In the School of Medicine, the Year 1-2 medical school (Phase I) curriculum is centered on systems-based modules. The Year 3-4 curriculum (Phase II) is structured with clerkships. Preventive Medicine and Public Health faculty direct several small group sessions, participate in leading small groups, provide lectures, and coordinate active learning activities throughout medical school. For example, in 2013, faculty designed and directed two small group learning sessions in the Year 1 curriculum: Critical Evaluation of Clinical Trials (Foundations of Medicine) and Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention (Genetics and Neoplasia). Preventive Medicine faculty also act as representatives on the Phase I and Phase II Committees, actively participating in ongoing education reviews, revisions, and innovations.
The first Phase I module, Foundations of Medicine, consists of several integrated subjects critical to establishing baseline knowledge necessary for the following medical education years. The Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) integrative curriculum begins in Foundations of Medicine and is reinforced throughout the Phase I curriculum. Future plans include Phase II expansion.
The primary goal of the EBM curriculum is to provide medical students with a core set of epidemiologic and biostatistical concepts and skills required to accurately and critically evaluate scientific clinical medical evidence about treatment, prevention, prognosis, and etiology as presented in original research reports, in reviews and practice guidelines, and in debates of controversial issues within the medical community. Application of these concepts, particularly as pertains to evaluating evidence surrounding medical choices relevant to individual patients and patient populations (treatments, tests, procedures, etc.) is emphasized throughout the curriculum.
EBM is introduced in Foundations of Medicine (Phase I), including material (lectures, small groups and large groups) on measuring frequency (e.g., risk, rate, incidence, prevalence), study design, hypothesis testing, study interpretation, and performance characteristics of screening and diagnostic tests (e.g., sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, likelihood ratios).
EBM content is currently included in several other Phase I modules.
Curriculum Director and Content Expert:
Population Health in Practice (PHP) is a required fourth-year medical school clerkship offered three times in the academic year: January, February and April. The course is offered on the Kansas City, Wichita and Salina campuses. During the month-long clerkship students participate in interactive team-based learning sessions, attend seminars, and work in teams on a population-based health care project called their "capstone project." The framework for the PHP capstone project student experience is based in practice-based learning and quality improvement (PBLI) in a clinical or community setting. Students define a population, discuss the needs of that population, describe an intervention to address one or more of the population's needs, evaluate the appropriateness of that intervention, and address alternative methods of addressing those needs. Within the past decade student teams have engaged in over 500 projects. Preventive Medicine faculty mentored student capstone projects related to colon cancer screening, diabetes management, local health department partnerships with community health clinic in rural Kansas, childhood obesity, smoking cessation, mammography, and Medicare.
International Health is an elective course that presents opportunities for fourth-year medical students to gain clinical and community health experiences in an international setting. Students in this elective travel across the globe to both developed and developing locations such as Johannesburg, New Zealand, Germany, Tanzania, Ireland, Guatemala, India, London, China, Paraguay, Zambia, Australia, and Ghana and gain invaluable clinical and academic experience. The country selected is pre-arranged by the student with the assistance of the Office of International Programs. The course is offered every February on the Kansas City campus. In April, students prepare presentations and posters describing their experience.