Our Structure

Foundational Knowledge

Anatomy is integrated throughout the curriculum so students acquire regional anatomy knowledge associated with the foundational science concepts they are learning. Competency-based assessment allows students to master concepts before moving on to the next component.

Early in the first year to year-and-a-half of the curriculum, Ohio State medical students begin learning about various body system disorders, including bone and muscle, neurological, cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal, renal, endocrine and reproductive disorders, and begin seeing patients with these disorders in clinical practice. This type of longitudinal practice reinforces understanding of the foundational concepts while integrating procedure-based training, history taking and physician examination.

Case discussions held in small learning groups also help to integrate core foundational concepts into clinical reasons, patient care and patient management.

Emphasis is placed on how future physicians will work in complex systems of care and advocate for their patients within those systems. Students will be providing care in the field early in their studies, and will be expected to think critically and assertively pose scientific-based inquiries during classroom and clinical experiences. Faculty guided self-assessment and reflection dovetails with critical thinking and is another tenet of LSI.

Longitudinal Projects

Throughout the curriculum, students participate in a variety of longitudinal projects, including community health education with patients, patient safety studies, understanding health systems and interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Students typically work on projects at a clinical site in groups of four to six. Projects are guided by practicing physicians who work with students to assess the needs of their patients, implement an intervention and assess the outcomes. Student teams conclude by creating a project poster to present at the college’s annual Community Health Day event.

Clinical Applications

Progressing through the curriculum, students gain an understanding of patients with specialized medical needs, reproductive and surgical needs and those within special, vulnerable populations, such as victims of abuse, addiction, poverty and low literacy.

Advanced clinical tracks allow students to experience the full spectrum of clinical application through interdepartmental rotations in specialty areas, and ensure that students are ready for the transition to internship. Advanced competency electives are elective experiences that offer enhanced curricular content to students during the final year of the curriculum. Typically, interdisciplinary and generalizable to multiple practice areas, they often encompass both clinical and nonclinical activities.

Assessment and Evaluation

The curriculum employs an evaluation system facilitating student self-assessment and individualized education plans. Evaluation is competency-based and uses multiple domains to measure progress toward mastery. Students see their progress along the way by receiving immediate feedback.

At the end of each major section of the curriculum, an assessment week gives students the opportunity to receive feedback on their cumulative performance in each of the six core competency domains of the curriculum. For example, patient care and communication skills are assessed through the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and lab practical stations. Medical knowledge is assessed by board-style examinations, as well as by application in some OSCE settings. Students then have time to use feedback from the assessment week to reflect on performance and to meet individually with a portfolio coach to formulate and refine a plan for self-improvement and professional development.

Competency-Based Learning

As students progress through the program, they will be expected to meet certain competencies along the way. These competencies are tasks or responsibilities that students, as future physicians, will be entrusted to perform unsupervised.

The ePortfolio – Charting Professional Growth

Students in the LSI curriculum will receive an account for a web-based education ePortfolio. The ePortfolio allows students to post written reflections on their educational experiences and performance or other topics of choice, with the aim of charting their improved performance and achievements and establishing patterns of lifelong reflective practice and self-directed learning. Students share their portfolios in meetings with a faculty coach, who acts as a mentor and guide throughout the medical school program, and provides feedback on the student's ability to reflect on his or her experiences and assist in establishing goals and plans for the student's next steps.

Research Opportunities

Ohio State’s Medical Student Research Program connects medical students with basic, clinical and translational research opportunities, faculty research mentors and research funding opportunities. Intramural scholarships are available to medical students through the college. Extramural fellowships are available from institutions such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, National Institutes of Health, Alpha Omega Alpha, Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation and many other scientific, specialty and disease-specific foundations. Students are encouraged to find a research mentor and apply to multiple funding sources to maximize funding opportunities.

