At Noorda-COM, people matter most. We are the home of:

  • Student-centric, flexible curriculum, via learning pods
  • An anatomy lab unique to the nation, with touchscreen walls allowing for a blend of digital and physical learning
  • More immersive simulation experiences, via task trainers, patient simulators, and professional patient actors, integrated into Simulation Center and OSCE experiences
  • Unique access to cutting-edge technology elective classes, including a Butterfly Ultrasound class, where students practice on Vimedix task trainers
  • Tailored research opportunities, beginning in your first year, to add to your residency CV
  • Early-on clinical experiences via volunteering at health fairs, the Volunteer Care Clinic, or Kaufusi’s Keikis
  • An elective track with emphasis in global health, research, rural, or military medicine
  • Dual (MBA or MPH) programs, provided through other universities

A Noorda-COM education is special because students do not attend classes in large lecture halls. Rather, they meet daily with peers and consume coursework through pre-recorded videos, in custom-made study rooms, called “learning pods”. Noorda-COM’s version of learning pods is unique to the nation and was first conceptualized by our founding dean.

All pods include:

  • A widescreen TV, for watching content
  • Whiteboard and glass walls, for note-taking or anatomical diagramming
  • Portable charging “blocks”, whiteboard markers, and other relevant materials

Students can choose from a conference-room style pod (long tables and chairs) or living room furniture (couches and plush chairs). See the photos below for examples of both kinds of pods!


Every day, students meet with their “podmates” (groups of 2-8) to review lecture content. Each video includes a “pod play”—quizzes or case studies designed to solidify a student’s understanding of a concept. Pods typically meet for 2-3 hours each day.

During pod time, students can reach out to their faculty with any questions or to get clarification or help on concepts. After pod, students engage in independent study, participate in labs or clinical rotations, or conduct research. Students also watch newly released content to prepare for pod the following day.


  • First-years: Meet as a group to discuss assigned videos and work on active learning exercises from foundational biomedical sciences (e.g. biochemistry) and clinical courses
  • Second-years: Meet as a group to discuss assigned videos and work on active learning exercises in systems-based (e.g. cardiopulmonary) and clinical courses
  • Third-years: Meet in a pod dedicated to the specialty (rotation) you’re currently part of and study that topic.
  • Fourth-years: Reserve a pod to study outside of your rotation, if needed.

Pod learning is accompanied by research, simulated clinical experiences, in-person labs, and other academic and clinical experiences. Learn more about our curriculum below:

OSCEs (All four years)

Objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) are a life-like simulation assessment, where students don their white coats and interact with a professional patient actor in one of Noorda-COM’s 18 OSCE rooms. (OSCE rooms are designed to look like a primary care—or clinic—examination room.) Upon entering a room, students are assessed (via live video feeds) on communication skills, diagnosis, and treatment plan formulation. Rubric expectations increase every year.

Simulation Experience (All four years)

In addition to OSCEs, students have simulated clinical experiences throughout each year:

  • First year: Usage of task trainers in first semester
  • Second year: More OSCEs, including conducting real pelvic, breast, and/or prostate exams on patient actors
  • Third year: Usage of the hospital suite in the Simulation Center, which includes practicing on patient simulators of all ages. (Professional patient actors are often brought in to make the experience more immersive and emotional.)
  • Fourth year: Additional hospital simulations

Anatomy Lab (First semester)

Students (in groups of 3-4) will participate in weekly, scheduled anatomy labs on prosected specimens. Beside each specimen is a touchscreen wall, where students can watch lecture content or zoom in on anatomical diagrams. (And our ventilation system prevents smells from permeating areas near the lab.) Supplementary (optional) anatomy lab resources include:

  • Extra lab access and open lab office hours (with faculty)
  • Review labs for second-year students (to review anatomy concepts)
  • The Advanced Anatomy Dissection elective (for second-years)
  • Opportunities for cadaveric research

Research (All four years)

Over four years, our students will receive experience in literature reviews, research methodologies, data collection, data analysis, and lab work; technical writing, abstract creation, grant writing, and research presentation. These curricular and lab experiences will help them graduate with “start to finish” research skills, including their name on published, scholarly research articles! At Noorda-COM, we prioritize early-on research experiences because it bolsters a student’s residency CV (ERAS) and prepares them to actively contribute to the advancement of medicine. Visit our Research page to learn more about required and opt-in curriculum.

OMM Labs (All four years)

Each week, students watch OMM lectures (at their own pace) and then attend in-person labs. In lab, a variety of small group and large groups of students are led by our faculty and practice the OMT techniques they learned that week. (Assessment in OPP consists of written exams, practical exams, and “practice practicals”—situations where students receive formative feedback in a low-stake, low-stress environment.) Learning is enhanced by our “customizable” lab, which has mounted TVs that can be moved to a student’s preferred area and used to review lab content (or work in small or large groups). Learn more about supplementary (optional) OMM resources here.

Clinical Rotations (Third and fourth year)

Visit our Clinical Education page to learn more about clinical rotations.

Electives and Other Coursework

Read through our COM Course Descriptions to learn more about additional courses, like PIF (Professional Identity Formation, which includes our DEI curriculum) or electives, such as our Butterfly Ultrasound elective. (In this class, students get to use two pieces of technology: handheld ultrasound and Vimedix task trainers. These particular Vimedix trainers are task trainers with advanced features that allow students to examine over 150 pathologies and see 3D images.)

The following information includes the majority of academic and clinical experiences. (Specific course names and elective courses are not included, but can be found in our COM Course Descriptions.)

Pods Pods

  • OMM
  • Anatomy (first semester)
  • Clinical
  • OMM
  • Clinical
  • OMM
  • Clinical
  • OMM
  • Clinical
Simulation experiences:

  • Task trainers
  • OSCEs (second semester)
Simulation experiences:

  • Task trainers
  • Escalating OSCEs (including live pelvic, breast, and prostate exams on patient actors)
Simulation experiences:

  • OSCEs
  • Simulation Center hospital suite
  • Patient simulators and patient actors
Simulation experiences:

  • OSCEs
  • Simulation Center hospital suite
  • Patient simulators and patient actors
Research (increasing in skills and publications—abstracts, literature reviews, case studies, primary research publications—each year) Research Research Research
Clinical experiences: Volunteering at health fairs Clinical experiences:

  • Volunteering at health fairs
  • Helping at the Volunteer Care Clinic (primary care)
  • Conducting health screenings on children through Kaufusi’s Keikis
Clinical experiences: Six week-long rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, surgery, and psychiatry. Clinical experiences: Elective and audition rotations in your area of interest.
Professional Identity Formation (Professionalism, DEI, wellness, and other topics) PIF PIF PIF