Data on integrated curriculum vs traditional curriculum.

coffeesnob

Full Member
Aug 2, 2011
331
152
  1. Medical Student
    My school has a fully integrated curriculum that has been in effect since two years ago. Our average Step 1 score dropped dramatically because a lot more people (compared to previous years) failed after the implementation of the new curriculum.

    Rumors I have heard are:

    1. Integrated curricula sound good theoretically but have not proven to work (in terms of board scores). Thus, many schools who once had a fling with the integrated curriculum resorted back to the traditional one. I have heard Harvard is such a case but I cannot back up this claim.

    2. Integrated curricula start working after about 3 years after initiation.

    3. Integrated curricula allow students to pass classes more easily than the traditional one. So their lack of knowledge will be evident only on standardized tests like Step 1.

    I haven't been able to find any articles on these topics.
     

    dyspareunia

    Full Member
    Mar 6, 2014
    1,019
    599
    1. Medical Student
      Define integrated and traditional curricula for me.

      Also, I'd bet that a change in curriculum (in any direction) would result in lower board scores initially especially if you use the same professors. The professors are used to teaching one way and it will take them time to teach the new way plus ensure the "correct" material is being taught and emphasized.
       
      • Like
      Reactions: 1 user
      About the Ads

      Porfirio

      Full Member
      10+ Year Member
      May 27, 2011
      590
      407
      1. Attending Physician
        I am glad that I had an integrated curriculum. Step 1 was so much of an individual experience - it did not matter what/how the professors were teaching. What mattered was how much "free time" the school gave me to study for Step 1. It is like every other exam we have taken - you study for taking that exam, cram material in, vomit material out in A, B, C format, then get out of the exam feeling like you failed.

        My integrated curriculum made the first two years of medical school short (we took Step 1 back in Feb/early March). They gave us 4 weeks of "free time" to study for Step 1 (it should have been longer), but who the hell cares now. I passed/did well on Step 1, and now I am in 3rd year and 4 weeks left on my 2nd rotation. The first two years of medical school are terrible, but it does get better.
         

        DermViser

        Full Member
        10+ Year Member
        Apr 4, 2009
        17,237
        13,008
        1. Resident [Any Field]
          Define integrated and traditional curricula for me.

          Also, I'd bet that a change in curriculum (in any direction) would result in lower board scores initially especially if you use the same professors. The professors are used to teaching one way and it will take them time to teach the new way plus ensure the "correct" material is being taught and emphasized.
          Integrated = Organ system based
          Traditional = By basic science subject
           

          CherryRedDracul

          Actually a man.
          7+ Year Member
          Oct 12, 2012
          2,078
          4,184
          North America
          1. Fellow [Any Field]
            I heard that my school's step one score dropped after they changed the curriculum a while ago and it took about 2-3 years for the average step 1 scores to get back to baseline. No data though, sorry.

            Sounds typical. When a curriculum is radically changed, it begins its life like an infant: can't walk, can't talk, positive Babinski. Through learning (mostly by trial and error) the curriculum improves its weak points over time. But it's at the sacrifice of the first crop of medical students who have to go through this new curriculum as they serve as lab animals. At my school, Step 1 scores and grades dropped after the latest curriculum change.

            Here, we have a quasi-traditional curriculum in block scheduling format. Ultimately, at the middle of our 2nd year, we have a course that is largely path, but serves to integrate everything we learned prior into a cohesive unit. What I like about the current set-up is that you ultimately get a few passes through the same material over the first two years, and that helps with getting material sticking to your brain.

            I just wish we had more quality instructors. Sometimes it was better to just not follow the lectures.
             
            Last edited:
            • Like
            Reactions: 5 users

            Kahreek

            Full Member
            Jun 1, 2013
            1,699
            902
            1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
              i have traditional curriculum, never had integrated. cant comment.
              You do go over and over again on the same subject from different prespectives. Cant really say if it is better or worse.
              Maybe it can be easier to pass a test if you half nail anatomy, physiology and histology on the same test, instead of doing separate subjects on the same stuff. But again it completely depends on the test difficulty and evaluation method rather than the contents.
               

              Psai

              This space for lease
              Removed
              5+ Year Member
              Jan 2, 2014
              11,384
              23,985
              ヽ(´ー`)ノ
              1. Resident [Any Field]
                I just wish we had more quality instructors. Sometimes it was better just not to follow the lectures.

                Story of my life lol
                I like the ones who can keep your attention and can tell you everything without even looking at the powerpoint slides as opposed to the people who stare at the screen and slowly read to you at 0.7 speed.
                 
                • Like
                Reactions: 1 user

                atomi

                Member
                Removed
                10+ Year Member
                Feb 6, 2005
                2,366
                2,985
                Minnesota
                1. Resident [Any Field]
                  My school has a fully integrated curriculum that has been in effect since two years ago. Our average Step 1 score dropped dramatically because a lot more people (compared to previous years) failed after the implementation of the new curriculum.

