The faculty of the School of Medicine is conducting a thorough review of the curriculum, in an effort to upgrade and update the structure and content of our educational programs. We are hoping to set a solid foundation for training the next generation of physicians to become exceptionally skilled practitioners in medicine. Our hope is to transform our curriculum into one that ensures a path to clinical and academic excellence through an active, competency-based educational program. Our graduates should become leaders and advocates for healthcare quality and research, and be prepared for lifelong learning throughout the continuum of education and practice.
Why Change the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum?
Since the last major revision of the KUMC medical curriculum in 2006, content audits, consultant reports, AAMC graduation questionnaires, internal surveys and the LCME self-study and re-accreditation site visit have identified the need to critically and comprehensively review and update the entire undergraduate medical curriculum. Although the overall quality of our educational program was validated by the LCME, the thoughtful suggestions for improvement offered by the site visitors convinced the faculty leaders and school of medicine deans that a top to bottom review of the curriculum was critical. Consequently, the need and desire for curricular transformation became the focal point of faculty discussions, starting with the faculty retreat in the summer of 2013, the combined module and clerkship directors' retreat, and the medical education retreat in the spring of 2014.
Physician Changes Needed to Adapt to Health Care in the Future (Adapted from AMA)
Aside from the internal drivers for curriculum transformation, forward-looking trends in medical education in a 21st-century health care systems context requires an evaluation of the education process to bring greater focus on "next level" learner preparation. For example, the ACGME and the AAMC have suggested that graduates of medical schools must demonstrate core competencies and Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) vital to the first year of residency. In addition, our educational programs must:
A recent NPR podcast describes these national trends in medical education.
Since the LCME visit, our faculty have identified a number of areas for enhancement, and other initiatives that will require changes to significantly transform our approach to medical education. The faculty have expressed a general consensus that the following features are key to a transformed curriculum:
Our curriculum must evolve to prepare the physician of the future, and must be adaptable, flexible and responsive to the needs of our community. With revamped medical education spaces, clinical skills and simulation facilities, we will provide new opportunities for excellence and an upward trajectory of progress that will propel our school into the top tier of medical schools in the country. Our curriculum cannot be static, but must continuously evolve, so that change and improvement become the norm.
Isaac Opole, M.D.
Chair, Education Council
Chair, ACE Curriculum Transformation Committee
Giulia Bonaminio, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Medical Education
Co-Chair, ACE Curriculum Transformation Committee