Saba University provides you with a comprehensive course of study in the Basic Sciences that will prepare you for the USMLE, your clinical studies and residency.
The five semesters of the Basic Sciences curriculum represent a progression beginning with foundational concepts in the basic and clinical sciences, leading to organ-systems-focused courses that integrate each foundational discipline to both normal human function and disease.
Applications of basic science to clinical medicine are highlighted throughout. Along the way you will become well versed in clinical skills necessary for success in the Clinical Medicine portion of the curriculum (which will be the primary focus of your second five semesters).
At the completion of your Basic Sciences curriculum, you will take the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 1.
Modern learning facilities
Our students are taught in state-of-the-art learning facilities. Facilities include:
- Laboratories, classrooms, lecture halls and patient examination rooms equipped with the latest multimedia learning systems
- A fully equipped Clinical Skills Training Center
- A modern Gross Anatomy laboratory with cadavers
- A fully equipped medical library
- A fully equipped test center for simulating the actual test conditions of the USMLE Step 1
- Wireless capability throughout the campus
Fall 2021First Day of Enrollment August 30, 2021
Orientation and Registration August 30, 2021
First Day of Classes August 31, 2021
Graduation - no ceremony September 10, 2021
Tuition Due for Next Semester December 1, 2021
Last Day of Classes December 8, 2021
Basic Science Awards Ceremony December 9, 2021
Reading Day and Final Exams December 8-10, 2021
Spring 2022First Day of Enrollment January 3, 2022
Orientation & Registration January 3, 2022
Classes Begin January 4, 2022
Graduation – no ceremony January 7, 2022
Graduation – no ceremony March 18, 2022
Tuition Due for Next Semester April 1, 2022
Last Day of Classes April 13, 2022
Basic Science Awards Ceremony April 14, 2022
Reading Day and Final Exams April 13 – 15, 2022
First Day of Enrollment May 2, 2022
Orientation & Registration May 2, 2022
Classes Begin May 3, 2022
Graduation May 20, 2022
Tuition Due for Next Semester August 1, 2022
Last Day of Classes August 10, 2022
Basic Science Awards Ceremony August 11, 2022
Reading Day and Final Exams August 10 – 12, 2022
First Day of Enrollment August 29, 2022
Orientation & Registration August 29, 2022
Classes Begin August 30, 2022
Graduation – no ceremony September 9, 2022
Tuition Due for Next Semester December 1, 2022
Last Day of Classes December 7, 2022
Basic Science Awards Ceremony December 8, 2022
Reading Day and Final Exams December 7 – 9, 2022
USMLE Step 1 Preparation
The USMLE Step 1 Exam is widely considered one of the most difficult of all professional licensing evaluations, comprising about 350 multiple-choice questions in seven one-hour test blocks.
The university provides a structured, integrative review of the basic sciences as part of the fifth semester course titled "Foundations of Clinical Medicine". At the beginning of this course, you are given a diagnostic pretest to help identify problem areas and individualize learning goals. At the end of the course, you are administered a full-length simulated comprehensive exam. This exam takes place in a state-of-the-art test center on the Saba campus that was specifically designed to simulate the conditions under which you will take the USMLE Step 1 Exam.
In short, Saba University is committed to doing everything possible to help ensure your success on this all-important exam. Saba University students’ 99%* USMLE Step 1 first-time pass rate speaks for itself.
What is the profile of a Basic Sciences student?
Saba University’s medical curriculum combines the Basic Sciences program with the Clinical Program. Additionally, Saba offers small class sizes which allows for more personalized attention from our highly experienced faculty. The success of the program is exemplified by Saba University’s high first-time pass rate on the USMLE Step 1 exam. All of these factors combine to position you for future success in the field of medicine.
Where our students come from
Currently, Saba University has a diverse student population made up of 52% males and 48% females with most coming to Saba from the United States and Canada. This creates a diverse mixture of nationalities and ethnicities at the campus that allows students to learn from their varied peer group. Our students come from across the US and Canada with concentrations coming from Ontario, California, New York, and Florida. You can be certain that you will be in good company in an excellent location – when you join Saba University, you join a family and support network which fosters success.
Why study Basic Sciences at Saba University?
Our Basic Sciences program is taught in small classes by talented faculty, all of whom hold PhDs or MDs. Our 7:1 student-to-faculty staff ratio allows for close interaction and personalized attention, enhancing the learning experience.