                  No ****. That's because these new curricula are spearheaded by administrators hellbent on making a name through themselves by mixing things up. Change for the sake of change. The reforms are predicated on the idea that group learning is the best way to learn for everybody and they force students to come to class and play their silly TBL games, and even more disturbingly, they design assessments so that you will only do well if you participate in the group activities. The focus is for them to use you as guinea pigs to get data to publish research. USMLE step 1 is not used as a metric for evaluating the success of the curriculum. These people (Education M.Eds and Ph.Ds) don't care about your future success as a doctor after you leave the preclinical curriculum. They just care about establishing names for themselves in the world of education. Not surprisingly, students who rely on the curriculum to teach them the medical knowledge they need for the USMLE will be left holding the bag.
                   
                  • Like
                  Reactions: 4 users

                  DermViser

                  Full Member
                  10+ Year Member
                  Apr 4, 2009
                  17,237
                  13,008
                  1. Resident [Any Field]
                    No ****. That's because these new curricula are spearheaded by administrators hellbent on making a name through themselves by mixing things up. Change for the sake of change. The reforms are predicated on the idea that group learning is the best way to learn for everybody and they force students to come to class and play their silly TBL games, and even more disturbingly, they design assessments so that you will only do well if you participate in the group activities. The focus is for them to use you as guinea pigs to get data to publish research. USMLE step 1 is not used as a metric for evaluating the success of the curriculum. These people (Education M.Eds and Ph.Ds) don't care about your future success as a doctor after you leave the preclinical curriculum. They just care about establishing names for themselves in the world of education. Not surprisingly, students who rely on the curriculum to teach them the medical knowledge they need for the USMLE will be left holding the bag.
                    BINGO. The first 2 years has no accountability to med students and their Step scores and "improvements" are made long after that class has gone past that part of the curriculum. Medical students are their guinea pigs, esp. those of the M.Ed and PhD variety.
                     
                    Last edited:
                    • Like
                    Reactions: 10 users

                    atomi

                    Member
                    Removed
                    10+ Year Member
                    Feb 6, 2005
                    2,366
                    2,985
                    Minnesota
                    1. Resident [Any Field]
                      BINGO. The first 2 years has no accountability to students and Step scores and changes are made long after that class has gone past that part of the curriculum. Medical students are their guinea pigs, esp. those of the M.Eds and PhD variety.

                      I just spit out my coffee watching that video. Holy hell. What med school class had the balls to make that? If that video were made at the med school I went to, everyone involved would have, appropriately enough, gotten called into the "principal's office," an official email would have been sent out by the administration condemning it and reminding the student body of the standards they are expected to uphold, and formal reprimands in the form of comments citing unprofessional behavior would have been put in the students' permanent records and included in the MSPE. Exactly that happened for far less. In fact, one student actually got a reprimand in his file simply for not submitting critical feedback on his TBL peer evaluations. He said he had nothing bad to say about any of his teammates, and he was told that in order to pass he would have to submit critical feedback (effectively they told him to make something up), he refused and was labeled as "unprofessional." It upsets me to think how much of our tuition and time was squandered on this TBL pseudoscience peddled by "education doctors."

                      I want to send each of those student actors a personal thank you letter.
                       
                      Last edited:
                      • Like
                      Reactions: 2 users
                      About the Ads

                      CherryRedDracul

                      Actually a man.
                      7+ Year Member
                      Oct 12, 2012
                      2,078
                      4,184
                      North America
                      1. Fellow [Any Field]
                        I just spit out my coffee watching that video. Holy hell. What med school class had the balls to make that? If that video were made at the med school I went to, everyone involved would have, appropriately enough, gotten called into the "principal's office," an official email would have been sent out by the administration condemning it and reminding the student body of the standards they are expected to uphold, and formal reprimands in the form of comments citing unprofessional behavior would have been put in the students' permanent records and included in the MSPE. Exactly that happened for far less. In fact, one student actually got a reprimand in his file simply for not submitting critical feedback on his TBL peer evaluations. He said he had nothing bad to say about any of his teammates, and he was told that in order to pass he would have to submit critical feedback (effectively they told him to make something up), he refused and was labeled as "unprofessional." It upsets me to think how much of our tuition and time was squandered on this TBL pseudoscience peddled by "education doctors."

                        I want to send each of those student actors a personal thank you letter.

                        LOL sounds like a school I would never go to. But the unwritten rule is to never criticize anything at your school because there is a strong chance that the administration will make you rue the day you decided to refuse to blow them.

                        At my school, things seem to be a little more lenient. We have an annual show for the 4th years as a sort of a good-bye to them before they embark, and there's plenty of criticism labeled at how the school is run ... along with some good old twisted medical school humor and other live performances. TBL is always the brunt of the jokes every year. I'm glad our administration at least lets our voices be heard for that show.

                        Disclosure: I found TBLs kind of fun because it was just socializing time for me. Was it time well spent for learning? No, not really. It was more of an excuse for me not to do work.
                         
                        • Like
                        Reactions: 2 users

                        Prodromo

                        Full Member
                        10+ Year Member
                        7+ Year Member
                        Jan 11, 2009
                        94
                        56
                        1. Resident [Any Field]
                          After watching that video and reading the comments I am very happy I had a traditional curriculum. It boggles my mind that they are forcing specific teaching styles on adult learners who have obviously figured out how to teach themselves by the time they were accepted into medical school. 99.9% of my studying was done independently and I was extremely successful and efficient as a result.
                           
