An Amazing Head Start with Core Topics in Biomedical Sciences (SOMI 220)

​For Entering UC San Diego Medical Students and Pharmacy Students

(June 22, 2022 - August 5, 2022)

The UC San Diego School of Medicine's Office of Educational Support Services (OESS) offers a 7-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 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.

The pace and intensity of CTBS provide an opportunity for students to determine if their study strategies are optimal for success in medical school courses, and provides exposure to the application-style questions often used within the SOM curriculum. The current CTBS curriculum emphasizes cardiovascular and pulmonary physiology, physiology and pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system, immunology, and selected topics in molecular cell biology, as described in more detail in the curriculum outline. The emphasis on integration and application in multiple assessment formats during CTBS encourages students to build skills that will allow them to effectively integrate and master the SOM curriculum.

All students accepted into the UC San Diego SOM or SSPPS are welcome to attend (SSPPS students are encouraged to attend prior to their second year). 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 and want to reawaken skills and strengthen their background in the biomedical sciences.

During the CTBS course, many students form study groups that stay together throughout the first year and beyond. Data from past summers indicate that the CTBS course improves student performance in first-year courses, as presented in this article published by OESS educators: CTBS program helping students succeed in medical school.pdf.

The 2022 CTBS course will be taught online. In a typical week, a combination of synchronous (by Zoom) and asynchronous (pre-recorded) lectures, and synchronous (by Zoom) problems sessions will be held four weekday mornings in the 8 am to 12:15 am window, and an assessment and review (beginning at 10 am) will be held on the fifth weekday. A few orientations may be held in the early afternoon, as described in this sample schedule.  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. Because the cost of the CTBS course is heavily subsidized by the School of Medicine, those attending the course are charged only a small fee to attend.

For questions regarding CTBS course, please contact Carrie Owen (858) 534-1519.