University of Kentucky Reshapes Curriculum to Better Train Physicians

From 1990 to 1998, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine reshaped its curriculum to increase integration of clinical and basic science teaching, and implemented new teaching methods such as problem-based learning (PBL), standardized patients and computerized teaching.

In addition, the college established the Resource Center for Medical Education to meet the educational needs and enhance the teaching skills of faculty members. This process helped facilitate curricular innovations.

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

Key Results

  • The school established the Resource Center for Medical Education, consisting of a professional staff of education specialists and selected faculty noted for their interest in curriculum and expertise as teachers, to assist in faculty development.
  • The project established a Master Educator Program for recognizing and rewarding teaching excellence.
  • The school instituted closer integration between basic science and clinical teaching.
  • Project staff restructured the curriculum to include a variety of cross-disciplinary courses and clerkships.
  • The school instituted continuous reevaluation and restructuring of the curriculum.
  • The school began instruction in academic computing, along with the requirement that students purchase and use computers.
  • The school increased opportunities for learning in ambulatory and rural sites.