Explore Research Innovation at the David Geffen School of Medicine
As we begin Phase III of our curriculum redesign process, I am delighted to share with you two important work products. These products are a result of on-going collaborations, vibrant discussions, insightful feedback, and significant contributions from the Curriculum Redesign Steering Committee as well as many other groups including Phase II workgroups, the MEC, FEC, MSC, EESG, Deans Council, and many faculty, staff, and students.
Guiding Principles & Philosophy of Teaching – At this year’s MEC retreat attendees were asked to list characteristics of a memorable learning or teaching experience. We collected and analyzed the valuable responses from MEC attendees and found emerging themes in these characteristics that also aligned with findings from our Phase II workgroups. I presented these themes to various groups and through thoughtful feedback we developed five principles that will guide our approach to teaching in the new curriculum:
I. DGSOM reflects UCLA “True Bruin” values and embodies the Cultural North Star. II. DGSOM cultivates a spirit of inquiry and encourages critical thinking. III. DGSOM promotes excellence over competence in learning. IV. DGSOM fosters meaningful partnership and engagement between teacher and learner. V. DGSOM embraces pedagogy that empowers the learner and fosters active learning.
Each of these five principles is further described in sub-bullets which you can review here. These principles will be the lens through which our faculty will create a new curriculum.
Curriculum Schematic – In addition to the philosophy of teaching, the MEC retreat attendees also had an opportunity to sketch their blue skies / greener pastures ideas of what a new DGSOM curriculum schematic might look like. Groups posted their schematics on research boards and a gallery walk ensued with members voting for their favorite structures. Key features across the schematics were: Early authentic clinical experience, flexibility in pathway, ability to customize and differentiate, and integrate basic science with clinical experience. Our new curriculum will have these features, and in Phase III we will be forming Planning Committees to develop the details around these elements. A graphic of the preliminary schematic will be coming soon.
Continued DGSOM Engagement - I continue to engage with members of our community to refine the above mentioned products. In May we held two receptions for department delegates around the emerging content areas. Faculty members contributed refinements to the twenty two emerging areas. In the first week of June we invited students to participate in an evening presentation of the curriculums schematic and guiding principles. I was delighted to see many students in-person and online participate in a vibrant discussion.
Our next steps are to finalize the planning committees and structure for Phase III. We will consider all interest submitted through various events and online forms. As we begin this next phase, I look forward to continuing to engage with the DGSOM community.
As we continue our curriculum redesign efforts, I’m inspired by the continued high level of interest and engagement shown by faculty, staff, and students in the process of creating our new curriculum. The steering committee now stands ready to launch the next phase (Phase III – the How), as we start to sketch out the detailed plan for the overall structure of the curriculum and specifically define the courses and other activities that will be its component parts.
We continue to analyze and validate data to inform the next phase, while also implementing planned curriculum redesign activities for the DGSOM community. The feedback and ideas we have received through these events has been extremely helpful.
MEC Retreat - This year’s annual MEC retreat focused entirely on curriculum redesign, specifically creating a shared “philosophy of teaching,” as well as capturing blue skies thinking on overall structure for the new curriculum. I was delighted to see the vibrant discussion and creative thinking during the meeting. Participants provided valuable input towards the creation of our philosophy of teaching and many promising and creative ideas around curriculum structures. The image on the right represents one of many structures sketched by MEC participants.
Deans Council Meeting – I presented the progress we have made in redesigning our curriculum at the monthly Dean’s Council meeting. Together we reviewed and discussed curricular structures from peer institutions. Some of our department chairs have generously offered to invite their colleagues from peer institution to discuss their programs experience implementing a new curriculum. I look forward to continuing the dialogue.
Department Engagement – To continue engagement with departments I have proposed an activity in April/May for department chairs and assigned delegates to provide further feedback on emerging themes and topics. We will be hosting two evening receptions for department chairs and their appointed delegates to react to poster presentations on the emerging themes and topics from Phase II, offer insights, identify anything that’s missing, and have an opportunity to provide additional ideas.
Finally, student engagement is vital and in the coming weeks I will engage with the Student Leadership Council to brainstorm activities to continue engagement with students as we wrap up Phase II.
We’ve built an incredible foundation for our work. There’s still lots to do, but we have momentum, and the vision of a new curriculum will soon be taking more concrete shape.
Regards,Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, MPH, MACP Professor of Medicine Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld Chair in Medical Education Vice Dean for Education, DGSOM Chief Medical Education Officer, UCLA Health System
Our redesign continues to move forward with great energy and important, exciting progress. We kicked off 2019 sorting through and distilling the hundreds of great ideas collected in Phase II. These ideas came from the four workgroups, over 400 ideas received through the Request for Ideas (RFI), the traveling poster and more. As we began formally sorting these ideas for themes, five categories emerged: New/Emerging Content, Unique Structures, Desired Outcomes, an explicit Philosophy of Teaching, and the Learner Experience. The “New/Emerging Content” category, for example, includes 22 topics areas, with many more great ideas within the other categories.