Importance of USMLE Step 1 Exam
The USMLE Step 1 assesses the understanding of the concepts in basic sciences and how these are applied within the practice of medicine. Achieving excellent scores on the USMLE Step 1 exam is an important step in gaining your residency of choice. The results of the exam are used by residency program directors to decipher which candidate deserves a spot on that residency program. For particularly competitive areas of medicine, it is vital to earn the best score possible to secure the residency of choice.
Saba University provides extensive USMLE Step 1 preparation throughout your Basic Sciences program to ensure you attain the best score possible.
Medical specialisation after your medical studies
During semesters 6 to 10, medical training continues through core clinical rotations. Conducted at affiliate teaching hospitals, core rotations will be in Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Once you’ve successfully completed this part of your medical training, you’ll complete a 30-week elective clinical rotation with a focus on general medicine or a specialty. Elective areas include: Cardiology, Plastic Surgery, Intensive Care Medicine, Radiology and Vascular Surgery amongst others.
During clinical rotations, particularly during the final year, each student will work with Saba University’s clinical team to prepare for the residency process. This will include comprehensive preparation and selection of suitable residency programs for which to apply.
This course explores basic gross human anatomy, allowing students to understand the relationship between anatomical structure and function.
Through lectures, regional dissections of cadavers and evaluation of radiographs (including CT and MRI), students acquire a basic knowledge of the normal gross structure, functional and clinical anatomy of organs and systems of the adult human body, including the brain and spinal cord. Computer-based tutorial programs and structured reviews are used to supplement the lectures and labs. (15 credits: 231 hrs.)
This course examines the microanatomy of cells, tissues and organs as well as the basic components of human physiology. Lectures illustrate the microstructure of major tissues and organs in relation to their function. This program presents the molecular biology and histology of normal cells, tissues and organ systems at various developmental functional stages.
Students learn how individual cell functions interact with one another and how such interactions are accomplished from the tissue levels to the organ levels.
The course prepares students for an understanding of normal (homeostasis) structure of the systems and furnishes the background for appreciating pathological conditions.
In addition, students learn how molecular building blocks are utilized for growth and differentiation, wound healing and tissue repair, defense mechanisms and transfer of hereditary characters. Physiology topics include the basic components of all organ systems. (13 credits; 180 hrs.)
This is the first course in a five-part series that focuses on communication skills, eliciting the patient’s history, performing a physical exam, and communicating their findings to healthcare professionals through oral presentations and written notes.
In this course, students will learn and practice the foundations of patient-physician communication skills, including initiating the session, building the relationship, exploration of problems, understanding the patient agenda and structuring the consultation.
Students will also learn the first steps of eliciting the patient’s story in a patient centered manner and the initial components of a physical exam.
In addition, students will begin to develop their skills documenting their findings in a patient note. (2 credits: 30 hrs.)
The biochemical pathways of living organisms are studied with a focus on metabolic processes. Topics include pathways linking nutritional intake and energy yielding processes as well as the application of underlying principles discussed in Scientific Foundations (First Semester – First Block).
Broad content includes a study of the chemistry and reactions of constituents of living matter, including carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, vitamins, coenzymes, and minerals. In addition, the chemistry and regulation of the reactions and processes of whole organisms will be examined including: endocrinology, enzymology, nutrition, intermediary metabolism and biochemical mechanisms involved in select disease states. (9 credits; 133 hrs.)
This course provides students with an understanding of the principles and concepts upon which current clinical genetic practice (diagnosis, treatment, and genetic counselling) is based.
It also incorporates human development, allowing students to understand the relationship between embryonic development, in terms of human body structure & function, and the underlying genetic mechanisms of congenital abnormalities.
This course covers the genetics of human populations and introduces recent and ongoing discoveries so that their future applications may be understood. (4 credits; 65 hrs.)
This course considers the characteristics and properties of microorganisms, their role in the disease processes and selected aspects of diagnosis and treatment of infectious disease.
Other topics include the basic principles of bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, virology, immunology and microbial genetics, including cultural characteristics and pathogenic properties of medically important species of bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
This course covers the basic immunologic concepts of the cells and humoral products of the immune system.
Lectures include the molecular biology and genetics of antigen recognition and immunoglobulin production plus the characteristics and detection of antigen-antibody reactions.
The approach is to correlate these basic concepts with clinical manifestations of disease, the immunopathologic mechanisms of hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, transplantation, tumor immunology, hematology, reproduction, infectious diseases, immunodefiency and pharmacotherapy. (12 credits; 186 hrs.)
This course provides a comprehensive study of the legal and ethical issues involved in the practice of medicine.
