Most medical schools recognize the growing need for future practitioners to know basic aspects of behavioral health and social science, yet pervasive challenges in teaching these topics impact the effective learning of the essential skills, knowledge, and attitudes. 1) Often behavioral and social science content is not integrated with what is traditionally viewed as the """"""""core"""""""" curriculum, causing students, and faculty to view these topics as less important than others in the curriculum. 2) The effective teaching of behavioral health skills requires small-group instruction and practice, necessitating a large number of well-trained faculty tutors. Preparing these tutors to convey the necessary knowledge and attitudes as well as the skills presents a major challenge for medical schools. 3) Preparation for the rapidly changing world of medicine necessitates that students learn more than how to perform specific skills. Students need to learn to assess the evidence for doing something in a particular way, and the underlying theory as to why it works. At UCLA there is an established, integrated curriculum in behavioral science and extensive training available for faculty teachers. Thus the primary challenge, and the one to which this proposal is directed, is to bring in competencies in the """"""""why"""""""" as well as the """"""""how."""""""" The overall goals of this proposal are to develop 1) curricular modules demonstrating the evidence base for behavioral sciences, 2) effective faculty development materials, and 3) valid and reliable assessment tools that illuminate the evidence base and attitudes behind the skills and knowledge we are teaching, and to 4) disseminate these materials to other medical schools. This will be done by a Curricular Planning Committee, under the direction of Margaret Stuber, M.D. An Expert Consensus Panel of content experts from a variety of medical specialties, public health, health psychology, and medical anthropology, as well as students, consultants from RAND, the community, and other schools of medicine, will contribute a public health and research perspective to the content.
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