Evaluation of a national curriculum reform effort for the medicine core clerkship

R S Jablonover, D J Blackman, E B Bass, G Morrison, A H Goroll
Journal of General Internal Medicine 2000, 15 (7): 484-91

BACKGROUND: In 1995, the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) developed and disseminated a new model curriculum for the medicine core clerkship that was designed to enhance learning of generalist competencies and increase interest in general internal medicine.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the dissemination and use of the resulting SGIM/CDIM Core Medicine Clerkship Curriculum Guide.

DESIGN: Survey of internal medicine clerkship directors at the 125 medical schools in the United States.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The questionnaire elicited information about the use and usefulness of the Guide and each of its components, barriers to effective use of the Guide, and outcomes associated with use of the Guide. Responses were received from 95 clerkship directors, representing 88 (70%) of the 125 medical schools. Eighty-seven (92%) of the 95 respondents were familiar with the Guide, and 80 respondents had used it. The 4 components used most frequently were the basic generalist competencies (used by 83% of those familiar with the Guide), learning objectives for these competencies (used by 83%), learning objectives for training problems (used by 70%), and specific training problems (used by 67%); 74% to 85% of those using these components found them moderately or very useful. The most frequently identified barriers to use of the Guide were insufficient faculty time, insufficient number of ambulatory care preceptors and training sites, and need for more faculty development. About 30% or more of those familiar with the Guide reported that use of the Guide was associated with improved ability to meet clerkship accreditation criteria, improved performance of students on the clerkship exam, and increased clerkship time devoted to ambulatory care.

CONCLUSION: This federally supported initiative that engaged the collaborative efforts of the SGIM and the CDIM was successful in facilitating significant changes in the medicine core clerkship across the United States.

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