1. Purpose

    • In order to ensure a manageable workload and adequate time for self-directed and independent study during the pre-clerkship phase, this policy outlines the time expectations for in-class and out-of-class activities.
  2. LCME Standard: Monitoring Student Time

    • (1a) ​​​​​​​LCME Standard 8.8 
      The medical school faculty committee responsible for the medical curriculum and the program’s administration and leadership ensure the development and implementation of effective policies and procedures regarding the amount of time medical students spend in required activities, including the total number of hours medical students are required to spend in clinical and educational activities during clerkships.
  3. Policy

    • ​​​​​​​(2a) Overview
      1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​(2a.1) DGSOM aims to build foundational knowledge while fostering lifelong learning in students by combining in-class activities supplemented by guided self-directed learning opportunities.
      2. (2a.2) The pre-clerkship faculty and staff ensure a manageable workload by monitoring the weekly required coursework as well as the time that students are expected to spend mastering the curricular material.
      3. (2a.3) The Course and Theme Chairs work together in adjusting required activities and assignments in order to avoid exceeding the time expectations for curricular activities. These activities are regularly reassessed and adjusted based on evaluation data and student feedback.
      4. (2a.4) This policy is reviewed annually to ensure adherence.
    • (2b) Contact Hours for Foundations of Medical Science (FoMS) Courses
      1. ​​​​​​​(2b.1) Estimated total workload for each course block in the pre-clerkship curriculum should not exceed 60 hours per week on average.
      2. (2b.2) Total workload hours include all scheduled in-class activities, required out-of-class activities, and an estimate of the time needed to achieve learning goals each week and on exams.
      3. (2b.3) The following formula should be used for calculating workload: all activities (in- and out-of-class) with the exception of EACE, review sessions, games or grand finales, should be multiplied by 2 to provide an estimate of total time needed to invest in mastering the material. Add in time for assigned Self-Assessments (1 hour per week). Exam weeks should include study time at 3x length of exam. For example, at least 3 hours of study time should be allotted for a 1-hour examination.
  4. Procedures

    • ​​​​​​​(3a) Overview
      1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​(3a.1) For each block, the chairs working with curricular affairs staff will be responsible for tracking weekly workload estimates across all elements and adjusting so as not to exceed 60 hours.
      2. (3a.2) Workload hours will be discussed as part of the annual course evaluation process.
      3. (3a.3) Student perceptions of workload will be monitored in feedback sessions with Students, Course Chairs or Directors, Curricular Affairs Leadership and the Educational Measurement Unit. These comparisons will help assess efficacy and appropriateness of policy.
      4. (3a.4) Workload calculations do not include curricular time expected for students in special tracks (e.g. PRIME, MSTP). Communication with program directors and awareness of the medical school curriculum plan is important to ensure overall expectations of these students are reasonable. Overall workload for any student in a special track is not to exceed 80 hours per week.
      5. (3a.5) Students are encouraged to thoroughly review DGSOM Technical Standards. Any student with an existing disability, or who develops a disability (permanent or temporary), and wishes to seek an accommodation must notify the Director for DGSOM Disability Services (an extension of the UCLA Center for Accessible Education) in writing via the private online application process. The UCLA Center for Accessible Education will consult with the School of Medicine to notify them of a student’s request and recommended accommodations. For more information about DGSOM Disability Services, review their webpage.  

Accountable Dean: Assistant Dean for Pre-Clerkship Curriculum/Associate Dean for Curriculum
Approved by Medical Education Committee February 2024