This time last year, the 11 member Curriculum Analysis and Revision Taskforce (CART), led by Anne Gunderson, EdD, associate dean for medical education, and Steve Baxter, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, undertook a lofty goal: To have a basic schematic for the revised 2011-12 College of Medicine curriculum in place by October 2010.
That goal has been met due to the diligent efforts of the CART team and over 115 faculty members and administrators from the medical college, partners at the Academic Health Center, UC’s Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
"We have a very diverse and fantastic group of faculty at the grass roots level making the revisions happen,” says Gunderson, who is also a board-certified geriatric nurse practitioner.
One appreciable change to the curriculum, she says, will be the integration of hands-on clinical training in the first year. The new curriculum will give first-year students the opportunity to immediately engage in clinical activities such as First Responder training, and by the end of the first semester, students will be able to complete a full medical history and physical exam.
"The new curriculum will enhance the excellent training that our students receive in the basic sciences applicable to the practice of medicine,” says Andrew Filak, MD, interim dean.
The next milestone is to develop the first-year educational content to be used starting August 2011.
Fourth-year medical student Jesse Capone is a student representative, assisting faculty and administrators in the College of Medicine with a curriculum revision for the 2011-12 academic year.
What is your role in helping to revise the curriculum?
"I serve on the Curriculum Analysis and Revision Taskforce (CART) reform committee and the Clinical Science Integration Task Force working group.”
How do the planned revisions compare to the current curriculum?
"It’s a lot more integrated. Instead of having your preclinical years being crammed into the first two years, it’s a lot more homogenous. There’s a better mix of academics and clinical experiences.”
In what way does the mix benefit the student?
"You get an introduction to patient care much earlier. That way, you are learning what real medicine is all about.”
Aside from classroom and clinical experience, what else will be different?
"We are going to be experimenting with technology a lot more to gauge student progress. There will be day-to-day tracking of what the students are doing, and technology will allow for a precise analysis of each student’s experience. For example, you need to see a certain number of certainkinds of patients to meet accreditation requirements. Plus, it will provide options for quicker feedback.”