Different educational stages of Curriculum Reform graphic

Curriculum Reform

From the Desk of Shanta Zimmer, Senior Associate Dean for Education

Trek Curriculum Outcomes 

Shanta Zimmer, MD(August, 2020​​) The first year of the Trek Curriculum is being launched this August for our incoming class of 2025. This launch comes after many discussions, retreats, brainstorming sessions and pilot programs throughout all years of the current curriculum with a variety of university stakeholders. The Trek Curriculum was developed with the focus on the pillars of Leadership, Curiosity and Commitment. These pillars represent elements that the CU School of Medicine wants all graduates to emulate, however this list is not all encompassing. The Curriculum Reform Leadership team additionally identified that the development and the design of the Trek Curriculum will touch on so much more than personal and professional identities of the graduates that will emerge as doctors. This initiative that started in 2017 will impact the curriculum, the faculty, the school itself and its health care partners.

To make sure we are thinking carefully about the impacts of our changes and the evaluation of the Trek curriculum, we have have thought carefully about differences that we hope to find after implementation of the Trek curriculum. Below you will find our initial thoughts on these differences and key outcomes we hope to measure. 

What will be different about graduates in 2025 and beyond?

  • Overall: Student satisfaction with the curriculum and the outcome of the residency match will increase. These elements will be measured by the self-reporting of students and an analysis of student residency program rankings based upon their acceptance and school reputation. 
  • Leadership: Students will graduate with documented leadership skills and an increasing number of our graduates will go on to leadership roles in their future careers. 
  • Curiosity: Students will demonstrate curiosity about patients and science and be better able to deal with uncertainty. They will demonstrate lifelong self-directed learning skills, utilize evidence-based practices and contribute to scholarship. 
  • Commitment: Students will have improved mental health, decreased burnout, and a stronger sense of professional identity. In addition, they will display increased commitment to society and engagement in the community as well as identify as anti-racists with commitments to underserved populations.

What will be different about the curriculum?

  • ​Both students and faculty will report an increase in intentional integration and spiraling of Basic Medical Science, Clinical Science and Health Systems Science throughout all four years. 
  • The emphasis on assessment for learning will allow for more detailed data on how each student is progressing through the curriculum and their unique strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Similar to the emphasis on lifelong learning for our students, the curriculum will deeply embrace the mindset of continuous quality improvement and adapt to make changes in real time.
  • The curriculum will intentionally provide opportunities for longitudinal relationships between students and teachers and students and patients. Students will increasingly report that faculty know them well and support them through medical school.
  • Students will report increased opportunities for individualization of the curriculum to meet their unique needs and interests. 

How will the CUSOM faculty be different?

  • Faculty will be more engaged in their role in the implementation and delivery of the curriculum.
  • Faculty satisfaction for their role, their teaching and the curriculum will be improved.
  • Basic Science Faculty will be reengaged in science and learning during the clinical years. 
  • Faculty will embrace the anti-racist mindset and foster that mindset in their students.
  • Faculty will demonstrate innovation and scholarship in medical education.

How will the school and health care partners be different?

  • The school and health care partners and collaborators will gain a national reputation for educational excellence and community engagement.
  • Healthcare partners and community members will report a positive impact from collaborating with CUSOM medical students.
  • Students will more actively assist and contribute to improvement of the health care systems. 

​Looking to the Future

While the goals outlined above are an initial approach to outcomes for the Trek Curriculum, the School of Medicine acknowledges that these outcomes will grow and develop over time. The desire for continuous improvement and understanding is fundamental to, not only the development of strong medical school graduates and doctors, but the medical community as a whole. As we look to the future of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, we welcome the people, ideas, and events that will change and transform our leaders, health care providers and medical education. 

Office of Student Life Contact Information 

Mailing address: 13001 East 17th Place, Mail Stop C292, Aurora, CO  80045
Location: Building 500, First Floor, Room N1219 ​
Phone: 303-724-6407
Vision: Our graduates will be physician leaders capable of transforming the health of diverse communities.

Mission: Through a longitudinally integrated curriculum, we aim to educate physician leaders who are curious, life-long learners with a commitment to serve the profession, our patients, and society. 

Values/Pillars: Leadership, Curiosity, Commitment

​Did You Know?

  • The University of Colorado School of Medicine was founded in 1883
  • The last major curriculum reform was implemented in 2006
  • Over 150 people attended the most recent curriculum reform kickoff in October 2017
  • Over 200 people: faculty, students, and community members are currently serving on Curriculum Reform subcommittees