Curriculum Committee approves “next steps” on draft M.D. Curriculum Template


  • Draft curriculum template to accompany both videos (please download this .pdf and either print this out or have it on your screen when watching the videos; the draft template can be difficult to see in the videos).
  • Draft curriculum template overview: Video - Senior Associate Dean George Mejicano provides an overview of the draft Curriculum Template
  • FAQ draft curriculum template: Video - Senior Associate Dean George Mejicano answers questions about the draft Curriculum Template
  • FAQ draft curriculum template Print
  • Guiding principles: Curriculum Transformation process
  • Undergraduate medical education philosophy and guiding principles
  • Faculty survey results
  • All previous School of Medicine updates and articles on Curriculum Transformation

Note: Some materials may require an OHSU login


Now, the real work begins - get involved!

The M.D. Curriculum Transformation initiative recently reached an important milestone when the OHSU School of Medicine Curriculum Committee endorsed the draft curriculum template, setting the stage for Phase 2 of the initiative.

The goal of the Transformation Initiative is to answer this question: What will society need from physicians and health care professionals over the next 20 to 30 years?

“Producing physicians able to lead and serve society’s goal to create a sustainable high-quality and accessible health care system is our responsibility to Oregon and beyond,” said George Mejicano, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Education. “This initiative moves us in the right direction.”

“It’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with the current curriculum. Rather, this initiative helps us envision what success for our graduates looks like in a future landscape in which our health care system has been radically transformed,” said Leslie Kahl, M.D., Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives.

The initial phase of this multi-year initiative was shaped by a set of “guiding principles” for the process part of the curriculum transformation initiative. These principles were developed by the Steering Committee and were presented at the October 2012 all-school kickoff retreat. The School of Medicine Curriculum Committee's Undergraduate Medical Education Philosophy and Guiding Principles provide the frame for the curriculum itself.

Throughout the first phase, the Steering Committee and six working groups sought – and received – diverse input from faculty, students, staff – as well as input from others schools (at OHSU and elsewhere), community partners, health systems, patients, legislators, alumni and more.

Phase 2 involves continued discussion and outreach about the draft template, which requires formation of additional workgroups to fully develop the draft template. A part of Phase 2 will also be finalizing an application to the American Medical Association – OHSU is one of only 31 medical schools nationwide who have made it to this round of funding for the $10 million in awards being given as part of the “Accelerating change in medical education” project.

The draft template is a broad overview of the “knowledge progression” of the M.D. program. The details associated with classes, clerkships and other learning opportunities will be developed as part of Phase 2. The draft template builds on the existing strong curriculum but also provides new elements that enhance it in ways that are more learner-centric and adaptable, and are competency (rather than time) –based. A key goal of the curriculum is also to ensure that graduates are ready for residency (an area also undergoing considerable educational change).

During February and March, Dr. Mejicano presented the template to all School of Medicine chairs and leaders and to the School of Medicine Faculty Council. In both cases, the feedback was positive with encouragement to move to the next phase. On March 15, the School of Medicine Curriculum Committee voted to approve the draft template and proceed with the next steps in the transformation. Now, the goal is to share this draft template more broadly and gain additional feedback.

“The template is still a draft. Input is not just sought, it is welcomed and needed,” said Dr. Mejicano. “Please consider joining teams that will work on Phase 2.”

Two questions about the draft template already received relate to primary care and clerkships in underserved areas. These questions are addressed below and on the FAQs.

Throughout this change process, our commitment to primary care, rural Oregon and underserved communities will be – as it has always been – unshakable; this commitment has been a defining feature of the medical school for 125 years. A transformed M.D. curriculum will enhance that commitment by identifying new and innovative educational opportunities for students to focus on underserved communities.

As part of this initiative, we are discussing expanding the number and type of student rotations outside of Portland  – a broader menu of electives may better engage students in underserved service; topics currently being discussed include:

  • Interprofessional rural rotations with Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and others
  • Creative use of technology, for example, telemedicine rotations
  • Adding more specialties to underserved rotations
  • Adding new rotations in other underserved communities (low-income, cultural barriers, etc.)
  • Identifying new clerkship sites and partnerships in rural Oregon

Questions? Comments? Please send an email to

And look for announcements related to open drop-in meetings to discuss the draft template.