View research opportunities

Community Health Education Project

As part of the Ohio State Lead.Serve.Inspire curriculum, students complete a yearlong community health education project, with the objective of improving the health of a specific underserved population in a clinic or agency in the greater central Ohio community. The project will introduce you to population-based medicine and allow you to identify the needs of the population with which you are working and, in some cases, to develop, implement and evaluate a program for that particular population. Current local project sites include the Columbus Neighborhood Health Center, Lung Health Clinic, Helping Hands Health and Wellness Center, Moms2B, Physicians CareConnection, Clintonville Community Resource Center, Central Community House, St. Stephen’s House, YMCAEast, King Arts Complex, Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, Columbus Free Clinic, Family AIDS Clinic and more. 

Learn more about community service opportunities

Three Phases of the LSI Curriculum

Curricular requirements for completion of the MD degree include demonstrated competency in the curricular learning outcomes.  In addition students must pass Parts 1, 2, & 3 of the curriculum, post a passing score on USMLE Step 1 and 2CK, and meet all professional standards.

Part 1 Clinical Foundations

Part 1 of the curriculum is divided into eight blocks covering the major foundational sciences topics and their clinical correlates, along with allowing students to practice and build on clinical and communication skills.

Throughout Part 1, students participate in weekly Longitudinal Group sessions one half-day per week to discuss topics on interpersonal communication, physical examination, behavioral/social sciences and clinical reasoning.

Starting in early October, students participate in a Longitudinal Practice session in a clinical site one half-day every other week. To help prepare students for these practice sessions, students receive basic training in medical interviewing, physical exam, and procedures during the Medical Practice and Patient Care block, allowing students to function as productive members of the patient care team.

An Assessment Week includes a final exam to measure assessment of medical knowledge at the end of each block. Assessment includes time to self-assess and reflect on personal performance and make adjustments in learning strategies and focus.

Interspersed throughout Part 1 are the Exploration Weeks during which students will be able to identify careers in medicine that match their individual characteristics.

Working longitudinally, students complete Individualized Projects related to an Educational Portfolio, Health Coaching, Community Health Education, and Health Systems, Informatics and Quality.

Part 2 - Clinical Applications

Unlike other programs that begin clinical clerkship rotations in the third year of medical school, the LSI curriculum introduces the clerkship experience after 18 months of the program. Clinical rotations are offered through learning “rings” which integrate knowledge in three major areas:

  • Ring 1: Understanding specialized medical care
  • Ring 2: Understanding surgical and reproductive care
  • Ring 3: Understanding patients within populations

Each ring merges foundational knowledge gained in Part 1 with one week of practice in the clinical skills lab during “Ground School" to prepare students for rotation in a clinical setting. The clinical rotations take place in major hospitals and clinics around Columbus.

Sample Ring:
Understanding Patients With Specialized Medical Needs

1. Description:

  • Three components: inpatient internal medicine, neurology and psychiatry
  • Clinical immersions that enable the student to appreciate and learn to assess and care for patients across a spectrum of adult specialized medical care settings that include:
  • General hospital-based care of adults
  • Acute cardiac care
  • Acute or subacute neurological care
  • Acute psychiatric care
  • Admission and triage process
  • Acute specialized medical care
  • A mixture of outpatient care for patients with chronic psychiatric and neurologic disorders
  • Assessment of patients with vascular disease

2. Clinical Structure

  • A total of 14 weeks of experience
  • Six weeks of inpatient internal medicine
  • Includes hospital medicine, cardiology and additional subspecialty inpatient internal medicine divisions
  • Ambulatory internal medicine experiences located in patients within populations ring
  • Three weeks of inpatient psychiatry
  • Three weeks of neurology
  • Two weeks of electives (majority internal medicine)

Part 3 - Advanced Clinical Management

The goal of Part III of the LSI curriculum is to prepare Ohio State medical students to be the finest interns in the country. To achieve that goal, this part of the curriculum focuses on the breadth of what students can do—taking them from students to doctors.

Advanced Management in Hospital-Based Care is a unique, eight-week clerkship in which students learn acute care management in an integrated manner.

Advanced Management in Relationship-Centered Care is a longitudinal course that emphasizes team-based care of patients with complex or chronic diseases.

