The 2020 Curriculum is structured very similarly to curriculum we’re currently experiencing. New students take the graduate school core course and medical school courses concurrently (fall semester), as well as attend our specific MSTP-specific M2M and MSTP lunch seminars. However, there are some major differences:
First, the MSTP grant writing course (aka: preliminary exam) will be moved to the summer semester of the first year, rather than in the spring semester as it is now.
Second, every medical school course block will be shortened by ~2 weeks, so students will finish all didactic classes by December (18 months) before taking USMLE STEP 1 in January/February. This should allow students to finish a second rotation and start PhD thesis years earlier than traditionally.
Absolutely not! Having less didactic lectures actually frees up more study time for Step 1 (which students will say is more important than lectures). Instead of the classic 4-weeks of study-time, MSTP students will have 6-weeks to take Step 1 before entering a lab rotation. Also, students could start in their thesis lab and PhD Program earlier than our previous timeline. If anything, we feel the 2020 hybrid year is an improvement upon previous years.
The Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum (LIC) is structured such that there is a cohort of 10-12 students overseen by a physician. As the name suggests, students will attend multiple clinical rotations concurrently for a longer period of time. For example, on Monday mornings they might have surgery and in the afternoon psychology and on Tuesdays dermatology. The promise being that students will integrate knowledge better if exposed long-term. This is modeled after similar curriculums present at Duke, Cumming (Calgary), and Vanderbilt.
Dr. Sarah Faubel is overseeing and designing our MSTP-specific LIC. The LIC is meant to bridge the gap between our scientific training and medicine by engaging our hypothesis-driven thought processes with clinical diagnoses. We will receive didactic lectures on how lab tests (such as the CBC) are run and how to interpret data from multiple tests (dealing with outliers and so forth). We believe the LIC will provide more comprehensive training pertinent for MSTPs, making the curriculum a significant improvement.
We feel the only disadvantage is it is a newer curriculum, but LICs are currently being run at Denver Health Hospital as well as the university-affiliated Colorado Springs hospitals. By the time that the class of 2020 students enter the LIC after completing their PhD training, any issues in the first few years should be resolved.
Anyone in SOM and/or MSTP administration. On the student side, anyone on the previous and current student curriculum reform group would be a good resource.