Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor

Hurtubise, Larry, MA; Lester, Theresa K., MA; Okada, Shigeru, PhD

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000209
  • Free

In their recent commentary, Prober and Khan1 proposed a flipped-classroom model to build a framework of core knowledge in medical education, embedding that knowledge through richly interactive, compelling, and engaging formats. Although the idea of “flipping the classroom” is well established, medical education with its yearlong preclinical courses, clinical courses of various lengths, hundreds of instructors, and interdisciplinary curriculum is not necessarily as conducive to this educational model as undergraduate courses in other disciplines. Flipping the classroom in medical education requires a change management approach similar to the educational program quality improvement template described by Chandran and colleagues.2

Chandran and colleagues’ proposed process, inspired by Kotter’s3 change management model, “engaged students, revitalized faculty, and enabled significant, positive institutional transformation.”2 Kotter’s model has proven to be successful for creating permanent positive organizational change. It includes putting together a guiding coalition with enough power to lead the change, developing a change vision, and using increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that do not fit the vision. In medical education this may include enterprise-wide systems, student support structures, and intellectual property policies. In the winter of 2013, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine piloted a flipped-classroom approach to the second-year Endocrine and Metabolism course. Postcourse student evaluations identified an appreciation for the type of positive institutional transformation that would support flipped classrooms across the continuum. For example, students expressed a preference for a single system for recording lectures as well as prerecording lectures.

Medical education across the continuum is in an unprecedented era of change. Flipping the classroom holds promise to enable richer educational experiences as well as the flexibility of encouraging in-depth pursuit of knowledge in some, but not all, domains.1 Academic leaders would be wise to view this as a significant curricular movement that requires a change management effort.

Larry Hurtubise, MA

Assistant professor of family medicine and faculty

development educational technologist, Ohio

University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine,

Athens, Ohio;

Theresa K. Lester, MA

Accreditation and program analyst, Office of

Institutional Assessment and Planning, Ohio

University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine,

Athens, Ohio.

Shigeru Okada, PhD

Assistant professor of pediatrics, Department of

Pediatrics, and instructor of record for the second-year

Endocrine and Metabolism course, Ohio

University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine,

Athens, Ohio.


1. Prober C, Khan S. Medical education reimagined: A call to action. Acad Med. 2013;88:1407–1410
2. Chandran L, Fleit H, Shroyer L. Academic medicine change management: The power of the liaison committee on medical education accreditation process. Acad Med. 2013;88:1225–1231
3. Kotter JP Leading Change. 1996 Boston, Mass Harvard Business School Press
© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges