Creating a Medical Curriculum for the Future
So that graduates leave Jefferson Medical College (JMC) ready
to practice medicine 21st-century style, the office of the associate dean
for academic affairs is assisting the faculty in forging significant changes
into the curriculum. Below are some highlights of that effort.
Pennsylvania Generalist Initiative
With funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Jefferson is in the
midst of a four-year effort to encourage the development of generalist physicians.
Previous electives or pilot programs involving direct patient contact and
limited to only a few students are now part of the curriculum for all first-
and second-year students. For instance, in a new clinical skills laboratory
recently integrated into the curriculum, Jefferson nurse practitioners supervise
students while they learn universal precautions against infection, techniques
to keep surroundings sterile and the measurement of vital signs.
Howard K. Rabinowitz, MD, professor of family medicine, and Jon Veloski,
MS, director of Research in Medical Education of the Center for Research
in Medical Education and Health Care, received funding from the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation for a two-year collaborative feasibility study to develop
a statewide physician career-tracking system ­p; one of the original
objectives of the commonwealth in funding the Generalist Initiative. Through
this effort, Jefferson will be completing one of our contract conditions,
the development of a uniform statewide tracking system.
With the participation of the Generalist Physician Advisory Committee, the
Curriculum Committee has put in place the first phase of a longitudinal
patient-centered curriculum that will emphasize clinical skills and case-based
learning throughout the first two years.
Medical Scholars Program (MSP)
Under this program, selected University of Delaware students commit themselves
in the second half of their sophomore year to attaining their medical degree
at Jefferson with the possibility of completing a residency program in a
Five MSP students are in the Class of '98, and 10 are in the Class of '99.
The staff and faculty have been coordinating, developing and teaching three
courses: Basic Science Problem-based Learning, Medical Humanities and Community
Health Seminars and Practicum.
Bridging the Gaps
This program, also designed to give students community health and service
experience, is managed by a consortium of area medical and health-professions
schools. Jefferson's Bridging the Gaps program receives funds from the consortium,
as well as generous contributions from the College of Allied Health Sciences
(CAHS) and several JMC departments. Fifty Jefferson students applied to
the 1995 program, and 26 were selected ­p; 16 from JMC and 10 from CAHS.
Student projects focused on areas such as adult and adolescent homelessness,
child health information, health literacy, tuberculosis treatment and nutrition,
in the City's federally funded Empowerment Zone.
Health of the Public
Among the principal objectives of this project is participation by academic
medical centers in creating community-oriented curriculum and experiences
for health-professions students. More than 300 students and 50 faculty participated
in the student-run JeffH.O.P.E. clinic program during the 1994-95 academic
year. Collaborative learning and care-giving have expanded, with CAHS faculty
and students teaching JMC Medical Scholars from the MSP program about allied
health therapies suitable for the homeless population.
Health of the Public has helped sponsor student research projects related
to community health. Among these are:
JMC Personnel Designing 21st Century Curriculum
- Health Status and Physical Function of the Homeless
- The New Parent Support Project
- Outcomes of a Health Care Advocacy Program for the Homeless
Sylvia Fields, RN, EdD, director, generalist curriculum development
Jonathan E. Gottlieb, MD, associate dean for academic affairs and associate
professor of medicine/pulmonary medicine and critical care
Madhu P. Kalia, MD, PhD, MBA, section head, problem-based learning and professor
of pharmacology and of neurosurgery
James D. Plumb, MD, coordinator, patient-centered curriculum and assistant
professor of family medicine
Susan L. Rattner, MD, assistant dean, academic affairs and clinical assistant
professor of medicine/internal medicine
Steven Rosenzweig, MD, section head, medical humanities, and clinical assistant
professor of surgery
Claudia Siegel, MPA, coordinator, primary and community care programs.