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Students spend their first two years primarily in Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s North Campus location, studying basic sciences and learning clinical skills. Courses are designed to address the interface of patient, physician and society, and introduce clinical thinking and decision-making in today’s socioeconomic and cultural environment. During first year, the focus is gaining a core understanding of the structure and function of the human body.

Each student is also assigned a Family-Centered Experience (FCE) program family to follow throughout the first two years to provide a sense of continuity in patient care and help them gain a first-hand understanding of access issues, healthcare costs and the personal choices patients make. These experiences also provide an opportunity for students to hone their communication skills and develop respectful, beneficial relationships with patients and their families.


  • Case-Based Learning 1 (CBL1)
  • Community Health Improvement and Promotion (CHIP)
  • Foundation of Systems (FoS)
  • Physician and Patient-Centered Care (PPCC1)
  • Physician and Society (PAS)
  • Neuroscience

Course topics

Case-Based Learning 1 (CBL1)
CBL1 prepares students for clinical practice by linking classroom-based knowledge to clinical practice through the discussion of clinical case studies.

Community Health Improvement and Promotion (CHIP)
The goal of CHIP is to give students the opportunity to learn about the principles, methods and complexities involved in community health/public health interventions through active participation in group projects.

Foundation of Systems (FoS)
FoS covers biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, medical genetics, physiology, clinical anatomy and radiology, histology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, embryology and pharmacology.

Physician and Patient-Centered Care (PPCC1)
PPCC1 is a year-long course that assists students and one another to connect to humanity and humanism — our own as well as that of our peers and those who will benefit from our professional skills, knowledge and presence.

Physician and Society (PAS)
The goal in PAS is to illustrate the need for and the benefits from collaborative approaches and efforts for advancements in health, health policies and clinical practices among the fields of clinical medicine, research epidemiology, biostatistics and public health.

The instructional material is presented in a multidisciplinary format to foster the integration of the basic disciplines of neuroanatomy, biochemisty, histology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology.