Getting down to details!

Twenty-three faculty members selected for Curriculum Development Team

Twenty-three faculty members gathered Aug. 19 to begin their efforts in developing the first year and a half of the new M.D. curriculum. The incoming M.D. class in 2014 will be the first to be educated with the new curriculum. The curriculum will be phased in over four years.

"We received almost 100 applications for these curriculum development positions," said Tracy Bumsted, M.D., MPH, associate dean for undergraduate medical education. "I am confident that the combination of this degree of faculty engagement with the funding commitment from the Dean's office will result in an extraordinary outcome for our students, our school and the future physician workforce. This is incredibly exciting work."

The 23 faculty participants in the newly formed Curriculum Development Team were selected in an internal open recruitment process (OHSU log-in required). These salaried part-time positions represent a significant investment in faculty and in the future of the school's education mission and the new M.D. curriculum. The Curriculum Development Team is supported by an educational designer, a faculty development expert and an administrative coordinator.

SoM MD Curriculum Development Team

Integrating foundations, fundamentals and key "threads"

The new curriculum for the first year and a half is organized around six major sets of organ systems (the "foundations" of medicine) preceded by a "fundamentals" block that presents the introductory basic science and clinical material on which the subsequent blocks are built.

Integrated into each foundation organ system block are basic and clinical sciences related to those organ systems, along with principles of clinical medicine "threads." The threads are key subjects common and essential for all areas of medicine – and its continuous improvement – such as professionalism, ethics, cultural competency, epidemiology and others.

Curriculum-Template-iconFor more detail, view the template outlining the new curriculum, and the handout and overview of the M.D. Curriculum Transformation Initiative.

"I know we have the willingness and the talent to create lightning in a bottle, to build a stand-out and innovative educational program uniquely aligned to the future landscape of health care," said George Mejicano, M.D., senior associate dean for education, during the opening session. "This is a pivotal moment for our medical school."

For each foundational block, the Curriculum Development Team includes a basic scientist, a clinician and a PCM "integrator." The PCM integrators are responsible for developing the PCM threads in specific blocks, as well as working as a team to create continuity throughout all foundational blocks.

The Aug. 19 all-day working session was led by Dr. Bumsted, and included a charge from Dr. Mejicano. Leslie Kahl, M.D., associate dean for strategic initiatives and chair of the Curriculum Transformation Steering Committee, Tomo Ito, M.S., UME curriculum manager, Judy Bowen, M.D., director of curriculum for the Transformation Faculty Preparation Training Program and Tom Boudrot, Ed.D., director of the OHSU Teaching and Learning Center, comprise the additional members of the Curriculum Development Team and were an integral part of the Aug. 19 all-day working session.

The initial work of this team will be completed by late January 2014. Their curricular product will then be shared broadly with the faculty and reviewed first by the OHSU Curriculum Committee, then the School of Medicine Faculty Council for input and, eventually, approval. The team will also assist in identifying and helping to recruit needed instructors for the blocks.

Faculty development is front and center

The Aug. 19 working session focused on faculty development as it relates to adult learning and curriculum building. This Curriculum Development group will meet weekly starting Sept. 4 to build the curriculum blocks and continue the educational faculty development process.

Additional faculty development sessions, open to all OHSU faculty, are planned for later in the year to help teachers become more comfortable with and proficient in methodologies for student-centered active learning.

About the M.D. Curriculum Transformation Initiative

This initiative is designed to educate and train physicians who will best meet the needs of society over the next 20 to 30 years. To accomplish this, the M.D. Curriculum Transformation Initiative aims to prepare physicians to be leaders in a health care delivery and discovery environment which includes continuous improvement and reform, team-based health care, personalized medicine, and advanced use of information technology. The initiative is developing a student-centered, integrated, competency-based curriculum that utilizes active learning and engagement of students to promote critical thinking, problem solving and life-long learning.

The new curriculum will build upon and expand the strengths of our current curriculum, while embracing innovative teaching methods and student assessments. The initiative is grounded in two Guiding Principles documents: Philosophy and Transformation Process, and builds on the work of seven work groups.

More information is available at

Pictured: The M.D. Curriculum Transformation Development team (not pictured: Dawn Dillman, M.D., and Marc Gosselin, M.D.)