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Closing the Gap between Education and Care

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is preparing to implement a redesigned curriculum to better prepare medical students to work in modern health care.

The school’s new curriculum is a response to changes in health care, particularly the recent shift in focus from patients with acute illnesses to those suffering from chronic diseases. UCSF’s solution is education that focuses on teamwork skills, interdisciplinary work, and improvement of physicians’ understanding of the patient experience.

A major feature of UCSF’s modified curriculum is immersion in clinical settings, which helps students “understand, measure, and improve the patient experience […] and learn what it is like as a patient to navigate these systems,” said Catherine Lucey, MD, UCSF’s vice dean for education.

The curriculum will also encourage students to “view medicine as a developing science,” said Lucey. “You need to learn what today’s facts tell us, but you also need to learn where our knowledge is still incomplete.”

The development of UCSF’s new curriculum was funded by a $1 million grant from the American Medical Association (AMA). The AMA gave funding to 11 medical schools in an effort to address the differences between how medical students are taught and how health care is administered today.

UCSF plans to fully implement its new curriculum in 2016.

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