MS-1: Pharmacology

January 31, 2022-February 11, 2022
10 half days

Course Director
Donald B. DeFranco, PhD 
Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology


Course Director
Michael Lynch, MD
Assistant Professor
Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology

Course Description

This two-week course will provide the foundation for understanding therapeutic approaches to treating disease.  Basic pharmacology principles will be presented to illustrate strategies to utilitze drugs to restore cellular function.

Course Goals:

  1. Encourage students early in their medical school career to integrate basic science and clinical knowledge.
  2. Introduce students to basic principles of pharmacology with a focus on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of drug action.
  3. Articulate the principles of drug action and administration that govern rational selection, usage, efficacy, and safety.
  4. Illustrate clinical relevance of specific drugs and drug classes described in the course through level appropriate clinical case presentations in large and small group formats.

Educational Methods

  • Self-directed VpSim web-based learning modules
  • Pharmacology workshops (in class and small group)
  • Lectures
  • Case studies


Evaluation for this course is based on performance on one exam and participation in three small group session.

Grading: This course comprises of 20% of the grade for the Foundations of Medicine Block, Section 3. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory

Faculty Note

Course Director Don DeFranco, PhD, is a recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Excellence in Education Award, the Sheldon Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education and the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award. William McIvor, MD, is a recipient of the Donald S. Fraley Award for Medical Student Mentoring and the Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award. Evan Waxman, MD, PhD, is a recipient of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award and the Clerkship Preceptor of the Year Award. Members of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators include Drs. DeFranco, McIvor, and Waxman.