Spiral Cases

Metabolism & Obesity Diabetes
Cancer Biology Colon Cancer
Cardiovascular Atherosclerosis
Microbial Pathogenesis Mycobacterium Tuberculosis
Neurodegenerative Diseases Parkinson's, Alzheimer's & Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis​
Population Health Value-Based Healthcare & Social Determinants of Health


A Pillar functions as an educational tool with a disease state at its core.

What are pillars?

  • Pillars integrate teaching of basic and clinical science through disease exemplars that illustrate fundamental mechanisms of disease, host response, and population dynamics.
  • Pillars layer knowledge onto core concepts, providing a scaffold for longitudinal learning.
  • In the first 18 months, the clinical relevance of mechanisms of disease will be highlighted through clinical case discussions and expert physician-scientist panels.
  • During the clerkship year and beyond, mechanisms of disease will be reinforced through daily patient contact, online and simulation exercises, and formative assessments.
  • Students will see pillar activities beginning on the first day of school and throughout the curriculum. Pillar activities are seen in online modules, team-based learning exercises, lectures, patient simulation, standardized patient encounters and seminar series. The science behind health disparities is explored throughout each pillar and in many of these activities. 

What are the goals of pillars?

  • Pillars facilitate connections of clinical and basic science. Pillars help create real-world relevance to what students are studying in the classroom. Pillars help strengthen the student’s foundation in translational medicine. Pillars focus on population health and health disparities, emphasizing the diversity they will see in patients throughout their career.
  • Pillar activities aid in the development of patient-centered, professional, intellectually advanced/knowledgeable, competent, analytical, and technical medical students.

Pillars are disease-based topics of medical importance.