                          • Like
                          Reactions: 4 users

                          CherryRedDracul

                          Actually a man.
                          7+ Year Member
                          Oct 12, 2012
                          2,078
                          4,184
                          North America
                          1. Fellow [Any Field]
                            After watching that video and reading the comments I am very happy I had a traditional curriculum. It boggles my mind that they are forcing specific teaching styles on adult learners who have obviously figured out how to teach themselves by the time they were accepted into medical school. 99.9% of my studying was done independently and I was extremely successful and efficient as a result.

                            You hit the nail right on the head. I can understand if the inculcate the concepts of TBL in earlier learning years like in high school or even undergrad. Babying medical students is a waste of time for them. Besides, I see plenty of TBL (AKA study groups) outside of classes, but it's self-governed. It's like we're the square pegs and the school's TBL curriculum is the round hole and they're trimming our edges off and jamming us into the hole so that they can data-mine us and p-hack their studies so that they win. They can never lose.
                             
                            • Like
                            Reactions: 1 user

                            DermViser

                            Full Member
                            10+ Year Member
                            Apr 4, 2009
                            17,237
                            13,008
                            1. Resident [Any Field]
                              I just spit out my coffee watching that video. Holy hell. What med school class had the balls to make that? If that video were made at the med school I went to, everyone involved would have, appropriately enough, gotten called into the "principal's office," an official email would have been sent out by the administration condemning it and reminding the student body of the standards they are expected to uphold, and formal reprimands in the form of comments citing unprofessional behavior would have been put in the students' permanent records and included in the MSPE. Exactly that happened for far less. In fact, one student actually got a reprimand in his file simply for not submitting critical feedback on his TBL peer evaluations. He said he had nothing bad to say about any of his teammates, and he was told that in order to pass he would have to submit critical feedback (effectively they told him to make something up), he refused and was labeled as "unprofessional." It upsets me to think how much of our tuition and time was squandered on this TBL snake oil peddled by psuedoscientific "education doctors."

                              I want to send each of those student actors a personal thank you letter.
                              Apparently, it's from UNC. Their class show was in 2013, and they're the class of 2015, so my guess is they were finished with their basic science coursework by that time and were about to enter clinicals. At my school we definitely would have had the unprofessionalism hammer thrown at us, if we had done something like that. Yup, we also got a threat of "unprofessionalism" if we didn't submit evaluations on time.
                               

                              atomi

                              Member
                              Removed
                              10+ Year Member
                              Feb 6, 2005
                              2,366
                              2,985
                              Minnesota
                              1. Resident [Any Field]
                                Disclosure: I found TBLs kind of fun because it was just socializing time for me. Was it time well spent for learning? No, not really. It was more of an excuse for me not to do work.

                                This comment brings up a very important point. "Researchers" use quotes like this from people like you to support their argument that "See, TBL really works, students really like it and have fun." They cut out the rest of what you said and ignore negative feedback that they can't spin.

                                Interestingly, at the same time, they are publishing papers expressing frustrations that students are spending TBL time "disengaged" and surfing facebook, chatting with friends, and texting on their phones, and they are tyring to design strategies to eliminate this and make sure that you will only get good grades if you are engaged during TBL. In other words, they are attacking the one source of positive comments they get from the whole thing: that it's a fun social hour for some people.
                                 
                                • Like
                                Reactions: 1 users

                                DermViser

                                Full Member
                                10+ Year Member
                                Apr 4, 2009
                                17,237
                                13,008
                                1. Resident [Any Field]
                                  This comment brings up a very important point. "Researchers" use quotes like this from people like you to support their argument that "See, TBL really works, students really like it and have fun." They cut out the rest of what you said and ignore negative feedback that they can't spin.

                                  Interestingly, at the same time, they are publishing papers expressing frustrations that students are spending TBL time "disengaged" and surfing facebook, chatting with friends, and texting on their phones, and they are tyring to design strategies to eliminate this and make sure that you will only get good grades if you are engaged during TBL. In other words, they are attacking the one source of positive comments they get from the whole thing: that it's a fun social hour for some people.
                                  If you look at the "research" papers on PBL - they're more self-promoting opinion pieces rather than actual research on the effectiveness of PBL. The papers that promote PBL learning are exalted http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC225793/, thus resulting in a domino effect to where medical schools start adopting it to where eventually the LCME requires some level of PBL-type groupwork incorporated or threaten the med school with probation: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/lo...nio-s-medical-school-on-probation-2222609.php

                                  Meanwhile papers that point out the very real problems of PBL:

                                  The Problem with Problem-based Medical Education
                                  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bmb.2003.494031010158/pdf
                                  • "Around 1990 the craze for student-centered, problem-based learning began sweeping through United States medical schools like wild fire through a parched Colorado forest. Its promoters and advocates thought they had reinvented medical education. Like most plans, on paper it looked great. But, in my judgment, twixt the cup and the lip, between the design and the implementation, there have been many a slip."
                                  Dysfunctional problem-based learning curricula: resolving the problem
                                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3532094/?report=classic

                                  Influence of curriculum type on student performance in the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 and Step 2 exams: problem-based learning vs. lecture-based curriculum.
                                  http://www.educus.com/Journals/11703641?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
                                  • "United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 scores over the seven-year period were 214 for Traditional Curriculum students and 208 for Parallel Curriculum students" (2001)

                                  are widely ignored bc they go against academic, ivory tower groupthink.
                                   
