The mission of Eastern Virginia Medical School is deeply rooted in the education and training of truly caring and competent physicians, equipping them with the requisite scientific, academic and humanistic skills most relevant to today's practice of medicine.


EVMS’ newly reformed CareForward Curriculum (CFC) is designed to enhance learning through integration and innovation. The purpose of the CFC is to educate caring, compassionate, skillful caregivers, with an emphasis on preparing students to easily transition into residency training with the knowledge and understanding to competently navigate the complexities of the healthcare system.

Recognizing the importance of effectively managing care for the aging American population and the predominant challenge of caring for patients with multiple chronic conditions, we empower our future healthcare providers with the skillsets necessary to address these issues.

What the CFC offers students:


  • Learning opportunities are fully integrated with appropriate and contemporaneous foundational and clinical science principles delivered at an appropriate level‌.
  • Foundational science principles are augmented by early access to clinical practice.
  • Compassion and care, not only for patients but for fellow learners and educators, are a significant focus of the curriculum.

In-depth focus

  • Active learning is promoted in the curriculum to advance students’ ability to problem-solve, communicate effectively and work independently as well as in a team environment.
  • Opportunities are made readily available to systematically and scientifically strengthen the knowledge, skills and paradigms that produce strong, community-oriented physicians.
  • The organ- and systems-based approach to medical education accurately reflects the real-life performance pattern of a practicing physician.

Preparation for the future

  • The emphasis on foundational sciences, clinical sciences and clinical skills, combined with a robust program in careers in medicine, helps prepare students for residency selection and beyond.
  • By providing a true understanding of the nuances of healthcare, students are exposed to the importance of making cost-conscious decisions while providing the safest and highest-quality care.
  • Principles of evidence-based medicine and best practices are taught to ensure students can develop comprehensive care plans for elderly patients and patients with multiple chronic conditions.
  • The curriculum, by design, cultivates a lifelong love of learning.

Using cutting-edge concepts in technology and the science of learning, CFC will use longitudinal clinical cases drawn from virtual families to simulate real-life clinical scenarios and complexities. These cases will be used as an important tool for integrating basic and clinical sciences and also contents across various organ systems modules.

M1 and M2 curriculum modules

Foundational Sciences

The Foundational Science module explores the molecular and biochemical underpinning of cellular structure and function as the basis for organ structure and function. The module also introduces students to the critical functions of the immune system and initiates the foundations of clinical practice. Students will apply these principles and those derived from the medical literature to clinical scenarios.

Human Structure

The Human Structure module provides students with the opportunity to work in teams as they learn the foundations of human anatomy and development. Besides developing a robust and hands-on understanding of many components within the body it has a special focus on clinically relevant anatomy, diagnostic decision making, and medical imaging. As an Ultrasound Integrated school, students will also be provided several opportunities to develop sonographic competencies in conjunction with the regional anatomy being studied through peer-to-peer and standardized patient scanning sessions.  

General Mechanisms of Disease

The General Mechanisms of Disease module serves as a transition from the foundational modules to the organ systems modules. It focuses on the general mechanisms of disease, introducing students to pathology, infectious disease genetics, and blood system disorders.  The course prioritizes  the principles for discriminating healthy from unhealthy conditions and predicting clinical manifestations from available data. Students will interpret clinical information and begin to generate differential diagnoses and management plans. Students will also conduct integrated and focused physical examinations based on chief complaint and history.

Skin, Muscle and Bone

The Skin, Muscle and Bone module provides students with the tools to recognize the causes and potential diseases of the integumentary and musculoskeletal systems. Through integration of these systems, the students will develop the ability to diagnose and create management plans for diseases of skin, muscle and bones based on signs, symptoms, complaints and diagnostic results. 

Gastrointestinal System and Metabolism

The Gastrointestinal System and Metabolism module provides students with the tools to understand basic metabolism and normal structure and function of the GI tract and to recognize causes of gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases. Students will develop the ability to advance diagnoses and management plans for gastrointestinal system and metabolic diseases based on signs, symptoms, complaints and diagnostic results. To achieve this level of understanding, students will participate in sessions and activities including live and online lectures, small group and self-directed learning sessions as well as mini-case and clinical skills experiences such as ultrasound imaging, abdominal examination, and virtual family disorder evaluations.

Heart, Lung and Kidney

In the Heart, Lung and Kidney module students will learn about the disease processes which affect the cardiovascular, pulmonary and renal systems in a fully integrated manner. This module builds upon students’ prior understanding of the structure of these systems and provides students with the tools to recognize causes and potential diseases and the ability to develop diagnoses and management plans for diseases of heart, lungs and kidneys based on signs, symptoms, complaints and diagnostic results. Intricate working relationships between these three organs will be reinforced by discussing disease states such as acid-base imbalances, hypertension, heart failure, chronic kidney disease and atherosclerosis. Through use of clinical cases, students will integrate basic science and clinical concepts related to these systems. In addition, appropriate medical imaging and diagnostic techniques are introduced, including ultrasound, pulmonary function testing and EKG recording and interpretation.

Hormones and Reproductive Health

Students will apply their knowledge of embryology and anatomy to the endocrine and reproductive systems and will acquire knowledge of internal homeostasis, the role of hormones in metabolism, pregnancy, development and aging. Students will develop their examination skills of female and male reproductive organs and develop diagnoses and management plans for diseases of the endocrine and reproductive systems based on signs, symptoms, complaints and diagnostic results.

Brain, Mind and Behavior

The Brain, Mind and Behavior module provides students with the skills to differentiate between normal and abnormal processes and behavior and to interpret diagnostic tests or findings specific to neurology and psychiatry. Students will be able to generate a differential diagnosis and create an effective management plan for neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Multisystem Disorders

The Multisystem Disorders module  was designed to prepare second year medical students to manage patients with disease processes that impact multiple organ systems. Students will be expected to integrate the knowledge they have gained during their first two years of training to assess, diagnose, and manage patients with diseases that affect multiple systems. Particular emphasis will be placed on  infectious diseases, oncologic processes, autoimmune disorders and the aging patient with multiple comorbidities. The students will apply evidence-based medicine principles towards their clinical reasoning and will be exposed to elements of translational research. Students will participate in clinical sessions of varied formats in preparation for third year clerkship experience.