Medical ethics will consist of a series of seminars devoted to discussion of various topics such as disclosure, confidentiality, informed consent, and death and dying.
The inclusion of ethics case discussions will allow students to discuss and debate ethical scenarios. Legal cases posing dilemmas that relate to each case will be presented, along with abstract material to facilitate conceptual and ethical analysis. (2 credits; 37 hrs.)
After a review of the skills developed in Clinical Skills I, students will learn additional components of a patient-centered history, including explaining and planning a treatment plan and communication skills in specific situations including delivering bad news, cultural and social diversity, and demonstration of empathy.
Instruction on the history continues with the past medical history, family history, social history and a complete review of systems.
Students will also learn to perform a complete screening physical exam, and will continue to develop documentation skills with oral presentations and the patient note. (3 credits; 44 hrs.)
Student will have an opportunity to develop research skills related to Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM).
Students will be introduced to concepts of research analysis and critical thinking. At the end of this course, students will be able to identify and frame a clinical question based on therapy, diagnosis, prognosis or etiology; develop a focused search strategy to identify articles that best answer the clinical question; find the appropriate medical database; and critically appraise articles for validity.
Students will be required to independently utilize various types of EBM resources. Students will use technological resources that are available online and in the Saba University School of Medicine library.
Skills acquired in this course will allow students to successfully complete the research module, Research: Literature Review and Analysis (RLRA). (1 credits; 19 hrs.)
This course will include an interdisciplinary investigation of the pathology, physiology and the gross and microscopic structure of the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system of humans.
Aspects of brain energy metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis and degradation, and psychopharmacology are presented. This course integrates anatomical and physiological material to assist the student in understanding common neurological disease processes.
Laboratory exercises will provide slides and dissection of the human brain, spinal cord, and relevant structures. Students will be introduced to modern methods of neuroimaging, including CT scans and MRI.
Weekly sessions will introduce students to the relationship between basic science and clinical medicine with emphasis on diagnostics, therapeutics and disease causation.
In addition, there will be integration of concepts learned in MED 716 - Clinical Skills III, MED 715 – System-Based Medicine I, and MED 719 – Behavioral Medicine. Each of these interactive sessions will include group problem-solving exercises and critical appraisal of the primary literature.
Students will present different aspects of contemporary scientific and medical literature including the background, current understanding and future directions. (10 credits; 143 hrs.)
Basic principles of human physiology, pathology and pharmacology are studied followed by an investigation of the Endocrine System.
This course employs the Endocrine System as a transition to semesters 4 and 5 where the remainder of the systems will be discussed.
As with the rest of the Systems & Disease courses, each system will begin with a detailed review of pertinent human body structure and function as well as cell / tissue structure and function.
This will be followed by the presentation of the individual systems in detail, including relevant pathology, physiology, pharmacology, clinical skills and clinical presentations of disease. All content will be integrated. (11 credits; 158 hrs.)
After a review of the skills developed in Clinical Skills I & II, students will learn to communicate in a patient-centered manner in other specific situations including patients with mental illness, obtaining information from other caregivers, providing advocacy and support and medically unexplained symptoms.
Students will continue to refine their ability to obtain a complete history and conduct a complete physical exam.
Students will also refine their ability to obtain a complete history and physical exam in a patient-centered manner, and will begin to learn to obtain a problem-focused history. Documentation skills will focus on the complete history and physical exam with oral presentations and the patient note. (3 credits; 40 hrs.)
This course presents the basic principles of human behavior including biological, social, and cultural substrates. Both normal and abnormal behavior theories will be included in an overview of personality development.
Workshops will cover areas such as interviewing techniques, death education, human sexuality, and psychophysiological disorders including stress management and biofeedback.
Additional lectures present various classes of psychotropic drugs and their indications. The course will also address the fundamental principles of the distribution of diseases and their causes in human populations. Students will learn how to conduct epidemiologic investigations, how to critically review medical literature and how to use this information in a clinical environment.
Students will acquire a basic level of proficiency in epidemiologic principals, biostatistics and be able to apply these in clinical practice. (8 credits; 127 hrs.)
The Systems & Disease series of courses begin with a detailed review of pertinent human body structure & function as well as cell / tissue structure & function. This will be followed by the presentation of the individual systems in detail, including relevant pathology, physiology, pharmacology, clinical skills and clinical presentations of disease. All content will be integrated.
Additionally, Clinical Correlate sessions will introduce students to the relationship between individual systems, pharmacology and clinical medicine with emphasis on diagnostics, therapeutics and disease causation. These sessions will include didactic instruction, group problem-solving exercises and critical appraisal of the primary literature.
