The current landscape of undergraduate medical education provides foundations at varying depths of knowledge that will not only be needed for board examinations but also progressively needed for the clinical years as well. The ongoing challenge of undergraduate medical education is displayed by curriculum calendars and the volumes of content consumed by students and produced by schools. These challenges manifest themselves in a small percentage of students failing to meet the minimal competency and then being asked to repeat a year or a course. Awareness of the many influencing factors on the curriculum illustrates the need for a bridge to help the struggling student but also provides the tools, time, and resources to ensure the student is able to be successful moving forward.
The offering of the off-cycle curriculum is a mechanism for allowing students in the DO program an opportunity to complete the pre-clinical portion of the DO curriculum in 3 years instead of the traditional 2 years. The offering of this program is strictly voluntary and cannot be required for student participation. The off-cycle curriculum offers the student an opportunity to significantly improve course performance outcomes by decelerating a required portion of the curriculum. The decelerated pace of progressing through the curriculum allows the student to learn the material and create new habits to become a lifelong learner. Although this differs from the traditional Flexner model, it takes into consideration the type of students who are matriculating into our medical school program. These students range from the students newly progressing from their undergraduate studies to the student who is progressing from the workforce. This curriculum is a chance to establish the foundation needed to not only matriculate through medical school but also become a successful physician. Any student who is enrolled in the off-cycle curriculum must successfully complete all required courses of the first and second preclinical curriculum. Upon decelerating, students in the off-cycle curriculum will delay their graduation by one year, and are subject to revisions in curriculum requirements and changes in tuition and fees of their new graduating class.