Doctor of Medicine Program

The four-year curriculum is taught at both the Macon and Savannah Campuses and the 3rd and 4th year curriculum is taught at the Columbus Campus. The curriculum has been organized and designed to support the mission of the school to train physicians to meet the health care needs of rural and other underserved areas of Georgia. The curriculum is patient-centered providing early application of medical and clinical knowledge in a variety of classroom and clinical venues. The program fosters the development of independent, life-long learning skills. 

The information below pertains to the 2018-19 M.D. Application Cycle

Mission of admissions process for the M.D. program

The overarching goal of the admissions process is to identify, attract and enroll well qualified students that promise to graduate into caring and well-rounded physicians, committed to serving the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas or medically underserved populations in Georgia.

Eligibility Criteria for submitting an application to the M.D. program at MUSM:

  1. The applicant must be a US Citizen or US Permanent Resident.
  2. The applicant must have established residency in the state of Georgia for at least 12 months prior to matriculation. Please see frequently asked questions for more information about Georgia residency requirements.
  3. Applicants should have obtained an undergraduate degree or a more advanced degree with a minimum of 90 credit hours of coursework or be on track to completing a degree from an accredited college or university by June of the intended year of matriculation.
  4. The applicant must have taken the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) at least once on or after April 1, 2015 and obtained a percentile ranking of at least 27.

Application Requirements

  1. The applicant must submit an online application through the American Medical College Application System (AMCAS). Visit www.aamc.org.

Primary Applications can be submitted as soon as AMCAS allows it. The code for Mercer University School of Medicine is GA-832. Only Primary Applications that are initiated and submitted by the appropriate deadline via AMCAS are considered.

  1. Minimum Course Requirements: one year or two semester-hour laboratory courses in each of the following:
  • General Biology;
  • General or Inorganic Chemistry;
  • Organic Chemistry; and
  • Physics

A semester of Biochemistry with lab may be taken instead of a second semester of Organic Chemistry. AP credit may be used in place of one semester of the Physics requirement. If AP credit was received for one or more of the other courses listed above, one year of advanced courses with lab in the same discipline must be completed.

  1. The applicant must have taken the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) at least once on or after April 1, 2015 and obtained a percentile rank of at least 27. The applicant has an average MCAT Percentile Rank times his/her Cumulative Undergraduate BCPM-GPA greater than 93

For applicants with earned graduate degrees or 20 or more hours of graduate coursework, an invitation to submit a secondary application is sent if the average MCAT percentile rank is a 27 or greater, regardless of Cumulative Undergraduate BCPM-GPA.

  1. The applicant must complete the online assessment CASPer. For more information on CASPer, click here. Or visit www.testcasper.com
  2. The applicant must submit a minimum of two (2) letters of recommendation (or one committee letter). For more information on letters of recommendation, please visit the FAQs.
  3. Submission of a $90 application fee, Declaration of Domicile in the State of Georgia, state issued ID, Required Premedical Course Form, and a photograph. They are submitted with the MUSM Secondary Application. (The fee is automatically waived for applicants who have a valid Fee Assistance Program waiver from AMCAS)

Screening process for M.D. applications

The Admissions Committee uses a Holistic Review Process to screen applicants. Applicants are screened based on desire to practice primary care medicine in underserved, rural areas of Georgia, academic metrics, attributes and experiences.

Application Timeline

Since completed applications are considered by the Admissions Committee on a rolling basis and the number of interview spots is limited, we encourage all applicants to complete their applications as early in the cycle as possible. Once applications are complete, applicants will receive an e-mail acknowledgment from the Admissions Office that their file is complete and eligible for review by the Admissions Committee.

Early Decision Program

August 1, 2018: Primary AMCAS Application & Transcripts must be submitted to AMCAS.

August 24, 2018: MUSM Admissions Office must receive an applicant’s CASPer score and GPA and official MCAT score(s) on a Verified Primary AMCAS application by 5:00PM ET for a Secondary Application Invitation for the Early Decision Program to be considered.

August 31, 2018: All Secondary Application components must be submitted by 5:00PM EST.

Early Decision Interview Information

August 23, 2018: Interviews start

September 5, 2018: If invited to interview, applicants will receive an email invitation no later than this date.

September 11, 2018: Interviews End

Regular Pool

November 1, 2018: Primary Applications must be submitted to AMCAS.

November 15, 2018: Transcripts must be submitted to AMCAS.

