Entering UC San Diego Medical Students and Pharmacy Students
(June 19, 2019 - August 7, 2019)
The UC San Diego School of Medicine's Office of Educational Support
Services (OESS) offers an 8-week course, Core Topics in Biomedical
Sciences (CTBS), to all students accepted to the School of Medicine
(SOM) and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SSPPS).
The CTBS course, which has been offered by the OESS since 1973, gives
participants a head start in mastering some of the more challenging
topics presented in the first-year SOM curriculum. In contrast to the
prematriculation courses offered by other medical schools, CTBS is not a
review of topics presented in undergraduate science courses; instead,
CTBS focuses on topics that are included in the first-year SOM
curriculum and models the pace and intensity of the SOM curriculum.
Since the CTBS course models the content, pace, and intensity of the SOM
curriculum, it also provides an opportunity for students to determine
if their study strategies are optimal for success in medical school
courses. The current CTBS curriculum emphasizes cardiovascular
physiology and anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of the autonomic
nervous system, immunology, and molecular biology (see schedule from
2018). During the CTBS course, many students form study groups that stay
together throughout the first year and beyond.
The CTBS course is particularly recommended for students who have
undergraduate majors outside of the biological sciences or who have been
away from full-time study for a year or more. However, all students who
have who have been accepted into the UC San Diego SOM or SSPPS are
welcome to attend and can benefit from attending, regardless of
background (SSPPS students are encouraged to attend prior to their
second year). The CTBS course can ease the transition into the intense
courses of the first-year SOM curriculum, and data from past summers
indicate that the CTBS course improves student performance in first-year
courses. Because of the pace and intensity of the course, we highly
recommend that students do not try to combine CTBS with outside
Students may apply online. Those accepted into the CTBS course are
charged only a small fee to attend.
The course meets every weekday morning (with occasional sessions in the
early afternoon). Students also will have the opportunity to orient
themselves to the medical school environment and the La Jolla / San Diego
community before regular classes begin.