This course covers the Reproductive and Gastrointestinal systems, and Pediatrics. (13 credits; 196 hrs.)
This course covers the Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Renal systems, and follows the structure described in MED 811 – Systems & Disease II. (13 credits; 199 hrs.)
After a review of the skills developed in Clinical Skills I – III, students will continue to develop their communication skills and ability to perform a complete history and physical exam.
Physical exam skills will be reinforced by more in-depth instruction in the physical exam skills that correspond to the systems studied in Systems & Disease, concentrating on the integumentary, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and neurological systems.
Students will further develop their ability to complete a problem-focused history and physical exam. Documentation skills will focus on the complete history and physical exam with oral presentations and the patient notes for both a complete history and physical exam and a focused patient visit. (6 credits; 96 hrs.)
This course covers the Hematologic, Immune, Integumentary and Musculoskeletal systems as well as Multisystem disease. It follows the structure described in MED 811 – Systems & Disease II. (12 credits; 183 hrs.)
After a review of the skills developed in Clinical Skills I – IV, students will continue to develop their communication skills and ability to perform a complete history and physical exam.
Physical exam skills will be reinforced by more in-depth instruction in the physical exam skills that correspond to the systems studied in Systems & Disease V, concentrating on the gastrointestinal, endocrine, reproductive, and musculoskeletal systems.
Students will further develop their ability to complete a problem-focused history and physical exam. Documentation skills will be further developed with focused patient visits, with additional instruction on medical order writing, diagnostic decision-making, and prescription writing. (3 credits; 44 hrs.)
This course utilizes daily live lectures and other materials to provide a structured, integrated review of the basic sciences. An emphasis is placed on understanding of disease processes and clinical problem solving.
Students attend daily live lectures. Early in the course students are given a diagnostic pre-test to help identify problem areas and individualize learning goals.
At the end of the course students are administered a full-length, simulated comprehensive exam. (16 credits: 246 hrs.)
Students will participate in the critical appraisal of contemporary medical literature, including publications representing various study designs as well as the incorporation of basic science principles.
Selected primary literature will range from preclinical investigation through the various phases of clinical trials. Templates such as PICOT (population, intervention, comparison, outcome and time) will be introduced and utilized. This course will be integrated with the content presented in MED 911 – Systems & Disease V.
Skills acquired in this course will allow students to successfully complete the research module, Research: Literature Review and Analysis (RLRA). (1 credits; 16 hrs.)
Elective modules and courses
Students at Saba University are invited to take elective courses during the first five semesters. The objective of an elective course is to provide the student with a structured, in depth experience in a subject matter that will contribute to the student’s basic science knowledge base and promote scientific inquiry skills.
This elective allows the student to apply the principles of epidemiologic investigation to an independent clinical research project.
Special attention is given to projects that will contribute to the health care needs and statistical data base of the island of Saba.
The student is expected to prepare a written report and give an oral presentation. (1 or 2 credits)
This elective allows the student to participate in a structured research project at the SABA University Research Center.
Students will participate in ongoing research projects with 1:1 faculty supervision or may propose their own project.
The student is expected to prepare a written report as well as an oral presentation. (2 credits)
A unique and integral part of the Saba University curriculum is our "Research: Literature Review and Analysis" module. Its purpose is to further develop students’ abilities to evaluate and assimilate scientific evidence and to reinforce the skills required to critically appraise the ever-changing body of medical knowledge.
Consistent with the university’s goals and objectives, these skills are essential to modern practicing physicians who will have to continuously improve their medical knowledge and clinical skills over the course of their career.
Students are expected to apply the knowledge and understanding from their Basic Sciences courses to analyze a current and complex medical care question, using evidence from published medical literature. As part of this course, students are required to develop a hypothesis based on the research questions, critically analyze the literature, and write a paper that is evaluated by a faculty committee.
While working independently, students will interact on a regular basis with a faculty research mentor who provides oversight throughout the project, including selection of an appropriate topic, identification of relevant literature, formulating conclusions, and the preparation of a final paper. The mentor will also review the written paper to ensure that it meets university standards prior to submission to the faculty committee for review.
Students that prepare outstanding, contemporary papers are encouraged to consider submitting their manuscripts for publication and / or presenting their work at national and international meetings. Recently, there have been several Saba University students that have published their work.
Overview of Financial Fees
Applicants will be required to pay a $75 application fee.
Upon acceptance, students can ensure a place through a $750 non-refundable deposit.
View complete financial fees and costs
Visit admissions pages.
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