Oregon Medical School Reforms and Broadens Its Curriculum

From 1990 to 1997, the School of Medicine of the Oregon Health Sciences University (now the Oregon Health & Science University) revised its curriculum so that it more strongly emphasizes ethical and societal concerns, humanism in the patient-doctor relationship, the importance of preventive medicine, care of the underserved, and independent, self-directed learning by students.

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 implemented a new curriculum, consisting of:
    • Clinical preceptorship experience early in the first year.
    • Interdisciplinary basic science courses.
    • Reduced lecture time.
    • Integration of basic and clinical sciences throughout the curriculum.
    • Increased experiences in primary and ambulatory care.
    • An expanded elective opportunity providing individual enrichment.
  • A reorganization of the Dean's Office resulted in increased personnel to support the educational program.
  • Central medical school administration emphasized the importance of teaching with bonuses and promotion incentives.