                                  Last edited:
                                  • Like
                                  Reactions: 1 user

                                  DermViser

                                  Full Member
                                  10+ Year Member
                                  Apr 4, 2009
                                  17,237
                                  13,008
                                  1. Resident [Any Field]
                                    You hit the nail right on the head. I can understand if the inculcate the concepts of TBL in earlier learning years like in high school or even undergrad. Babying medical students is a waste of time for them. Besides, I see plenty of TBL (AKA study groups) outside of classes, but it's self-governed. It's like we're the square pegs and the school's TBL curriculum is the round hole and they're trimming our edges off and jamming us into the hole so that they can data-mine us and p-hack their studies so that they win. They can never lose.
                                    Which they can then publish and be first author in academic medical education journals in their quest for tenure to show just how great their ideas are. Funny how their PBL sessions never actually work like this:

                                     
                                    • Like
                                    Reactions: 1 user

                                    WaylonS

                                    Full Member
                                    Feb 16, 2013
                                    229
                                    74
                                    1. Medical Student
                                      Here, we have a quasi-traditional curriculum in block scheduling format. Ultimately, at the middle of our 2nd year, we have a course that is largely path, but serves to integrate everything we learned prior into a cohesive unit. What I like about the current set-up is that you ultimately get a few passes through the same material over the first two years, and that helps with getting material sticking to your brain.

                                      QFT

                                      BTW, I love your Leigh Bowery avatar
                                       
                                      • Like
                                      Reactions: 1 user

                                      DermViser

                                      Full Member
                                      10+ Year Member
                                      Apr 4, 2009
                                      17,237
                                      13,008
                                      1. Resident [Any Field]
                                        We have an annual show for the 4th years as a sort of a good-bye to them before they embark, and there's plenty of criticism labeled at how the school is run ... along with some good old twisted medical school humor and other live performances. TBL is always the brunt of the jokes every year. I'm glad our administration at least lets our voices be heard for that show.
                                        Keywords: "for the 4th years" --- a.k.a. after they've already matched and are relatively invincible.
                                         
                                        • Like
                                        Reactions: 1 user
                                        About the Ads

                                        Rirruto

                                        Full Member
                                        7+ Year Member
                                        Jul 13, 2011
                                        80
                                        157
                                        1. MD/PhD Student
                                          I was always frustrated by classmates who used this argument to defend [insert gimmick]-based-learning: "I really like X-based-learning, therefore it should be mandatory for all students."
                                           
                                          • Like
                                          Reactions: 2 users

                                          DermViser

                                          Full Member
                                          10+ Year Member
                                          Apr 4, 2009
                                          17,237
                                          13,008
                                          1. Resident [Any Field]
                                            • Like
                                            Reactions: 5 users

                                            DermViser

                                            Full Member
                                            10+ Year Member
                                            Apr 4, 2009
                                            17,237
                                            13,008
                                            1. Resident [Any Field]
                                              I was always frustrated by classmates who used this argument to defend [insert gimmick]-based-learning: "I really like X-based-learning, therefore it should be mandatory for all students."
                                              These are the same classmates who:
                                              • are mad when those who don't go to class make higher exam scores than those who do go to class.
                                              • believe that bc THEY attend class every day bc that's how they learn, so should you, and if you don't then it's a moral failing and disrespect on your part.
                                               
                                              • Like
                                              Reactions: 4 users

                                              TKE340

                                              Full Member
                                              Aug 12, 2013
                                              49
                                              16
                                              Georgia
                                              1. Medical Student
                                                Is TBL really that bad? (I don't start school for a few months) My school has a full TBL integrated problem-based curriculum with no lectures. We go to school Mon, Wed, Fri from 9-noon, the rest is self study. Sounds pretty good to me.
                                                 

                                                CherryRedDracul

                                                Actually a man.
                                                7+ Year Member
                                                Oct 12, 2012
                                                2,078
                                                4,184
                                                North America
                                                1. Fellow [Any Field]
                                                  Is TBL really that bad? (I don't start school for a few months) My school has a full TBL integrated problem-based curriculum with no lectures. We go to school Mon, Wed, Fri from 9-noon, the rest is self study. Sounds pretty good to me.

