The University of Wisconsin Medical School (UWMS) proposes an integrated, comprehensive new curriculum in basic and social sciences, the Partnerships in Health: BASIC Training in Medicine project. Largely following the recommendations of the 2004 Institute of Medicine's report """"""""Improving Medical Education: Enhancing the Behavioral and Social Science Content of Medical School Curricula"""""""", the curriculum will include six content domains: mind-body interactions, patient behavior, physician role and behavior, physician-patient interactions, social and cultural issues in health care, and health policy and economics. Like most medical schools, the UWMS is teaching variable content in most of these domains. The project seeks to elevate this curriculum content to a highly visible position in medical student training at large Midwestern medical school on a research-intensive campus. The BASIC (Behavioral And Social science Integrated Curriculum) Training in Medicine project will bring new partners to the curriculum planning team, experts from across the university in economics, education, law, nursing, medicine, psychology, sociology, policy and population health. The new curriculum will include new required courses and new course content across pre-clinical and clinical training, new multidisciplinary electives and a new required capstone integrating clinical experience. An evaluation plan is proposed that emphasizes new methods of assessment including self-reflection, attitude awareness, skills assessment and integration of content in applied settings. A new electronic learner portfolio tool will be developed to document and evaluate achievement of learning competencies. A plan to extend the curriculum to other learners and trainees, to enhance research in the six domains and to disseminate BASIC Training in Medicine innovations to other schools and disciplines is proposed. The BASIC Training in Medicine project will be led by the Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, joined by an experienced team of co- investigators who have served as course directors and department chairs. The UWMS is providing annual matching funds to support medical education curriculum innovations to ensure the success of this project and its continuation after the grant-funding period. This project will improve health care by teaching physicians about the importance of mind and body interactions in health and disease, improve their ability to assist patients to assess risks to their health and make changes in health behavior, to enhance their ability to communicate effectively with patients and to improve their skills and understanding of the importance of cultural and social influences on health.
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