinical skills, bioethics and population health. Students develop and must demonstrate competence in the key entrustable professional activities (EPAs) required for outstanding clerkship performance. The preclinical “Wake Ready” phase emphasizes integrating basic science into clinical and patient care with simulated and actual patient care experiences and assessments, culminating in USMLE Step I testing and entry into the core clinical training phase of the curriculum.

Clinical Immersion (Clinical):

During the second phase, MD candidates develop and demonstrate competence in core EPAs for residency program entry and success through core clerkships in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB-GYN, Psychiatry, Neurology, Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.

Career Exploration (Clinical):

USMLE Step II testing and participation in the residency match program is followed by the third, individualized clinical training phase of the curriculum. This phase allows students significant flexibility in adapting their training to the meet the demands and expectations of their career path.

Helping medical students become exemplary physicians is what drives us. Our well-defined objectives are linked to curricular elements at the event and course level, guiding students to attain our overarching program goals.

Graduates are expected to demonstrate excellence in:

  • Practice knowledge
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Patient care
  • Professionalism
  • Practice-based learning and improvement
  • Systems-based practice
  • Interprofessional collaborative practice
  • Personal and professional development
Wake Ready Curriculum Overview at Wake Forest School of Medicine

Standardized Patient Program

The Standardized Patient Program at the School of Medicine prepares medical students to develop a rapport with their patients, assemble a precise patient history, improve their physical examination techniques and gain experience counseling patients in a variety of circumstances. Learn more about the program.

Away Elective Opportunity

Rotations at locations away from Wake Forest School of Medicine allow students to “preview” residency opportunities, obtain experiences not available at the School of Medicine, complete research opportunities, or to meet and work with faculty and program directors that might aid in obtaining a residency position.

Curriculum Committees 

The Undergraduate Medical Education Curriculum Committee (UMECC) of Wake Forest School of Medicine is charged with the oversight of the medical education program leading to the MD degree. The UMECC is responsible for the overall design, management, integration, evaluation, and enhancement of a cohort and coordinated medical curriculum.

Student Involvement

Student representation can be found on committees, subcommittees, and working groups of UMECC. Students serve as voting members. Any student interested in serving on UMECC, UMECC subcommittees, or working groups should contact mdcurric@wakehealth.edu.

Committee Structure

Committee Structure