December 14, 2018: MUSM Admissions Office must receive an applicant’s CASPer score and GPA and official MCAT score(s) verified on the Primary AMCAS application. January 14, 2019: All Secondary Application components must be submitted by 5:00PM EST.

Regular Pool Interview Information

September 13, 2018: Interviews start

January 26, 2019: Interviews end

 

Note: Criteria for admission are reviewed by the Admissions Committee on an annual basis and any revisions will be published on this page reasonably in advance.

 

Doctor of Medicine Curriculum

Year 1 40 Total Hours

Fall Semester 20 Semester Hours

MED FOM 600 Foundations of Medicine 17 weeks

MED PGD 600 Professional Growth/Development 3 weeks

Spring Semester 20 Semester Hours

MED ORG 700 Organ Systems-Block I 17 weeks

MED POH 600 Population Health 1 3 weeks

 

Year 2 40 Total Hours

Fall Semester 19 Semester Hours

MED ORG 700 Organ Systems-Block II 16 weeks

MED POH 700 Population Health 2 3 weeks

Spring Semester 21 Semester Hours

MED ORG 710 Organ Systems – Block III 18 weeks

MED PGD 700 Professional Growth/Development 3 weeks

 

Year 3 48 Total Hours

Fall Semester 24 Semester Hours

Spring Semester 24 Semester Hours

Three of six required clerkships are taken each semester.

CLK 810 Surgery 8 weeks

CLK 811 Family Medicine 8 weeks

CLK 812 Pediatrics 8 weeks

CLK 813 Psychiatry 6 weeks

CLK 814 Obstetrics & Gynecology 6 weeks

CLK 815 Internal Medicine 12 weeks

MED 800 Longitudinal Course Fall & Spring

 

Year 4 35 Total Hours

Required Courses 18 Semester Hours

BIE 900 - Bioethics II     1 semester hour

Capstone                        1 week/1 semester hour

CLK 999 Community Medicine 4 weeks/4 semester hours

A total of 8 weeks/8 semester hours of selective/clerkships must be taken during Year 4.

Two of the following three selectives/clerkships must be taken:

CLK 910 - Critical Care            4 weeks/4 semester hours

CLK 914 - Emergency Medicine    4 weeks/4 semester hours

CLK 926 - Geriatric and Palliative Care 4 weeks/4 semester hours

Sub-Specialty Electives (4 weeks/4 semester hours)

For a full list of Sub-Speciality Electives, please view the M.D. Program Handbook

A total of 4 weeks/4 semester hours of a Sub-Internship must be taken during Year 4.

For a full list of sub-internships, please visit the M.D. Program handbook.

 

Year I and Year II

Student assessment and evaluation is identical across campuses.

Patient-Based Learning (PBL) Curriculum

The PBL curriculum is competency based and organized to provide a strong background in topics foundational for Years 3 and 4. The curriculum addresses the foundational elements found in biomedical sciences and also includes fundamentals of clinical medicine, population health, evidence-based medicine, medical humanities, and medical ethics. The curriculum is fully integrated across disciplines and topics, facilitating deeper understanding and life-long learning.

The curriculum is arranged in four-16 week blocks arranged in 4-week modules.

  • The first block, Foundations of Medicine emphasizes anatomy and the development of clinical skills. In addition, it provides an introduction to the foundational basic science topics of biochemistry, cell biology, immunology, pharmacology, ethics and population health.

  • The second, third and fourth blocks systematically cover the physiology, and pathophysiology associated with organ systems (neurology, psychiatry, musculoskeletal, skin, cardiovascular, pulmonology, renal, GE, reproduction and hematology/oncology) while continuing to explore the ethical and population health issues associated with the practice of medicine.

Mercer uses a variety of educational methodologies to engage learners and to meet the competencies of the Institution.

Student centered learning is developed through small group, 58 case-based interactions. These sessions consist of eight to nine students and one faculty facilitator. Students approach gathering and working as a team to integrate basic and clinical science principles through the discussion of a clinical case. The facilitators maintain a positive group dynamic, keeping the discussion relevant and at an appropriate depth. In addition, Mercer uses large group active learning (for ex. Team Based Learning) to promote knowledge content integration and teamwork. Outside of structured curricular time, students have sufficient protected time to study independently and/or explore professional growth and development activities.

The Medical Practice Curriculum is a component of the PBL curriculum. During the first two years, students learn the basic skills necessary for interaction with patients. These skills include interview/medical history and physical examination techniques. In addition, students learn clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills necessary for the diagnosis and management of patients. Students interview and examine “standardized” patients from the Standardized Patient Program. The latter group is comprised of persons who have been trained to portray specific medical problems and behavioral roles, and to give constructive feedback to the students. These encounters provide students with the skills and confidence necessary to interact with real patients during the Population Health Program.

