Our 20/20 Vision comes into focus

As most of you know, 2010 and 2011 have been very busy years as the Carver College of Medicine endeavors to renew and enhance our curriculum. Building upon the work of the curricular modeling committees, the steering committee continues to develop changes and plans for the curriculum renewal. The Medical Education Council has already approved many of these changes and they are outlined here.

The changes are categorized into the three 'I's' (Individualization, Integration, and Innovation). These are areas that are of paramount importance to both our students and their future patients. It's critical students excel in the medical profession of today, but also as it will exist in the year 2020 when many of them will enter practice. Technology and innovation move forward at breakneck speed and our students must be adept and adaptable in the face of every future challenge. It's imperative that we strive toward creating future physicians that can provide the best, safest quality care to their patients. This objective requires continual assessment of our methods and outcomes as well as anticipating future needs.


To increase the ability for a student to develop an individualized curriculum tailored toward their interests, the following curricular changes will begin in June 2011:

  • Increased elective time by 4 weeks during the clinical years, which should permit a more individualized curriculum and career exploration.
  • Development of new 2-week electives (previously they had to be 4 weeks), which should permit the students more opportunity to explore and experience different areas.
  • Increased flexibility in the currently required clerkships by the development of selectives (Urology, Radiology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Laboratory Medicine/EKG), changing anesthesia from to an elective, and the development of an ambulatory orthopedic clerkship option.
  • Increased elective distinction tracks: Research, Service, Teaching, Humanities, and Global.
  • Development of the rural program that will take in four students per year and offer them the opportunity to focus on providing medical care in a rural setting.


One step toward improved curricular integration will begin with a pilot 2-day intersession this spring. The intersession will be required for all 3rd year students and will be distinct from their clinical clerkships. Assuming the pilot session goes well, beginning in June of 2012 the intersession periods will expand to a total of 3 during the third year and each of these will likely be longer than 2 days. These intersessions will permit increased vertical curricular integration and may cover various themes including professional development, clinical skills, quality and safety, informatics and discovery of knowledge, ethics, and health systems, as well as permit time for discussion of new topics in medicine.


  • The relatively recent increase in recording and podcasting of lectures will continue.
  • Through new changes in EPIC the students will have the ability to contribute clinical notes that can be better utilized by the faculty. This will also help with a newly approved note-writing requirement in each of the required clerkships.

Future changes:

Below are just a few of the changes still to come.

  • The development of a required longitudinal personal wellness curriculum beginning in the first year of medical school to begin in the fall of 2012.
  • The committee is exploring further changes in the clinical clerkships including the possibility of a completely integrated Radiology clerkship beginning in the fall of 2012. This integrated Radiology clerkship will be piloted this year.
  • It is likely that the third year clinical experiences will begin earlier in the summer of 2012.
  • The committee continues to develop the best context in which to deliver integrated basic sciences during the first semesters of medical school.
  • Exploration of increased simulation.
  • Increased focus on patient safety and quality in a longitudinal fashion in the medical curriculum.

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