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Medical School Curriculum Getting a Makeover

June 23, 2014

 

Image (left-right): Curriculum planning leaders at the Spring Education Retreat; Drs. Stephen Popoff, Alisa Peet, Gerry Sterling and Audrey Uknis. Not pictured: Dr. Jack Krouse.

Image (left-right): Curriculum planning leaders at the Spring Education Retreat; Drs. Stephen Popoff, Alisa Peet, Gerry Sterling and Audrey Uknis. Not pictured: Dr. Jack Krouse.

 

On June 5, faculty gathered for Temple University School of Medicine's (TUSM) annual spring education retreat. The working session, Preparing Future Physicians to Meet the Healthcare Needs of Society, was part of a strategic planning initiative launched in January to ensure that the School is ready to prepare tomorrow's graduates for emerging trends in medicine and healthcare delivery.

 

"Medicine keeps evolving. Therefore, medical schools are obliged to keep reinventing their curricula," said Arthur Feldman, MD, PhD, Executive Dean and Chief Academic Officer, who spearheaded the current curriculum review and redesign initiative.

 

Led by Audrey Uknis, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Admissions and Strategy, Gerry Sterling, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, and other faculty leaders, the planning process addresses such topics as structure of the curriculum, best practices in active and independent learning, longitudinal clinical experiences, interprofessional education, and assessment of clinical skills and professionalism.

 

Large group presentations and small group breakout sessions explored these topics, as well as issues related to the preparation of medical students for residency.

 

One of the newest rubrics in contemporary medical education is called Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency. Penned by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, these standards summarize the skills that new physicians entering residency training must be able to demonstrate. Therefore, they provide a good framework for defining the objectives of a medical school curriculum, Dr. Sterling noted.

 

Some of the details that will inform the committee's recommendations are still being formulated, but one thing is clear: "We are moving toward a curriculum that is more holistic, competency-based, and most important of all, patient-centered," Dr. Uknis said.

 

The strategic planning effort will culminate in the launching of a new curriculum in 2015.