Envisioning Curricular Change in Undergraduate Medical Education

For more than a century, undergraduate medical education reform has been high on academic medicine’s agenda, though efforts to accomplish reform have had mixed success. With COVID-19 came a renewed urgency for reform and innovation. Medical schools rapidly adapted their models for preclinical and clinical education, maintaining the integrity of instruction while ensuring faculty and student safety.

Against this backdrop of change and opportunity, four members of WittKieffer’s Physician Executive Counsel – Christopher Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., Walter Ettinger, M.D., M.B.A., Anthony Barbato, M.D., Deborah “Dee” Wing, M.D., M.B.A. – have written on the current state of curriculum reform in academic medicine as well as the areas of focus in which reform can occur. These areas include:

  • Balancing curricular objectives with technology innovation and continuous quality improvement
  • Seeking opportunities to mitigate costs to institutions and students
  • Integrating population health sciences into curricula
  • Creating learning environments that prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice
  • Promoting clinician and student well-being

The authors also provide an overview of current efforts of governing and regulatory bodies – the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (the LCME), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) – to ensure that meaningful reform happens within this unique window of time. The initiatives of these organizations “will almost guarantee significant curricular change in the future despite a history of inertia in this area,” the physicians write.

Read the full article: Undergraduate Medical Education in the Post-COVID-19 Era: Innovation that Bridges Biomedical Science, Healthcare Delivery and Societal Expectations

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