Innovative Medical Schools Achieve Curriculum Reform

Expansion of policy analysis of medical education reform

In 1993, Harvard University School of Public Health produced a report on innovations in medical education at American and Canadian medical schools.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program Preparing Physicians for the Future: A Program in Medical Education.

Key Findings

  • The investigators examined eight American and two Canadian medical schools that had undertaken serious efforts to design and implement significant reform before 1990, and reported the following findings to RWJF:

    • Smaller schools were more likely to reform their medical training programs than were larger schools.
    • Bigger schools are less affected by turbulence in their external environments than smaller schools.
    • Smaller schools may also be less able to implement and institutionalize reforms because of resistance from faculty and administration.
    • Public schools can innovate as boldly as private schools.
    • Younger schools were the broader-scope innovators.