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Academic Medicine:
The Reports: United States: Maryland

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine

WAECHTER, DONNA PHD

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Uniformed Services University

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Curriculum Management and Governance Structure

♢ Oversight of the curriculum is by the dean's office.

♢ Policy issues are reviewed and considered by a standing curriculum committee that guides the current renewal process.

♢ The curriculum committee reports directly to the dean.

♢ Phase I

* A steering committee and four subcommittees were established. The four subcommittees were: (1) History of Medical Education in the United States; (2) Current Experiments in Curricular Reform; (3) Curriculum at USUHS-SOM; and (4) Professional Requirements and Outcomes.

* Subcommittee reports and recommendations were produced and reviewed by the faculty.

* The dean's office and the relevant academic departments were charged to implement the recommendations.

♢ Phase II

* A steering committee and five subcommittees were established. The subcommittees were: (1) Objectives/Goals; (2) Organizational Template/Curriculum Management; (3) Basic Science/Intradepartmental and Clinical Integration; (4) Clinical Clerkships Required/Elective; and (5) Outcomes/Evaluation.

* Topic groups were established and the subcommittee and topic group reports and recommendations were reviewed by the steering committee, relevant academic departments, and the dean.

* A consensus was reached on the recommendations and the plans for their implementation.

* The recommendations were implemented.

♢ Phase III

* The curriculum committee provides oversight for the planning process. The areas of focus for this phase include interdisciplinary teaching, academic computing, faculty development, and outcomes assessment.

* The planning resources needed include travel budget, photocopying, faculty time, and clerical/secretarial support.

* The implementation resources needed include faculty time, clerical/secretarial support, photocopying, and Computer Center staff time.

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CURRICULUM RENEWAL PROCESS

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Themes for Curriculum Renewal

♢ To increase the integration of basic and clinical science content across the four-year curriculum. (The curriculum before the renewal was a traditional “2 + 2” basic science/clinical medicine program.)

♢ To increase student involvement in and excitement about the learning process.

♢ To further integrate military medicine topics into the general curriculum.

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Curriculum Renewal Timeline

* 1993–95: Phase I planning and recommendations

* 1996: implementation of Phase I recommendations

* 1996–97: Phase II planning and recommendations

* 1998: implementation of Phase II recommendations

* 1998–present: Phase III planning and recommendations

* Academic year 2000–2001: implementation of Phase III recommendations projected to begin

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Challenges to the Process

♢ The school has encountered some expected and some unanticipated challenges during the curricular renewal process. These include

* concerns/anxiety about change

* additional workload for faculty and staff

* establishing and maintaining communication

* reaching consensus on what to change and how to change it

♢ The strategies used in the process include:

* town meetings held by the dean of the school

* use of the university Web site to distribute information/raise issues

* involving representatives from all academic departments

* departmental surveys

* establishment of topic groups to review curriculum content

* student involvement at all levels

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Curriculum Review Process

♢ Student evaluations of the curriculum are reviewed throughout the program.

♢ Faculty evaluations of the curriculum are reviewed.

♢ Student knowledge, attitudes, and skills are assessed using standardized measures and internal measures (e.g., USMLE, NBME subject exams, OSCE, AAMC Graduation Questionnaire).

© 2000 Association of American Medical Colleges

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