U of Vermont College of Medicine to scrap all lecture courses by 2022

Following a $66M gift and a name change, Burlington-based University of Vermont College of Medicine plans to eliminate all lecture classes by 2022, reports Inside Higher Ed.

The medical school will replace lectures with videos students can watch on their own. The students will then meet in "active learning" classrooms, where they'll work with classmates and faculty members.

"We teach evidence-based medicine all the time. If you have the evidence to show one treatment is better than the other, you would naturally use that treatment," said William Jeffries, PhD, senior associate dean for medical education at UVM. "So if we know that there are methods superior to lecturing, why are we lecturing at all?"

The transition to a lecture-free curriculum has already begun. Two years ago, 50 percent of the medical school's curriculum was made up of lecture classes. Now, that number has decreased to 40 percent. Faculty members will create a five-year curriculum plan at a retreat in February.

This is the first time an Association of American Medical Colleges member has revealed plans to halt lecture courses, according to Lisa Howley, PhD, AAMC's senior director of educational affairs.

The change comes after UVM announced a $66 million gift — the largest ever to a public university in New England — from alumnus Robert Larner, MD, and his wife Helen. In honor of the bequest, the medical school has been renamed The Robert Larner, MD, College of Medicine at The University of Vermont.

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