Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC–Q) offers the highly successful curriculum of the Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC). In the first two years, the curriculum is composed of five consecutive, full time, integrated basic science courses (Molecules, Genes and Cells, Human Structure and Function, Host Defenses, Brain and Mind, and Basis of Disease) and the year-long "patient-doctor" courses known as Medicine, Patients and Society I and II. The clinical curriculum consists of an introduction to the clinical years, followed by the traditional third-year clerkship rotations in the principal clinical disciplines, and fourth year selective and elective courses.
The following are the principal features of the curriculum:
- Integration of the teaching of the basic and clinical sciences: this is achieved by offering interdisciplinary, sequential basic science courses; structuring the sciences into basic and advanced modalities; exposing the students to clinical concepts from the first week of classes; and providing early clinical experiences in physician's offices.
- Problem based learning (PBL) in the basic sciences; PBL emphasizes active learning and requires the student first to identify issues needed to solve a medical problem, then to seek out the information needed to solve the problem, and then to reconvene in small groups to apply the information learned. Thus, basic sciences are learned in a clinical context.
- Gradual acquisition of clinical skills in the first two years preceding the traditional training in clinical medicine of years three and four.
- Medicine, Patients and Society series: a three-year, integrated sequence in public health, behavioral sciences, psycho-social medicine, ethics and clinical skills.
- Emphasis on self-education by students who will spend a significant proportion of their time learning in small groups or individually through independent study.
- Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are emphasized, imparting to students the resources by which they may, on their own, absorb and evaluate the ever-increasing amount of new scientific knowledge, both during their years of post-doctoral training and in professional practice.