Basic and Clinical Science Integration
The SOMA curriculum is also designed to integrate basic and clinical sciences together in relation to their relevance to the clinical presentations. Traditional medical schools in the United States typically have learners first acquire knowledge in various fields of the basic sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and many others during the first 2 years of a curriculum (pre-clinical phase). This knowledge is then expected to be used by learners to diagnose clinical problems during third- and fourth-year clerkships (clinical phase). Research over the past few years in the area of the cognitive sciences has found this transfer of knowledge to be difficult and that many learners have to learn again in the clinical phase what they “learned” in the pre-clinical phase. Through the union of both basic and clinical science, there is no need for students to restructure their knowledge upon entering third- and fourth-year clinical clerkships.