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Fostering Student–Faculty Partnerships for Continuous Curricular Improvement in Undergraduate Medical Education

Scott, Kirstin W. MPhil, PhD; Callahan, Dana G.; Chen, Jie Jane; Lynn, Marissa H.; Cote, David J.; Morenz, Anna; Fisher, Josephine; Antoine, Varnel L.; Lemoine, Elizabeth R.; Bakshi, Shaunak K.; Stuart, Jessie; Hundert, Edward M. MD; Chang, Bernard S. MD; Gooding, Holly MD, MSc

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002726
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Problem A number of medical schools have used curricular reform as an opportunity to formalize student involvement in medical education, but there are few published assessments of these programs. Formal evaluation of a program’s acceptability and use is essential for determining its potential for sustainability and generalizability.

Approach Harvard Medical School’s Education Representatives (Ed Reps) program was created in 2015 to launch alongside a new curriculum. The program aimed to foster partnerships between faculty and students for continuous and real-time curricular improvement. Ed Reps, course directors, and core faculty met regularly to convey bidirectional feedback to optimize the learning environment in real time.

Outcomes A survey to assess the program’s impact was sent to students and faculty. The majority of students (202/222; 91.0%) reported Ed Reps had a positive impact on the curriculum. Among faculty, 35/37 (94.6%) reported making changes to their courses as a result of Ed Reps feedback, and 34/37 (91.9%) agreed the program had a positive impact on the learning environment. Qualitative feedback from students and faculty demonstrated a change in school culture, reflecting the primary goals of partnership and continuous quality improvement (CQI).

Next Steps This student–faculty partnership demonstrated high rates of awareness, use, and satisfaction among faculty and students, suggesting its potential for local sustainability and implementation at other schools seeking to formalize student engagement in CQI. Next steps include ensuring the feedback provided is representative of the student body and identifying new areas for student CQI input as the curriculum becomes more established.

K.W. Scott is a fourth-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5415-6479.

D.G. Callahan is a fourth-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1413-5331.

J.J. Chen is a third-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5380-4825.

M.H. Lynn is a fourth-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

D.J. Cote is a fourth-year medical student and PhD student, Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

A. Morenz is a fourth-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

J. Fisher is a fourth-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

V.L. Antoine is a second-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

E.R. Lemoine is a fourth-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

S.K. Bakshi is a fourth-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

J. Stuart is a fourth-year medical student, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

E.M. Hundert is dean for medical education and Daniel D. Federman, M.D. Professor in Residence of Global Health and Social Medicine and Medical Education, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

B.S. Chang is advisory dean and director, Francis Weld Peabody Society, and course director, Mind, Brain and Behavior, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

H. Gooding is faculty mentor, Education Representatives Program, Harvard Medical School, and adolescent medicine specialist, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: This study was reviewed by the Academy at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Office of Human Research Administration. It was determined to meet the criteria for institutional review board exemption (IRB no. 17-0396).

Previous presentations: Aspects of this work were presented as a poster at the Harvard Medical School Medical Education Day Conference in 2016 and 2018.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A661.

Correspondence should be addressed to Kirstin W. Scott, Harvard Medical School, Tosteson Medical Education Center, Room 244, 260 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115; telephone: (617) 432-1570; email: kirstin_scott@hms.harvard.edu; Twitter: @kirstinwscott.

© 2019 by the Association of American Medical Colleges