                                                  It will depend on the person, what group you're in, how your school handles TBLs, etc. For the most part, it's a mandatory period of stuff that's just there for the sake of being mandatory (and for the sake of the higher-ups to jerk themselves over). For me, it was a time to socialize and not do much work.
                                                   
                                                  • Like
                                                  Reactions: 1 users

                                                  DermViser

                                                  Full Member
                                                  10+ Year Member
                                                  Apr 4, 2009
                                                  17,237
                                                  13,008
                                                  1. Resident [Any Field]
                                                    • Like
                                                    Reactions: 1 users

                                                    TKE340

                                                    Full Member
                                                    Aug 12, 2013
                                                    49
                                                    16
                                                    Georgia
                                                    1. Medical Student
                                                      From the information I've been able to gather, the average Step 1 scores are in the 220s. I believe what they are trying to say with that statement is that the scores can't quantify the teamwork and other attributes that they say PBL is supposed to instill.
                                                       

                                                      Wordead

                                                      Full Member
                                                      10+ Year Member
                                                      Dec 21, 2007
                                                      1,994
                                                      2,620
                                                      1. Attending Physician
                                                        From the information I've been able to gather, the average Step 1 scores are in the 220s. I believe what they are trying to say with that statement is that the scores can't quantify the teamwork and other attributes that they say PBL is supposed to instill.

                                                        That's funny....my takeaway on teamwork from TBL is that everyone else is incompetent and I can only trust myself and wikipedia/ the internet.
                                                         
                                                        • Like
                                                        Reactions: 7 users

                                                        DermViser

                                                        Full Member
                                                        10+ Year Member
                                                        Apr 4, 2009
                                                        17,237
                                                        13,008
                                                        1. Resident [Any Field]
                                                          From the information I've been able to gather, the average Step 1 scores are in the 220s. I believe what they are trying to say with that statement is that the scores can't quantify the teamwork and other attributes that they say PBL is supposed to instill.
                                                          The problem is the average USMLE Step 1 score is about a 227. No school is going to admit their preclinical curriculum sucks. That's kept behind closed doors. I think in the article they give a lot more credence to their non-standardized oral exam as testing "problem-solving and analytical skills" than it probably actually does in reality. It's the Dunning-Kruger effect in action: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect
                                                           
                                                          • Like
                                                          Reactions: 1 users
                                                          About the Ads

                                                          Anastomoses

                                                          secretly an end artery
                                                          Removed
                                                          May 11, 2013
                                                          1,699
                                                          943
                                                          Texas, Chicago
                                                          1. Medical Student
                                                            The plight of medical students everywhere. Let me pay you $50k so that I can self-teach 99.9% of the material.
                                                            This might sound crazy but...I wouldn't be surprised to learn that certain students might learn better from one versus the other. Maybe learning should be student-tailored? I don't think that has to cost them a fortune if done in an organized manner.
                                                             

                                                            DermViser

                                                            Full Member
                                                            10+ Year Member
                                                            Apr 4, 2009
                                                            17,237
                                                            13,008
                                                            1. Resident [Any Field]
                                                              This might sound crazy but...I wouldn't be surprised to learn that certain students might learn better from one versus the other. Maybe learning should be student-tailored? I don't think that has to cost them a fortune if done in an organized manner.
                                                              There are schools that have 2 independent learning tracks - Ohio State, Drexel, LECOM (DO). The problem is for the rest, you don't have the option, it's only 1 track. Sometimes asking a school to be organized is asking a lot.
                                                               
                                                              Last edited:
                                                              • Like
                                                              Reactions: 1 user

                                                              coffeesnob

                                                              Full Member
                                                              Aug 2, 2011
                                                              331
                                                              152
                                                              1. Medical Student
                                                                Is TBL really that bad? (I don't start school for a few months) My school has a full TBL integrated problem-based curriculum with no lectures. We go to school Mon, Wed, Fri from 9-noon, the rest is self study. Sounds pretty good to me.

                                                                whoa. that sounds pretty bad to me. but maybe your school knows what it's doing. When you say no lectures, do you mean not even recorded ones? Are you going to be "taught" anything in any form?
                                                                 

                                                                DermViser

                                                                Full Member
                                                                10+ Year Member
                                                                Apr 4, 2009
                                                                17,237
                                                                13,008
                                                                1. Resident [Any Field]
                                                                  whoa. that sounds pretty bad to me. but maybe your school knows what it's doing. When you say no lectures, do you mean not even recorded ones? Are you going to be "taught" anything in any form?
                                                                  Here is how it goes there at his medical school. There are NO taught lectures.

                                                                  I think it's funny the comment on the Youtube video and it got more thumbs down than thumbs up.

                                                                   
                                                                  Last edited:

                                                                  chronicidal

                                                                  Scrub
                                                                  7+ Year Member
                                                                  May 14, 2010
                                                                  1,189
                                                                  355
                                                                  1. Medical Student
                                                                    1. Integrated curricula sound good theoretically but have not proven to work (in terms of board scores). Thus, many schools who once had a fling with the integrated curriculum resorted back to the traditional one. I have heard Harvard is such a case but I cannot back up this claim.

