MSI Courses

Human Anatomy

In the Human Anatomy course, the structure of body mechanisms is studied primarily in the dissecting laboratory, supplemented with lectures, correlation conferences, clinical demonstrations and audiovisual aids. Radiological imaging, surface anatomy and physical examination skills are also taught.

Mammalian Physiology

The Mammalian Physiology course consists of lectures and demonstrations covering the homeostatic functioning and neurohumoral control of the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal and endocrine systems, along with examples of pathophysiological malfunction in certain disease.

Medical Literature Curriculum (MLCI)

This required course runs throughout the first year (along with the basic science courses concerned primarily with normal structure-function relationships). The Medical Literature Curriculum course consists primarily of reading published case reports. The cases are chosen to represent diagnostic reasoning involving a wide spectrum of clinical problems. The goal is to energize and motivate students by showing the dependence of clinical problem solving on knowledge gained in the basic science courses. The experience provides models of excellent clinical reasoning for students to begin to visualize the end toward which their education and training should be directed.

Microbiology/Immunology 101

Course #: MI101
Course Credit: 3
Director: E.J. Shillitoe, PhD
Coordinator: C. Montalto

Microbiology / Immunology 101 provides an introduction to microbes and the nature of the immune response that protects us from them.   Attention is paid to mechanisms of action of anti-microbial drugs and the way that microbes can become resistant.  The nature of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi are presented with examples of each.  The course prepares students for the later study of the organisms that cause infectious diseases.

Microscopic Anatomy

In the Microscopic Anatomy course, development, structure, and functions of the primary tissues and organ systems are examined. Various organ systems are analyzed for structural arrangements; correlation of form and function are emphasized at both the light microscope and ultrastructural levels through lecture and laboratory.

Molecular & Cellular Principles of Medicine

The Molecular & Cellular Principles of Medicine course provides integrated instruction in the cellular and molecular foundations of modern medicine, laying the necessary groundwork for further learning in the basic and clinical sciences, and throughout the physician's professional life. Reflecting the ongoing integration of scientific research and the blurring of disciplinary boundaries, the course includes the essential content of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, genetics, immunology and nutrition. Scientific foundations will be complemented by clinical applications. Mainly lectures, some small group conferences and problem-solving sessions.


The basic principles of anatomy and physiology of the nervous system are taught through lecture, laboratory, clinical conferences, and demonstrations.

Practice of Medicine I

The Practice of Medicine course, spanning the first year of medical school, provides students with the skills, analytic tools, and ethical context to integrate basic and clinical scientific knowledge in a biopsychosocial model of healthcare. Through large group presentations and small group discussions and practice, the course provides instruction on medical interviewing; physical examination; preventive medicine; and ethical, legal and social issues in medicine.

Link to Academic Schedules


Rene Choi

Rene Choi

"Upstate's MD/PhD program does a great job bridging the gap between medical bench-side research and clinical application," said Rene Choi, whose research involves developing treatments for retinal diseases. "During our PhD years, we're required every semester to complete a clinical clerkship, where we shadow a physician of our choosing for eight hours a month. I shadowed a retinal surgeon. It was extremely beneficial to understand the disease process from a clinical point of view. I got to watch surgeries in the OR and see how the physician interacts with patients."

11 great reasons to choose upstate
Download the MD/PhD 2013-14 Brochure. PDF document