Sanford School of Medicine M.D. Program


The Sanford School of Medicine has more than two decades experience with longitudinal, integrated clinical training (Avera Sacred Heart Yankton campus) which has become the national model of excellence. This model has been refined and extended to create a modern curriculum responsive to the findings of the Institute of Medicine and the Carnegie Foundation.

Three Pillars of Medicine

The first Pillar establishes a strong foundation in basic science, blended with clinical experience in both didactic and small group settings. 

The second Pillar focuses on acquiring clinical skills, integrating learning across specialties and focusing on experiential learning. Students work closely with experienced physicians in Sioux Falls, Yankton, Rapid City or other communities in South Dakota (view a map of our clinical sites). A new Rural Track will allow students to experience medicine in a smaller community. 

The third Pillar includes advanced medical knowledge, an opportunity to delve more deeply into areas of interest through electives and an expanded opportunity to perform research. 

Several threads run throughout the curriculum, including the importance of professionalism, culture and diversity, population science, quality and outcome assessment and working in an interdisciplinary environment. 

The curriculum is designed to allow students to gain competence and then progress to excellence, creating skilled and confident physicians, who are able to practice medicine in the modern era. 

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Pillar 1 Curriculum

61 total credit hours

First Year, semester 1

Medical Foundations 1
IMC 501
12 credit hours

Medical Foundations 2
IMC 502
8 credit hours

Foundations of Clinical Medicine 1
IMC 503
2 credit hours

First Year, semester 2

Skin and Musculoskeletal
IMC 601
3 credit hours

Nervous System
IMC 602
6 credit hours

IMC 603
3 credit hours

GI and Hepatobiliary
IMC 604
4 credit hours

Foundations of Clinical Medicine 2
IMC 609
2 credit hours

Second Year, semester 3

Cardiovascular System
IMC 605
5 credit hours

Respiratory System
IMC 606
4 credit hours

Renal & Urinary System
IMC 607
4 credit hours

Endocrine & Reproductive
IMC 608
5 credit hours

Foundations of Clinical Medicine 3
IMC 610
2 credit hours

Physical Diagnosis
IMC 701
1 credit hour

Pillar 2 Curriculum 

52 total credit hours

Second Year, semester 4

PEDS 714
4 credit hours

OGYN 714
4 credit hours

SURG 714
4 credit hours

Internal Medicine
MEDC 714
4 credit hours

PTRY 714
3 credit hours

NEUR 724
2 credit hours

Family Medicine
FAMP 710
4 credit hours

Third Year, semester 5

IMC 700
4 credit hours

Patient Care
IMC 705
4 credit hours

Practice-based Learn/Improve
IMC 710
4 credit hours

Medical Knowledge
IMC 715
4 credit hours

IMC 720
4 credit hours

Systems-based Practice
IMC 725
3 credit hours

Friday Academy
IMC 730
3 credit hours

RADI 715
1 credit hour

Pillar 3 Curriculum

53 total credit hours

Third Year, semester 6
Fourth Year, semesters 7 & 8

Rural Family Medicine
FAMP 810
4 credit hours

Emergency Medicine
FAMP 823
3 credit hours

Surg Specialties (2 of 6)
Two weeks each of two of the following rotations:
Anesthesiology, ENT, Neurological Surgery, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Urology
4 credit hours

One of the following:
FAMP 803, MEDC 806, PEDS 806, PTRY 815, SURG 806
4 credit hours