Transforming the SMPH Curriculum

In 2016, 16 Department of Pediatrics faculty played key roles in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s (SMPH) ForWard Curriculum, a new model of medical education that fully integrates basic, public health and clinical sciences.

Above: The logo for the new SMPH MD curriculum. Each arm of the W represents a year of medical school. The gold color changes to show each of the 3 phases, with integrated blocks within each phase.
Above: The logo for the new SMPH MD curriculum.
Each arm of the W represents a year of medical
school.The gold color changes to show each of the
3 phases, with integrated blocks within each phase.

The new curriculum comprises three phases:

  • Phase 1 centers on learning basic science concepts with integration of clinical and public health experiences.
  • Phase 2 emphasizes clinical medicine and integrates relevant longitudinal basic science and public health curricular elements.
  • Phase 3 focuses on specialty-specific competency development and internship preparation with opportunities for individualized electives, advising and projects.
     

“The new model is an intentional effort to better integrate basic science and clinical medicine throughout all three phases,” noted Department of Pediatrics Medical Student Education Director Kirstin Nackers, MD.

“It also formalizes some of the ‘hidden’ curriculum—topics like public health and interpersonal and communication skills—into longitudinal threads,” she continued. “You need those skills to be a doctor, and we trust and observe that students are picking them up during their training, but we want to be deliberate about teaching them to all students and explicitly assessing them.”

An additional component of the ForWard Curriculum is the inclusion of longitudinal teacher/coaches: faculty who mentor small cohorts of students throughout all four years of their education. The new curriculum will also offer more interprofessional and team-based learning opportunities, enabling future doctors to work effectively in complex health care systems and communities.

Thanks to the following Department of Pediatrics faculty for their work on the ForWard curriculum transformation in 2016:

Steering Committee

  • Anna Huttenlocher, MD
  • Gwen McIntosh, MD, MPH
  • Elizabeth Petty, MD

 

Longitudinal Teacher/Coaches

  • Eileen Cowan, MD
  • Troy Kleist, MD
  • Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD
  • Amy Plumb, MD

 

Phase 1 and 2 Integrated Block Leaders and Design Team Members

  • Phase 1: Body In Balance
  • Michael Wilhelm, MD

 

Phase 1: Human Family Tree

  • Gregory Rice, MD (leader)
  • Ashley Kuhl, CGC
  • David Wargowski, MD

 

Phase 2: Care Across the Life Cycle

  • Kirstin Nackers, MD (leader)
  • Casey Reiser, MS, CGC
  • Lydia Wraight, MD
  • Eileen Cowan, MD

 

Phase 3 Activities

  • Matthew Harer, MD, and Grant Syverson, MD (pediatrics portion of internship prep course design team member)