On February 11, 2019 we held a Mini-Retreat of all workgroups including the Curriculum Redesign Steering Committee. During the retreat participants engaged in two activities, one structured as a gallery walk to validate and refine these 22 content areas. The second was a World Café format group discussion addressing seven structured questions. I was delighted with and inspired by the active engagement and energy of the retreat participation and the outputs from the retreat. In the weeks ahead, we plan to digest all of the valuable feedback to inform the structure of the work in Phase III.
There will soon be many opportunities for members of our community to get engaged in Phase III. If you would like to participate in Phase III of the curriculum redesign process, please send an email to email@example.com indicating which category or topic area you are interested in.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming MEC retreat on April 1st where we will continue to advance our work around Curriculum Redesign.
As we wrap up Phase II of the curriculum redesign process I am happy to report that we have made tremendous progress and are on track to beginning the next phase in 2019.
Since my last update, all four workgroups (mindset, skillset, foundational knowledge, and leadership & engagement) completed six workgroup meetings putting together what I believe to be a thoughtful and comprehensive list of “what” elements. I am grateful to all workgroup members for their generous participation and meaningful contributions.
As part of the Request for Ideas (RFI) process we received over 300 ideas of what should be in the new curriculum from faculty, students, staff, alumni, and others. Submitted ideas were reviewed by all workgroups and the steering committee. Finally, our Traveling Poster has been making the rounds at various locations, including: pediatric, anesthesiology, medicine, and surgery grand rounds as well as around Geffen Hall. We have enjoyed the engagement with faculty, students, and residents.
In 2019 we will begin distilling all the information we have collected into phase III (the “how” phase). I look forward to continuing to be engaged with the DGSOM community throughout this process as we develop a transformative MD curriculum.
Regards, Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, MPH, MACP Professor of Medicine Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld Chair in Medical Education Vice Dean for Education, DGSOM Chief Medical Education Officer, UCLA Health System
Since my last update in February, our curriculum redesign effort has made tremendous progress. Our work in Phase I on the defining purpose – “Finding our Why” – culminated this past spring at our annual retreat for the Medical Education Committee (MEC). MEC members worked in small groups to discuss variations on our “why.” Eventually the entire group engaged in a process to reach consensus on our “Why” statement. We then shared this with the FEC, which engaged in rich conversation. The result of the process is a working statement of purpose for our education of medical students; our answer to “why:”
“To empower students to become physicians committed to excellence and leaders in innovation, research, health, education, advocacy and humanistic care.”
With Phase I now complete, the Curriculum Redesign Steering Committee (CRSC) has launched Phase II of the redesign process. In this phase, our goal is to define the “what” of the new curriculum: what elements or features need to be in the new curriculum to enable us to achieve the goals in our “why.” We formed four workgroups, inviting a wide range of individuals to participate. We’ve included a diverse group of stakeholders including faculty (from both clinical and basic science departments), education staff, residents, and students. All workgroup meetings are led by skilled facilitators involved in the CRSC, with the goal of generating a wide range of ideas.
Workgroup meetings began in early October, and all workgroups will complete six meetings by December 2018. The idea generation has been nothing short of inspiring, with dozens of rich and thoughtful contributions.
Later in Phase II, we will be expanding this idea generation to the entire DGSOM community. Stay tuned in coming weeks for the opportunity to submit your ideas on “what should be in our new curriculum.”
Since the beginning of the new year, we have been continuing conversations far and wide about the defining purpose of our medical school’s education program (our “why”), the answer to which is the critical foundation for our curriculum redesign effort. We’ve had the opportunity to hear from faculty, students, and staff, in multiple venues. We’ve presented at Town Halls with staff and students, meetings with student leadership, departmental faculty meetings, faculty retreats and more. Many of you have also written to us with valuable suggestions and reflections, and we’ve enjoyed the many informal “elevator” conversations and sharing of ideas. Finally, we’ve been in regular communication with our Medical Education Committee (MEC) and Faculty Executive Committee (FEC), providing updates and soliciting input and support.
In addition to this internal conversation, we’ve been engaging in conversation with colleagues at several peer institutions, including Harvard, University of Michigan, NYU, Vanderbilt, University of Washington, University of Vermont, and others, about their own approach to curriculum redesign, not to emulate, but to learn from their insights into the process. In the end, we need to design a new curriculum that uniquely aligns with our values and goals.
The Steering Committee is nearing completion on the structure of Working Groups that will guide the next phase of the process, in which we seek to turn emerging themes into design elements for our new curriculum. Once finalized, we will announce them and begin to populate the Working Groups with interested faculty, staff, students, and others.
To facilitate the ongoing conversation and as a way to engage you in the next stages in the process, we’re pleased to announce the launch of a new website. The site will provide regular updates, access to source documents that we have been consulting along the way, and copies of presentations given. In addition, the site has a feature that enables you to give your own commentary about “why” and to sign up for more formal participation in the stages to follow. We hope you will visit the website, early and often.
