Assess the strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum at the UC Davis School of Medicine by exploring the existing curriculum (Internal Review) and reviewing exemplars of innovative curricula from across the nation (External Review).

Review Process

  • CEP appointed Internal and External Review Subcommittee Chairs
  • Chairs recruited members: diversity of stakeholders
  • Subcommittees developed approach to program evaluation
  • Chairs communicated with each other regularly
  • Subcommittees finalized and approved respective reports
  • Subcommittee chairs synthesized reports

Strengths and Areas in Need of Attention


  • Diverse and collaborative student body
  • Expertise/collaboration opportunities in proximity
  • Commitment towards educational innovation
  • Social Justice, Cultural Competency and Service Learning
  • OSLER and its student support services
  • Opportunities for authentic learning and assessment
  • Pre-existing SOM Graduation Competencies

Areas in Need of Attention

  • Lack of centralization of the educational endeavor
  • Lack of shared vision for Medical School and Medical Center
  • No direct and transparent support of educators
  • Unbalanced curricular focus: Underrepresentation of many graduation competencies
  • Need for a Center for Educational Innovation
  • Assessment strategies uncoordinated and not universally work-place based
  • Inability to accommodate needs of all learners

Foundation Recommendations

1.  Elaborate and refine the educational vision to “Reimagine Education” for the Schools of Health which will reflect the shared values of the School of Medicine and UC Davis Medical Center.

UC Davis Health Strategic Plan

2.  Create an academy of medical educators to consolidate and embody leadership for curriculum development and evolution

  • 40-60 faculty across disciplines with excellent teaching credentials and passion for teaching
  • Appointed by FEC/CEP (Dept. Chair and Vice Dean input)
  • Responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating curriculum across the 4 years
    • Responsible for curricular integration
    • Charged with integrating and coordinating learner assessment
    • Collaborate across Schools
  • Direct and transparent support (based on allocated FTE)

For more information, please see the Academy Diagram (PDF)

3.  Create and fund a Center for Educational Innovation

  • Chair + staff (funded)
  • Support the Academy: technical expertise
  • Educational grants
  • Faculty development and ad hoc consults

4.  Overhaul existing program evaluation processes

  • Less reliance on Level 1
  • Peer review and feedback
  • Promote risk taking
  • Post-graduation data

5.  Recruit additional community-based educators and clinical training sites

  • Incentivize community preceptors
  • Mobilize PCN Sites

These actions will provide the time, incentives, oversight structure, expertise, and support needed by the faculty to envision, design, plan, implement, and evaluate curriculum change.

Principles for a Novel Curriculum

  • Use an overarching framework to guide curriculum
  • Integrate clinical and basic science
    • Early, longitudinal clinical immersion
    • Revisit foundational sciences in “clinical” years
  • Patient-centered and learner-centered learning
    • Student focus areas
  • Longitudinal, workplace-based formative and summative learner assessments on milestones and competencies
  • Longitudinal mentor-student coaching relationships
  • Time for remediation/intensification to meet the needs of all learners
These principles were identified during the internal and external review process as possible strategies for strengthening curriculum design, integration, student assessment, and mentoring.