Curriculum for 4-Year MD Program in New Orleans, Louisiana

The first two years of the medical school curriculum emphasize several basic sciences and their relevancy to clinical medicine. Clinical experiences, including required rotations with physicians, begin in the first year in courses such as Science and Practice of Medicine. This course has three components: computer based cases which will be assigned on a weekly basis in order to ensure that students develop early skills at clinical problem solving; small group discussion on issues important to the practice of medicine; clinical experiences in patient care settings and procedure laboratories where students learn to perform various clinical procedures such as lumbar punctures, intubations, etc. The second year of medical school utilizes an integrated approach to the teaching of basic science and pre-clinical courses within an environment that fosters a continued exposure to patient care. Clerkships begin in the third year where students have required rotations in various clinical disciplines.  Most rotations are in New Orleans, but some students complete short rotations with LSUHSC School of Medicine faculty in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.  In the fourth year, students have several months for elective rotations in addition to required rotations, in the ICU, emergency department and required Acting Internships.   Some of these rotations can be completed at the institutions associated with the LSU School of Medicine around the state or at other approved institutions outside the state or country.

As part of the school's committment to training healthcare providers through the state, the LSUHSC School of Medicine in New Orleans assigns approximately 25 medical students per class to our Baton Rouge campus for their 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations.  These rotations occur at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical and at Women's Hospital.  Applicants may express a preference for assignment to Baton Rouge for years 3 and 4.  If less than 25 students express this preference, then a lottery system will assign additional students to the Baton Rouge campus at the time of admission.  Students assigned to complete their third and fourth years in Baton Rouge are required to arrange their housing in Baton Rouge.  It is important to note that students assigned to the Baton Rouge campus for their clinical training have the opportunity to take some rotations in New Orleans during their fourth year if they chose to do so.

Beginning in the fall of 2015, the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans implemented a new curriculum for the pre-clerkship years (years 1 and 2).  Our overall goals are to provide 1) more integrated teaching of basic and clinical sciences; 2) a greater emphasis on critical thinking and analytical skills; 3) additional experiences in clinical application of basic science principles; 4) additional teaching of certain topics such as cultural competence, health care systems, population medicine, quality of care issues, patient safety, and inter-professional practice, and 5) more time for exploration of clinical and/or research areas of interest. 

Computer-assisted instruction is an important component of the curriculum. Medical students are required to purchase specially configured laptop computers from the School of Medicine so that they can access current teaching technologies and other on-line information. Many of the learning experiences of the four year curriculum occur in the Learning Center, which can be seen on video at

Although major emphasis is placed on training primary-care physicians, many opportunities for research and the pursuit of more specialized training are available. Several Centers of Excellence provide opportunities for research and training in areas such as cancer, neuroscience, genetics, alcohol and drug abuse, and asthma.