SOMI 220 - Core Topics in Biomedical Sciences

​For 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 employment.

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.