The applicant may come to IUHS at any stage of preparation to join the pathway to enter medical school.

Course Structure

The IUHS premedical studies program will prepare students for medical school, not for taking the MCAT. The applicant may come to IUHS at any stage of preparation to join the pathway to enter medical school. The IUHS premedical course curriculum is set up in modules so that if the student needs only one or two courses they can take those and become eligible to enter the IUHS School of Medicine. And the individual person who has large academic deficits can take the full program to prepare for entering medical school.

The IUHS premedical courses offered satisfy the need for a foundation of knowledge as well as offering the opportunity to achieve a Bachelors of Science. The core courses in the program include Math/Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.


Full Degree Program

The full degree program includes Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Genetics and English or a Social Science. Students in the degree path take these additional courses concurrently with the core courses. Students who only take their required core prerequisites but would like to enhance their preparation to enter medical school have these additional courses available to them via audit at no additional charge. The BSc is completed with a thesis that may be done concurrently with MD/MBBS preclinical studies or before entry to the MD/MBBS program.

The complete series of pre-medical modules are offered in three streams starting in January, April and June coordinated to complete for the entry to the MD/MBBS preclinical studies in the following January, June and August. The first intake will be April 2013.


Core Pre-Requisite Modules and Degree Courses

Full course descriptions and syllabi are available from the program office.

Module 1(M1)  – Biology 1. M1 is an overview that highlights the unification of the form and function of living organisms from prokaryotes to humans which relates the laws of physics and chemistry to the fundamental processes and morphologies of living organisms.  This is addressed conceptually as the acquisition, distribution, storage, and allocation of energy and materials, and the mechanisms involved in growth, development and reproduction at the molecular and cellular levels of organization. The larger issues of population, community and ecosystems processes are also considered with reference to biotechnology, medical and social concerns.

Concepts include: aerobic and anaerobic energy production, metabolism (size and activity, rate and temperature), heat exchange and temperature regulation, gas exchange, circulation and gas transport, excretion, biomechanics (size and structural support,  locomotion, fluid dynamics),  growth and development (including interactions with environment, i.e.  sensory systems and cellular signalling) reproduction, innate immunity, memory, and learning, aging, senescence and death.

These concepts will be integrated to address stress as a biological reality from such sources as the environment, water availability and dehydration, low and high temperature, oxygen distribution and hypoxia.

Module 2 (M2)  – Biology 2. M2 is a core science consideration of the nuts and bolts of life at the cellular level.  The nitty gritty of cellular organization is examined from membrane structure/function, to biomolecular structures of proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. The energetics and thermodynamics of cells, enzymes, respiration, mitosis and meiosis are introduced. Consideration of Mendelian genetics frames an overview of DNA replication, gene transcription, protein synthesis, mRNA splicing that informs the opportunity to discuss control of gene expression, recombinant DNA technology and genetic disease.

Module 3 (M3)  – Biology 3. M3 is an advanced study of cell metabolism and cell structure and function.

Topics include: In cell metabolism: thermodynamics and regulation of metabolism, glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, citric acid cycle and fatty acid oxidation, transport across biomembranes, redox reactions and the respiratory chain, chemiosmotic coupling, photosynthesis, and protein targeting and secretion.

In cell structure and function: endocytosis and exocytosis, cytoskeleton (actin, muscles and movement, microtubules and intracellular movements, ciliary movement, mitosis), intracellular signalling cascades and their links to nerve cells and ion flux transduction, and, hormones and receptor binding. The roles of extracellular matrix, cell adhesion molecules and intercellular junctions. The cell division cycle and its relationship to cancer.

Module 4 (M4)  – Physics 1. M4 topics include: mechanics (kinematics, dynamics, energy, and rotational motion), oscillations and waves, sound, light, and geometrical optics. This allows discussion and correlation to mechanical properties of food and cells, hydrodynamics applied to blood and fluid flow in the body, and many of the “how cells work” of physiology.

Module 5 (M5) – Physics 2. M5 topics include: electric field and potential, capacitance, magnetic field and induction, electromagnetic waves, circuits (AC and DC) and measurements.  This allows discussion and correlations to the use of technology and devices in medicine which serve as your daily tools as a physician such as imaging.