Like any significant change effort, this curriculum redesign initiative is both exciting and daunting. We now have significant momentum in defining the values and principles that shall be our guide, and with that we are on the right trajectory towards success.
Clarence H. Braddock III, MD, MPH, MACP Professor of Medicine Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld Chair in Medical Education Vice Dean for Education, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Chief Medical Education Officer, UCLA Health System
Gary Schiller, MD, FACP Professor of Medicine Director, Hematological Malignancies/Stem Cell Transplantation Unit Immediate Past-Chair, Faculty Executive Committee David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
As we move forward with our work on curriculum redesign for the medical school, I wanted to thank all of you for your comments and input to date. Beginning with the conversation we had at the Executive Advisory Committee a little over a month ago, I’ve been grateful for the many insightful email messages, conversations in the hallway/parking lot, and more that I’ve enjoyed. These rich interactions are helping to make this important phase of the process, finding our “why,” as comprehensive and inclusive as it needs to be. To that end, I have an additional request of you.
Beginning in early 2018, the members of the Steering Committee and I would like to seek opportunities to share with your faculty the current state of our thinking, and invite them the opportunity to offer their own reflections and thoughts.
Gary Schiller, MD Immediate Past-Chair, FEC Co-Chair Curriculum Redesign Steering Committee
"The purpose of the “why” is to define what unique values of scholarship the graduate of DGSOM will bring to a lifetime of patient care and clinical inquiry. From that sense of purpose we shall develop our mission that will be translated to our policies of admissions, our curriculum, and our research purpose, and all the facets of the School of Medicine"- Gary Schiller, MDCo-Chair Curriculum Redesign Steering Committee
Not only will this increase the number of great insights and ideas, but will also increase the level of engagement by our faculty in the curriculum redesign process in particular, and medical student education more broadly - perhaps the greater goal of this effort. As an example, we have prepared a brief presentation that could be delivered at departmental grand rounds or faculty meetings, including the short Simon Sinek video, which could be followed by an open conversation about the “why.” Such sessions would also stimulate more conversation around the proverbial “water cooler,” furthering our work in this important phase. I have become even more convinced that if we can get a clearer community consensus on “why,” we can develop a new curriculum that goes beyond mere rearrangement to a more fundamental and purposeful transformation of the educational experience that resonates with and advances our values.
I’m writing to give you a brief update on our progress on curriculum redesign for our MD program. Since launching the effort last summer, the Dean’s Office and FEC leadership have been quite active. We formed a Steering Committee, consisting of MD program leaders, FEC leaders, and the Co-Chairs of our Medical Education Committee (MEC), the subcommittee of FEC with direct oversight of the MD curriculum.
Members of the Curriculum Redesign Steering Committee are listed below:
The steering committee has held several meetings defining the focus of Phase I of the redesign effort, “Defining Our Purpose." The group recognized the importance of initiating a community conversation to clarify and reach shared understanding of the defining purpose of our MD program. It is of course obvious that the purpose is to prepare future physicians, but the deeper question is why are we training future physicians. What is our aspiration for our graduates? How will our training of future physicians impact health and health care? The steering committee’s thinking on this was shaped by a provocative Ted talk by management theorist, Simon Sinek. Sinek’s talk described the “golden circle,” a model that describes how organizations always know what they do, and how they do it, but rarely gain a shared understanding of why. Sinek suggests, and the Steering Committee believes, that clarity on this why question will guide in the deliberation of the what and how.
Watch the talk
Guided by this “why” question, the Steering Committee has launched a community conversation, soliciting views from faculty, staff, students, and leaders on this question. We’ve discussed this at town halls, student council meetings, the UCLA Health Executive Advisory Council, and more. The conversation will continue, and has already yielded several emerging themes. The Steering Committee has also begun reviewing important papers from the literature on promising new thought in medical education, several recent Task Force reports commissioned by MEC, and the Education Strategic Narrative, a guiding document written for members of the education team.
Our next step is to collate and analyze all the views on why from the DGSOM community, with the goal of identifying cross-cutting themes that will guide deeper exploration in Phase II, “Translating Themes into Design Elements.” We will organize several working groups, each tied to one of these emerging themes, which we hope to finalize over the next few weeks. Shortly before the holiday break, we anticipate offering an invitation to the community to join these working groups. Beginning in January 2018, the working groups will begin their deliberation, each charged to identify design elements that would advance the goal articulated by the theme.
The work on Curriculum Redesign to date has been lively and engaging for the entire DGSOM community, and aligns well with broader efforts within the Strategic Plan Refresh. Both efforts represent an important “step back” to reflect on our organizational values and priorities, a process that can reaffirm the deeper purpose of what we do, and guide our path for years to come. We have a lot of work ahead, but are off to an exciting start!
For those interested in learning more about the Curriculum Redesign effort, please feel free to write to me or other members of the Steering Committee, and stay tuned for the launch of a website that will track the effort, give access to important source documents, and enable members of the community to submit thoughts and questions to the process.