                                                                    First, board scores at Harvard are what is expected/predicted by their incoming MCAT scores. Second, Harvard's current iteration of curriculum reform aims for more integration, not less. The reform in 2006, called the New Integrated Curriculum, primarily functioned to integrate clerkships within 3rd year, now called the Principal Clinical Experience. The preclinicals are already organs-based instead of normal vs. abnormal. Example: you learn microbio in one block, rather than splitting it between a 'basic micro' course first year and a more clinically-oriented 'infectious diseases' course second year. "The resulting curriculum [from the current reform initiative], which leads to the Principal Clinical experience (PCE), will more fully integrate basic science and clinical medicine in an innovative program more developmentally appropriate for student learning." http://issuu.com/harvardmed/docs/dr_fall2013-14pdr22_issuu

                                                                    Third, I'd comment that the folks driving these reforms are rarely PhDs or EdDs. At any medical school, the curriculum is primarily in the hands of MDs. Sure they might be trying to publish to establish a name for themselves in medical education scholarship/leadership and get tenure, but I think that's vastly preferable to having the curriculum led by folks who are primarily interested in clinical or basic science research and only secondarily interested in improving education. Many schools when considering promotions and tenure decisions greatly devalue educational leadership and teaching. I for one would be glad to be a guinea pig at a school that was trying to make forward-looking innovations in education.
                                                                     
                                                                    • Like
                                                                    Reactions: 1 user

                                                                    @JackShephard

                                                                    Full Member
                                                                    Feb 6, 2014
                                                                    686
                                                                    492
                                                                      I am glad that I had an integrated curriculum. Step 1 was so much of an individual experience - it did not matter what/how the professors were teaching. What mattered was how much "free time" the school gave me to study for Step 1. It is like every other exam we have taken - you study for taking that exam, cram material in, vomit material out in A, B, C format, then get out of the exam feeling like you failed.

                                                                      My integrated curriculum made the first two years of medical school short (we took Step 1 back in Feb/early March). They gave us 4 weeks of "free time" to study for Step 1 (it should have been longer), but who the hell cares now. I passed/did well on Step 1, and now I am in 3rd year and 4 weeks left on my 2nd rotation. The first two years of medical school are terrible, but it does get better.

                                                                      This.

                                                                      Free time and great resources (with repetition + intelligence) make a great Step 1 score.

                                                                      To get those high scores, clinical knowledge helps - which some school's add into the first 2 years.

                                                                      All this curriculum talk is overblown and made complicated (like EMR or medical documentation).

                                                                      Here's my simple curriculum:
                                                                      • Get the best resources and teachers (Pathoma stands out as an excellent resource and teacher)
                                                                      • Let the students do what they want - don't force attendance to anything (group work is fine, but let students decide if they want to do groups - i.e. opt out)
                                                                      • Keep it high yield (stay away from PhD B.S. and research topics - that can be done individually)
                                                                      • Use NMBE subject exams and buy students practice NBMEs
                                                                      My school made everything too complicated and half of the students suffered because of it. You don't need research and studies to back each component of the curriculum. I prefer integrated - but focusing on integrated vs traditional isn't the most important factor - the 4 points above are much more important. For example, my school kept it low yield many times, used terrible resources half the time, forced students to learn in ways they didn't want to and occasionally made their own low yield exams.

                                                                      The reality is - 2 years is a LONG time to learn the fundamentals of medicine. I'm sure if the best resources and teachers were used, it could be done in 1 year. Because we have 2 years, each school can throw in lots of time wasting gimmicks and low yield hazing material.

                                                                      Students with desire and learning how they want to learn without nonsense required activities will succeed. That's a common sense approach.
                                                                       
                                                                      Last edited:
                                                                      • Like
                                                                      Reactions: 4 users

                                                                      DermViser

                                                                      Full Member
                                                                      10+ Year Member
                                                                      Apr 4, 2009
                                                                      17,237
                                                                      13,008
                                                                      1. Resident [Any Field]
                                                                        Third, I'd comment that the folks driving these reforms are rarely PhDs or EdDs. At any medical school, the curriculum is primarily in the hands of MDs. Sure they might be trying to publish to establish a name for themselves in medical education scholarship/leadership and get tenure, but I think that's vastly preferable to having the curriculum led by folks who are primarily interested in clinical or basic science research and only secondarily interested in improving education. Many schools when considering promotions and tenure decisions greatly devalue educational leadership and teaching. I for one would be glad to be a guinea pig at a school that was trying to make forward-looking innovations in education.
                                                                        To be fair, usually clinicians (MDs) aren't the ones driving curriculum changes in the MS-1/MS-2 years unless they are a specific academic figurehead - Assistant Dean of Curriculum or Student Affairs, etc. in which that's part of their job description or they're part of a med school Curriculum committee of some sort.
                                                                        The faculty PhDs who actually teach the course carry out the "vision" that curriculum committee sets as to how the curriculum is structured and implemented.

                                                                        Both PBL style and MMI interviewing for med school admissions came from Canada from that darn McMaster University.

                                                                        In a lecture oriented curriculum, the student can learn the material based on how he/she learns best. In a PBL based curriculum, you don't have a choice bc everyone has to participate, or if you like it, you drag everyone else who doesn't want to learn that way with you. I don't think any class wants to be the "guinea pig" test year when a new curriculum hasn't been fully test-driven. People are much more comfortable when the kinks have been worked out. It would be different if say the school said, ok, we're switching to this curriculum so bc they'll be some kinks, we'll give you x many weeks more than we usually do at the end of MS-2 to consolidate the info - but that never happens.

