Work Groups, Principles and Reports

In July 2013, two new work groups were formed and charged in conjunction with Phase 2 of the M.D. Curriculum Transformation initiative. These groups will address specific areas of the draft M.D. curriculum template: the scholarly project and core clinical experiences.

Each work group is made up of faculty, students and staff from a variety of departments. They gathered OHSU School of Medicine data as well as other information about best practices, shared ideas and possibilities, and created a report with recommendations, resources needed to carry them out, and references.

Scholarly project

Membership, charge and initial assumptions | Read the group's summary report (December 2013)

Core clinical experiences

Membership, charge and initial assumptions | Read the group's summary report (December 2013)

Note on next steps: The new clinical experiences will begin in spring 2016 (the transformed curriculum will be introduced with the entering class of 2014, and will be phased in each year after that).


The recommendations in the submitted report are now being reviewed by the Curriculum Transformation Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is setting up mechanisms by which faculty, students and others can provide feedback on this initial set of recommendations. These recommendations will also be the subject of a special meeting of the current clerkship directors. All of this additional input will be used to shape a proposal for clinical experiences (formerly known as clerkships) which will ultimately be presented as an element into the transformed M.D. curriculum to the School of Medicine Curriculum Committee and Faculty Council for deliberation.


A rural community-based clinical experience will remain a required component of the new curriculum. The principles to which the school committed regarding a rural rotation state that there will be an expanded menu of options to meet this requirement, and that the existing Rural and Community Health Clerkship will be retained as one of those options.


The initial seven work groups were established to provide input and direction for the School of Medicine's M.D. Curriculum Transformation initiative. These groups are based on the guiding principles developed by the Steering Committee and reflect the collaborative nature of this multi-year process. The work groups submitted their reports in early 2013. You can read a summary of all the work group reports here. Please visit EdNews to review the documents in their entirety (OHSU login required).

Faculty development

What educational skills do our faculty need and perhaps would like to enhance for medical student education? What’s the best way to help faculty hone those skills? And what resources will be needed to support this professional development? Membership

Evaluation, assessment and tracking of students

What methods of student assessment work best for which types of learning objectives and competencies? What are the pros and cons of a pass/fail grading system for the pre-clerkship years? How can we best track student performance, including academics, professionalism and other metrics, over time? Membership

Evaluation of courses, clerkships and the overall curriculum

How can we make course assessment more meaningful, adding metrics in addition to what students think of our courses? How can we keep the whole curriculum integrated, minimizing unnecessary redundancy while keeping planned, developmental repeated exposures? How can we make curriculum renewal a continual process, instead of doing major overhauls every 15 years? Membership

Teaching methodologies

What approaches to teaching are available and which ones work best for what types of content? How can we involve more active learning experiences, particularly in the first two years? And how can we help the faculty learn about these approaches and become comfortable with them? Membership

Integration of technology into the curriculum, including simulation and informatics

How can we take advantage of key technological tools to enhance the curriculum? How can we best train students in the efficient use of the electronic medical record, and also use of search tools for clinical and research questions? How can we help faculty become comfortable with using these new technologies? Membership

Integration of clinical and basic sciences

How can we best bring clinical material into the pre-clerkship years? And how can we add meaningful basic science into the clinical years, expanding on what students learned previously, and set in the framework of what they now know as clinicians? What degree and type of curriculum flexibility would best allow students to pursue their specific basic and clinical interests? How can we stress the importance of discovery and scientific inquiry, and instill a life-long pattern of self-directed learning? Membership


Competencies, objectives and milestones

This work group will review the existing competencies and objectives, modify the objectives as needed and, where indicated, develop an associated set of milestones that will guide the next steps in the curriculum transformation process. Membership