Subjects Taught in Medical School

Medical students are expected to learn a lot. The first two years are for learning the basic medical sciences. The last two years are for learning medicine in the hospitals and clinics. This page will list the subjects taught in medical school and show you what you can expect throughout the four years of a medical education.

Classes Taught in Two Different Styles

In the first two years, there are basically two ways of teaching the subjects taught in medical school: subject-based or system-based.

In a subject-based curriculum, the focus is on the class. For example, August can be spent learning anatomy. October can be spent learning biochemistry. So on and so forth.

In a system-based curriculum, the focus is on the body part studied. So August can be spent learning about the chest and back. You will learn all the subjects as long as they are related to the chest and back. September can be spent learning about the stomach. Since the curriculum in my school is system-based, many of the classes listed are for a full school year (two semesters).

subjects taught in medical school - lighthouse

If you ever get lost in medical school, come back to this page. It will be like a shining lighthouse in a dark night to guide you safely through medical school.

Classes Listed by Year

The following subjects are taught UMDNJ-SOM, categorized by years. If you click on the links, you will find my opinion on each class, and the methods and materials I used to do well in my classes. I understand that the courses may not be exactly the same in your medical school, but the information to learn should be the same regardless of school. If you do attend UMDNJ-SOM, this will be extremely, extremely helpful.

First Year Classes

Second Year Classes

Upon third year and fourth year, your learning will take place in hospitals and clinics. It will no longer be in the classroom.

Third Year Rotations

Fourth Year Rotations

  • various electives – make sure you kick ass during your auditions

Hey, you! Do you want to know how an accountant, without a science background, made it through medical school without any difficulty? Do you want to know how I memorized a sea of information without cracking my skull in half and dumping the books into my brain? No, I did not slave away all night studying in the library either. If you want to know my complete study system, check out The Secret of Studying.

This article is part of the How to Survive Medical School series. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about surviving academic hell.



    I would really love to do medicine, but I have no support

    • you dont need their approval for becoming something you want to be. just do it. yes it costs money and a lot of time but itll be worth it trust me. you dont need stupid people telling you that you cant do something because you can do anything you set your mind to believe me im living proof of this. a year ago my boyfriend killed himself and i decided to say goodbye to the world more than once but miracles happened i guess and im still here in my room studying my ass off to become a doctor in my desired specialities. bottom line is that if i can do it you can do it. and im doing it. so now its your turn.

  2. james kupamupindi says:

    Can you please keep me updated on how to undertake my medical class via m my email. I am still a first year studernt at my university. thanks

  3. I’m starting to have second-thoughts…. financially and academically.

    • Alex Ding says:

      It’s normal to have second thoughts. The longer you stay in medicine, the harder it is to leave.

      • Alex Ding says:

        July 9, 2014 at 10:45 PM

        It’s normal to have second thoughts. The longer you stay in medicine, the harder it is to leave.”

        what does that mean. can you explain more in detail.

        • Alex Ding says:

          Basically, when you put more effort, more time, more money, and more resources into something, it is harder to let go when things don’t turn out well.

          So if medicine is not right for you, it is hard to quit because you have so much debt and so much time sunk into the endeavor.

  4. Don Bates says:

    Are medical students taught how to chart, bill, code, reimbursement methodologies, the differences between PPS & CAH hospitals?

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