Harvard Medical School restructures curriculum: 4 things to know

Boston-based Harvard Medical School has revealed a number of changes to its curriculum that will change how its technologically savvy students learn, according to The Boston Globe.

Here are four things to know about the revamped curriculum.

1. The change in curriculum began this academic year. The first-year students at Harvard Medical School's Longwood campus are experiencing the new curriculum. The changes do not apply to returning students.

2. The curriculum will utilize technology to teach students. Instead of textbook reading and traditional lectures, the curriculum will include five- to eight-minute videos that describe various processes and procedures. "My job, in the time that we're together, student and teacher, is to teach you what you can't Google," said Richard M. Schwartzstein, MD, a Harvard professor. Students will also have the opportunity to reason through real-life problems and scenarios during class.

3. Students will work with patients earlier. In the past, students started clinical rotations during their third year of school. However, with the new model, students will begin clinical rotations during their second year. First-year students will also have hands-on time with patients once a week.

4. Other medical schools taken similar steps. Medical schools at Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University and New York City-based New York University have made comparable curriculum changes. Washington, D.C.-based Georgetown University School of Medicine and Philadelphia-based Drexel University College of Medicine are in the process of revamping their curriculum. Many of these changes were inspired by Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency, a 2010 book by Molly Cooke, MD, David Irby, PhD, and Bridget O'Brien, PhD.

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