                                                                        Nearly everyone in med school is promoted with the # of journal contributions as one aspect, whether it's Nature or whether it's Academic Medicine.

                                                                        I think Drexel has it best with respect to tailoring to a student by allowing them to choose either pathway: http://www.drexelmed.edu/Home/Acade...exelsInnovativeCurriculum/YearsOneandTwo.aspx
                                                                         

                                                                        TKE340

                                                                        Full Member
                                                                        Aug 12, 2013
                                                                        49
                                                                        16
                                                                        Georgia
                                                                        1. Medical Student
                                                                          whoa. that sounds pretty bad to me. but maybe your school knows what it's doing. When you say no lectures, do you mean not even recorded ones? Are you going to be "taught" anything in any form?
                                                                          No required lectures. Students can request lectures on any of the material. Those are done on Thursdays, are recorded, and aren't mandatory. We are given notebooks at the beginning of each phase outlining the learning objectives and what to know in what textbook. The idea is that instead of giving you what you need to know in lecture, they give it in writing to kill time. Gives us way more time to study and less time in lecture copying down notes that I can copy from a book twice as fast.
                                                                           
                                                                          • Like
                                                                          Reactions: 1 user

                                                                          DermViser

                                                                          Full Member
                                                                          10+ Year Member
                                                                          Apr 4, 2009
                                                                          17,237
                                                                          13,008
                                                                          1. Resident [Any Field]
                                                                            No required lectures. Students can request lectures on any of the material. Those are done on Thursdays, are recorded, and aren't mandatory. We are given notebooks at the beginning of each phase outlining the learning objectives and what to know in what textbook. The idea is that instead of giving you what you need to know in lecture, they give it in writing to kill time. Gives us way more time to study and less time in lecture copying down notes that I can copy from a book twice as fast.
                                                                            Also your med school is one of the few that had a complete PBL style curriculum from the very beginning since when the school opened back in 1982. They're not a recent switchover in the past decade or couple of years, for example. So obviously any kinks are fully ironed out. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2394433

                                                                            If the faculty facilitators are as good and as invested in their students as those promotional Youtube videos for their school, then you're actually pretty lucky.
                                                                             
                                                                            • Like
                                                                            Reactions: 1 user

                                                                            Rirruto

                                                                            Full Member
                                                                            7+ Year Member
                                                                            Jul 13, 2011
                                                                            80
                                                                            157
                                                                            1. MD/PhD Student
                                                                              These are the same classmates who:
                                                                              • are mad when those who don't go to class make higher exam scores than those who do go to class.
                                                                              • believe that bc THEY attend class every day bc that's how they learn, so should you, and if you don't then it's a moral failing and disrespect on your part.

                                                                              Spot on. This perfectly describes [at least] 3 classmates from my entering class. I don't understand these students' mentality of needing to please/validate/gratify the teaching faculty by drinking the kool-aid and buying blindly into the curriculum as the sole path to the promised land. As adults in our 20s and 30s, we probably have figured out how we learn best.

                                                                              That's funny....my takeaway on teamwork from TBL is that everyone else is incompetent and I can only trust myself and wikipedia/ the internet.

                                                                              I recall many a sesh where I actively tried to not listen to other students/faculty avoid being confused.

                                                                              This.

                                                                              Free time and great resources (with repetition + intelligence) make a great Step 1 score.

                                                                              To get those high scores, clinical knowledge helps - which some school's add into the first 2 years.

                                                                              All this curriculum talk is overblown and made complicated (like EMR or medical documentation).

                                                                              Here's my simple curriculum:
                                                                              • Get the best resources and teachers (Pathoma stands out as an excellent resource and teacher)
                                                                              • Let the students do what they want - don't force attendance to anything (group work is fine, but let students decide if they want to do groups - i.e. opt out)
                                                                              • Keep it high yield (stay away from PhD B.S. and research topics - that can be done individually)
                                                                              • Use NMBE subject exams and buy students practice NBMEs
                                                                              My school made everything too complicated and half of the students suffered because of it. You don't need research and studies to back each component of the curriculum. I prefer integrated - but focusing on integrated vs traditional isn't the most important factor - the 4 points above are much more important. For example, my school kept it low yield many times, used terrible resources half the time, forced students to learn in ways they didn't want to and occasionally made their own low yield exams.

                                                                              The reality is - 2 years is a LONG time to learn the fundamentals of medicine. I'm sure if the best resources and teachers were used, it could be done in 1 year. Because we have 2 years, each school can throw in lots of time wasting gimmicks and low yield hazing material.

                                                                              Students with desire and learning how they want to learn without nonsense required activities will succeed. That's a common sense approach.

                                                                              This is very reasonable.

                                                                              My more radical approach would be to have medical school be only MSIII+MSIV. Much like some of the specialty residencies (derm, rads), you apply to start the program 1 year after being accepted, with conditional acceptance for passing Step 1. The interim year, which would be entirely independent study and therefore tuition-free, would be to learn basic science and pass USMLE Step 1. Then you would start MSIII with a week of PEx instruction. Obviously this would never happen given the LCME's requirements for hours of instruction, but it's food for thought.
                                                                               

                                                                              @JackShephard

                                                                              Full Member
                                                                              Feb 6, 2014
                                                                              686
                                                                              492
                                                                                This is very reasonable.