Module 6 (M6) – Maths/Statistics. M6 is a course focused summary of mathematics for biologists including physicians. It has two key sets mathematical concepts presented. The first is mathematical modeling in biology and numerical simulation. This will be demonstrated through examples in molecular and cell biology and physiology. The second focus of the course is the essentials of statistics underpinning biostatistics and epidemiology. This will include analyses to summarize data and define basic data distributions occurring in the natural and behavioural sciences. The “significance” of tests of significance and a confidence interval.  Complex concepts such as probability, degrees of freedom, polynomial and multiple regressions, and the analysis of variability will be explained so that experimental and (clinical) study designs in medicine can be understood as well as population statistics applied to genetics and the study of health events and their determinants (epidemiology).

Module 7 (M7)  – Chemistry 1. M7 is an introductory study of the fundamental principles of atomic structure, valence theory, and the periodic table.  The biological significance of these basics will be highlighted, i.e. role in molecular transport, biological membrane filtration, electrolyte and pH regulation, and biotechnical uses of molecular properties.

Additionally the newly appreciated role of food itself by the medical community and patients will be explored from this basic understanding of chemistry considering the historical, practical, and simple chemical aspects of food as it has influenced human health. Concepts examined will include the effects of food preparation techniques, food additives, vitamins,  minerals, the links between diet and cancer,  dieting, food-borne illnesses, health food.

Module 8 (M8) – Chemistry 2. M8 introduces the fundamental concepts of Physical and Organic Chemistry which underscore medicine. Overviews of basic physical chemistry will be presented including enthalpy, entropy, and Free Energy, phase transitions, acids & bases, and electrochemistry. Overviews of basic organic chemistry will be presented including nomenclature, stereochemistry, chemical families, alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, addition reactions, and polymers.

This knowledge will serve as a platform to discuss the chemistry of pharmacology including the corresponding chemistry in the body and brain. Examples driven by pharmacology will come from the range of drugs available to a person at all levels (OTC, prescribed, street). Examples driven by the chemistry of the body will include mental functions/illnesses and hormone actions and problems such as diabetes.

Module 9 (M9)  – Organic Chemistry 1. M9 presents the underpinnings of biochemistry which will be facilitated by the core science consideration of organics. Discussions will include the history and biological importance’s of the topics covered.

Topics include: chemical bonds, functional groups, alkanes, stereochemistry, alkyl halides, alkenes and alkynes, aromatic compounds.

Module 10 (M10) – Organic Chemistry 2. M10 presents the understanding of molecular separation and identification techniques as well as examples of organic reactions. This rounds out the relevant review of organic chemistry to allow the premedical student to undertake the study of biochemistry as well as illuminate biomedical applications of the reaction processes to medical investigative testing.

Topics include: ultraviolet and visible Spectroscopy (UV-Vis), mass spectrometry (MS), infrared spectroscopy (IR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).  Chemistry of alcohols, ethers and epoxides, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, amines.

Module 11 (M11) – Biochemistry. M11 utilizes the fundamentals of the preceding organic chemistry courses to consider the generation of metabolic energy in higher organisms with an emphasis on regulation at the molecular, cellular and organ levels. The special cases of in situ mechanisms of enzymatic catalysis will be highlighted.

Topics include: topics in carbohydrate, lipid and nitrogen metabolism, complex lipids and biological membranes, hormonal signal transduction.

Anatomy and Physiology. This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the basics of gross anatomy and microanatomy (histology) and physiology. The course also gives a consideration of notoriously challenging neuroanatomy to help the student prepare for more advanced studies in medical school. The dynamics of anatomical development are also presented with the inclusion of an orientation to embryology.

Microbiology. This course provides a base for understanding the clinically important microbes and viruses as well as introducing some basic immunology. Immunology is the natural complement to microbiology as it is directed at protecting the body from invasion by microbes and virii.  The course covers the properties of prokaryotic cells, fungi and viruses.

Topics include:  bacterial morphology and fine structure, factors affecting growth of microbes, bacterial genetics, microbial diversity, fungi, protozoa, and virus life cycle including virus-cell interactions. Discussions extend to bacterial pathogenesis, virus-host interactions and the epidemiology of infectious diseases.

Genetics. This section offers a practical and fundamental consideration of the basics of genetics. The molecular aspects of genetic and genetic analysis are introduced by starting with the mechanisms of the chromosomal basis of inheritance and classical diploid genetics including extrachromosomal effects.  Mutageneis, mutations, and repair of mutations are also included. Molecular tools important to medicine such as molecular markers and cloning are overviewed.

Also covered will the basis of applied genetics in the forms of genomics, gene mapping, analysis of development, and bioinformatics explored. These allow discussions relevant of the genetics of disease, the prospects for gene therapy, population genetics, quantitative inheritance and genetic counseling. All of which will be important later to you as a physician.

English or Social Science


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