MSII Courses

Link to Academic Schedules


Includes lectures, laboratories and small group discussions dealing with bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasites and immunology.


The Pathology course is a combined course of general, anatomical and clinical pathology, with emphasis on basic vocabulary and skills, general principles and analysis of problems of disease. Students develop familiarity with etiology, pathogenesis, evolution and manifestations of disease, laboratory methods in diagnosis and approaches to solving clinical problems. Lectures and clinical presentations.


A bridge between the basic science and clinical courses, this course emphasizes fundamental pharmacological principles related to modern therapeutic drug intervention. The Pharmacology course consists of lectures, clinical case discussions and problem solving exercises.

Practice of Medicine II

Students will continue to further master medical interviewing, physical examination and medical communication skills. Further, students will explore how to synthesize data gathering information into a plausible explanation of the patient's health status. Students will also learn patterns of disease and syndromes. Preventive Medicine is a component of this.

Medical Literature Curriculum (MLC-II)

This required course runs throughout the second year (along with basic science courses concerned primarily with mechanisms of disease and therapeutics). The Medical Literature Curriculum course consists of a mixture of readings including case reports, supplemental commentaries (editorials and topic reviews) and some primary research reports. The case readings represent a continuation of the modeling of clinical problem solving done in the first year course but are selected to represent increasingly complex derangements of organ system function and a major focus is on the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms. The supplemental readings are intermixed to promote the idea that students look to the current literature for new insights into difficult areas in medicine. The articles selected represent current hypotheses and recent findings related to important and unresolved areas of disease mechanisms and management.

Behavioral Science

The Behavioral Science course emphasizes the use of the behavioral sciences in understanding human functioning in health and disease. Course is organized into four units: the biobehavioral sciences, individual development, social structure and organization, and introduction to clinical psychiatry.

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