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

WAECHTER, DONNA PHD

The Reports: United States: Maryland
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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

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 by the Association of American Medical Colleges