The Population Health Program consists of two, 3-week immersion experiences where students are paired with a primary care, community physician who will serve as their mentor for the entire program. During these experiences, students use the population health concepts (epidemiology, demographics, and non-biological determinants of health, health disparities, cultural competence, and family systems) and the medical practice skills they learned in PBL curriculum to provide clinical care to patients and conduct a variety of health assessments of the community. These visits occur at the end of Year I and mid-way through Year II.

Mercer believes that students should take the opportunity to explore a broad range of interests during the preclinical years. To facilitate this exploration, Mercer has developed a 2- year longitudinal, Personal and Professional Growth course. In this course, students choose an area of focus under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Areas of scholarly focus may include: caring for underserved communities; business of medicine; basic, translational policy; medical ethics and humanities; population health and preventive health. To facilitate this activity, students are provided with two, 3-week periods of dedicated protected time to pursue their interests. At the end of year II, students submit a project summarizing their scholarly work.

The Year III program covers a 48-week period in which students are involved in servicebased clerkships in Mercer-affiliated community teaching hospitals. The main community teaching hospitals are the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Columbus Regional Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus with other sites as available throughout the state.

The clerkships include a blend of ambulatory and hospital-based patient care to provide the students with a comprehensive clinical experience necessary for a general medical education. The clerkships include Internal Medicine (12 weeks), Surgery (8 weeks), Psychiatry (6 weeks), Pediatrics (8 weeks), Family Medicine (8 weeks), and Obstetrics and Gynecology (6 weeks). Concurrently, there are ongoing seminars in radiology and ethics. Concurrently, there are two longitudinal curricular experiences during Year III, the Longitudinal course that covers topics that span the traditional clinical 59 clerkships and a year-long radiology curriculum that includes lectures and clerkship specific educational objectives.

The Year IV program includes three required 4-week experiences; one in Community Medicine, and two 4-week selectives in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine Geriatric Medicine, or a Pre-selected Sub-Specialty selective and a 4-week Sub-Internship. Of the selectives the student will be required to take 1 selective in either Critical Care, Emergency Medicine or Geriatric Medicine and 1 of the Pre-selected Sub-Specialty selectives.

The Emergency Medicine and SubInternship requirements may be achieved at a non-MUSM teaching facility if it is labeled as such in VSAS and meets the MUSM Sub-Internship requirements or meets with Year IV Committee approval if it is not listed in the Senior Electives Catalog. Of the 16 weeks of elective experiences, at least 8 weeks of electives must be Mercer-sponsored electives. Unscheduled time (weeks of vacation time) is provided for residency interviews, vacation and personal time.

The Year IV program is intended to allow students to round out their clinical training experience while exploring different specialties as career options. Only 4 weeks in one sub-specialty will be credited towards the 16 weeks of elective time needed for graduation. A minimum of 8 weeks of elective courses must have significant patient contact/significant patient care responsibilities. In addition, there is a Medical Ethics paper for senior students that is required, as well as a Clinical Performance Exam (CPEX), which occurs during the first week of the senior year. The senior year is completed after the successful completion of a one (1) credit hour Capstone course designed to prepare the senior student for their entry into their Internship Year.

USMLE Step I

A passing score on the USMLE Step 1 examination, as prescribed by the USMLE, is required for entry into the Year III curriculum. However, a student who has otherwise satisfactorily completed the Years-1 and –II curricula but who is awaiting notification of USMLE Step 1 scores may begin the first clerkship. If the student subsequently receives notification that they have failed Step 1, the student is expected to complete that clerkship. If the student satisfactorily fulfills the requirements for the clerkship, they will be given academic credit for that clerkship (otherwise they will be given no credit for the clerkship). Once the clerkship is completed, the student will be withdrawn from Year III and be required to complete Independent Study until a passing score on Step 1 has been achieved. Dismissal from MUSM shall be recommended for any student who fails to pass the USMLE Step 1 after three attempts.

USMLE Step II

MUSM students are required to achieve a passing score, as defined by the USMLE, on the USMLE Step 2 CK (clinical Knowledge) examination as a requirement for successful completion of the curriculum, and thus to be eligible for graduation. USMLE Step 2 CS (clinical skills) is a clinical skills examination consisting of multi-station patient encounters. MUSM students are required to pass the Step 2 CS exam for graduation.