Drexel medical school to overhaul curriculum, focus on online learning

Philadelphia-based Drexel University College of Medicine has unveiled massive changes to its MD curriculum to better prepare future physicians to practice in the 21st century.

The new curriculum, which will be implemented in August 2017, will focus more on problem solving and teamwork than memorizing facts. Much of the learning will be self-directed and take place online, with class time being used to work in teams to apply knowledge.

Additionally, MD students will take four one-week courses outside of the college of medicine in areas like health informatics, population health, biotechnology or healthcare finance.

According to Valerie Weber, MD, vice dean for educational affairs in the college of medicine, the new curriculum should help create more thoughtful physicians who can work in teams and use critical thinking to solve problems.

"If you are in a clinical situation, you need to be able assess your gap in knowledge. You first ask what knowledge you need to solve the problem, then decide where to access that information and how it applies to your particular patient," she said. "We need to teach future physicians that continuous cycle of quality improvement."

It took two years and input from current students, faculty, Drexel alumni and national medical education experts to create this new curriculum.

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