Advanced Competencies and Electives are offered over a 16-week period (four total elective blocks). Students may choose from a variety of advanced competencies and clinical electives to become proficient in their specialty:

  • Anatomy
  • Biomedical Informatics
  • Critical Care and Procedures
  • Developing and Empowering Leaders Through Advocacy
  • Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Management
  • Global Health
  • Health Care Communications and Social Media
  • Honors Ultrasound
  • Hotspotting: Team Care of Frequent Health Care Consumers
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Developmental Disabilities
  • Interprofessional Care of the Underserved
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Interprofessional Quality and Safety
  • Latino Health
  • Leadership in Medicine
  • Medical Toxicology
  • From the Page to the Bedside
  • Patient Experience
  • Professionalism and Humanism
  • Research
  • Sexual and Gender Identity Minority Health (LGBTQ+ Health)
  • Teaching in Medicine
  • Ultrasound Immersion

Clinical tracks are selected by students to prepare them for internships/residency training in the specialty/sub specialty field of their interest.

Students receive individualized guidance from advisers in their chosen disciplines, who also ensure that students are cultivating the skills necessary to be successful in residency and as practicing physicians.

Where our students learn


Ohio State University Hospital

Consistently recognized as one of America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, University Hospital is the flagship patient care facility of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. University Hospital is home to a Level I Trauma Center, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit and a groundbreaking Center for Neuromodulation. 

Located walking distance on the medical campus.

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The James Cancer Hospital


As the third largest cancer hospital in the country, The James fully integrates scientific research with education and excellent patient-care. Designated a Comprehensive Caner Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), The James is one of only a few centers in the nation funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs sponsored by the NCI. 

Located walking distance on the medical campus.

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Inpatient Tower

Opening 2026

Ohio State is taking a major step forward with the development of a new hospital that, combined with modern educational space, will enhance a unified Ohio State Wexner Medical Center campus providing leading-edge research, outstanding clinical training and world-class patient care. The 1.9 million-square-foot inpatient hospital is the largest single facilities project ever undertaken at Ohio State with up to 820 beds in private-room settings to elevate patient-centered care, safety and training for the next generation of health care providers.

Learn more about the Inpatient Tower


Nationwide Children's Hospital

As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is where medical students are trained in pediatric care and is currently ranked #6 for best children's hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Located within 15 minute drive from medical campus. Shuttle service is also provided.

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Ohio State Ross Heart Hospital

Top ranked in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report, the Ross Heart Hospital provides care for every type of heart or vascular disease. 

Located walking distance on the medical campus.

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Ohio State Brain and Spine Hospital

Home to central Ohio’s top-ranked neurology/neurosurgery program, the Brain and Spine Hospital has specialized units for stroke care, neurotrauma and traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and spine surgery, epilepsy, chronic pain, acute rehabilitation and neurosurgery.

Located walking distance on the medical campus.

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Ohio State East Hospital

The Ohio State East Hospital blends academic medicine with a community-based setting in a comprehensive outpatient facility and 190-bed hospital on Columbus’ east side. Home to a Level III Trauma Center, East Hospital provides a full range of medical and surgical services to patients throughout central Ohio, including orthopedics, general surgery, vascular surgery, plastic surgery, ENT, cardiovascular and pulmonary care, urology, family medicine, general internal medicine and emergency medicine.

Located within 15 minute drive from medical campus. Shuttle service is also provided.

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Ohio State Harding Hospital

Ohio State Harding Hospital provides the most comprehensive behavioral health care services for adults, older adults, children and adolescents in central Ohio. 

Located walking distance on the medical campus.

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Ohio State Dodd Rehabilitation Hospital

At Ohio State’s nationally ranked inpatient rehabilitation services at Dodd Rehabilitation Hospital, residents receive training in general and neurorehabilitation, neuromuscular medicine, electrodiagnostics and musculoskeletal ultrasound to helps individuals live their lives to the fullest after disabilities caused by trauma, illness, congenital deficits or disease. 

Located walking distance on the medical campus.

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