                                                                                My more radical approach would be to have medical school be only MSIII+MSIV. Much like some of the specialty residencies (derm, rads), you apply to start the program 1 year after being accepted, with conditional acceptance for passing Step 1. The interim year, which would be entirely independent study and therefore tuition-free, would be to learn basic science and pass USMLE Step 1. Then you would start MSIII with a week of PEx instruction. Obviously this would never happen given the LCME's requirements for hours of instruction, but it's food for thought.

                                                                                I support your plan also.

                                                                                Our current system isn't very good - and it's also profitable for schools. There's no incentive to change.

                                                                                Monopolies don't lead to innovation.
                                                                                 
                                                                                • Like
                                                                                Reactions: 2 users

                                                                                coffeesnob

                                                                                Full Member
                                                                                Aug 2, 2011
                                                                                331
                                                                                152
                                                                                1. Medical Student
                                                                                  No required lectures. Students can request lectures on any of the material. Those are done on Thursdays, are recorded, and aren't mandatory. We are given notebooks at the beginning of each phase outlining the learning objectives and what to know in what textbook. The idea is that instead of giving you what you need to know in lecture, they give it in writing to kill time. Gives us way more time to study and less time in lecture copying down notes that I can copy from a book twice as fast.

                                                                                  Ah. Our school got rid of the written syllabi along with the traditional curriculum. Your school sounds pretty cool and organized. My school isn't.
                                                                                   

                                                                                  CodeRedDew

                                                                                  Thirst Quencher
                                                                                  10+ Year Member
                                                                                  Nov 13, 2011
                                                                                  489
                                                                                  117
                                                                                  1. Resident [Any Field]
                                                                                    This.

                                                                                    Free time and great resources (with repetition + intelligence) make a great Step 1 score.

                                                                                    To get those high scores, clinical knowledge helps - which some school's add into the first 2 years.

                                                                                    All this curriculum talk is overblown and made complicated (like EMR or medical documentation).

                                                                                    Here's my simple curriculum:
                                                                                    • Get the best resources and teachers (Pathoma stands out as an excellent resource and teacher)
                                                                                    • Let the students do what they want - don't force attendance to anything (group work is fine, but let students decide if they want to do groups - i.e. opt out)
                                                                                    • Keep it high yield (stay away from PhD B.S. and research topics - that can be done individually)
                                                                                    • Use NMBE subject exams and buy students practice NBMEs
                                                                                    My school made everything too complicated and half of the students suffered because of it. You don't need research and studies to back each component of the curriculum. I prefer integrated - but focusing on integrated vs traditional isn't the most important factor - the 4 points above are much more important. For example, my school kept it low yield many times, used terrible resources half the time, forced students to learn in ways they didn't want to and occasionally made their own low yield exams.

                                                                                    The reality is - 2 years is a LONG time to learn the fundamentals of medicine. I'm sure if the best resources and teachers were used, it could be done in 1 year. Because we have 2 years, each school can throw in lots of time wasting gimmicks and low yield hazing material.

                                                                                    Students with desire and learning how they want to learn without nonsense required activities will succeed. That's a common sense approach.

                                                                                    You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one. These are my EXACTLY my thoughts.
                                                                                     

                                                                                    GrabSlamBoot

                                                                                    Full Member
                                                                                    7+ Year Member
                                                                                    Nov 28, 2010
                                                                                    861
                                                                                    12
                                                                                    1. Medical Student
                                                                                      I'm almost done with my M1 year at a one year basic science institution and having been through it I feel like it can easily be done at most schools. I do think that the pace is rather neck breaking but the pressure is alleviated by having a true P/F curriculum. And having a P/F curriculum allowed me to focus on board materials alongside my coursework to a much greater extent than I would have been able to at a non P/F school. I'd be interested to see how a 1.5 year curriculum felt on terms of workload and pace as compared to a one year school. Maybe it's the perfect middle
                                                                                       

                                                                                      dyspareunia

                                                                                      Full Member
                                                                                      Mar 6, 2014
                                                                                      1,019
                                                                                      599
                                                                                      1. Medical Student
                                                                                        I'm almost done with my M1 year at a one year basic science institution and having been through it I feel like it can easily be done at most schools. I do think that the pace is rather neck breaking but the pressure is alleviated by having a true P/F curriculum. And having a P/F curriculum allowed me to focus on board materials alongside my coursework to a much greater extent than I would have been able to at a non P/F school. I'd be interested to see how a 1.5 year curriculum felt on terms of workload and pace as compared to a one year school. Maybe it's the perfect middle

                                                                                        The fact that your school teaches all basic sciences in 1 year and still somehow manages to devote time to non-board relevant material is beyond insane.
                                                                                         
                                                                                        About the Ads
                                                                                        This thread is more than 7 years old.

                                                                                        Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                                                                                        1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                                                                                        2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                                        3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                                        4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                                                                                        5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                                                                                        6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                                                                                        7. This thread is locked.