At the University of Chicago, an Effort to Achieve Faculty Consensus for Change

In 1990 and 1991, the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine sought to achieve consensus among the faculty regarding curriculum changes.

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

Key Results

Working with a broad range of faculty led by department chairs, the University reached consensus in the following areas:

  • Physical diagnosis and clinical exposure to occur extensively in year one, with ambulatory experiences as early as the second year.
  • Reduction of lectures in favor of small group discussions and independent learning.
  • Emphasis on the relationship of medicine to important sociological issues, by means of a more rigorous academic program and personal experience by students.
  • Addition of new course work, most notably a freestanding course on nutrition.
  • Adoption of new teaching techniques by basic science faculty members, incorporating independent learning and small group teaching.
  • Implementation of governance and fiscal structures necessary to ensure appropriate resources for medical education.