Asthma is a disease in which prevalence and mortality are rising despite the availability of increasingly effective forms of therapy, suggesting that more efficacious methods of educating physicians and patients about asthma are necessary. At UAB, like many other medical centers around the country, education about asthma and related topics takes place at a variety of points during the learning process, from the first year of medical school through postgraduate CME programs for practicing physicians, and involves input from educators with a wide range of interests and expertise, from biochemistry and cell biology to behavioral science. There is, however, no mechanism for coordinating these educational activities to ensure that all of the important concepts in asthma care are taught at the various levels of medical education or for providing coordinated materials for use by the various individuals providing these educational experiences. The educational goals of this Asthma Academic Award proposal center on UNIFYING asthma education at UAB and in the community and state so that 3 important curricular themes are conveyed at all levels: (1) Basic Mechanisms of Airway Inflammation and Hyperreactivity, (2) Evaluation and Care of the Patient with Acute Asthma, and (3) Evaluation and Care of the Patient with Chronic Asthma (including Behavioral and Social Issues). At the various levels of asthma education, concepts relevant to these three unifying themes will be identified, and educational materials and activities will be prepared to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the asthma educational experience.
The SPECIFIC AIMS of this proposal are to: l. Assess the current undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate asthma educational programs at UAB; 2. Develop a general curricular approach that will UNIFY asthma teaching at all levels of medical education, from medical school through residency and fellowship programs to CME and community programs; 3. Develop specific curricula aimed at physicians providing asthma care to geriatric patients, obstetric patients and underserved populations (minority and rural); 4. Develop modular instructional materials that will allow these curricular programs to be used by different instructors both within the Medical Center and at other institutions; 5. Develop and test the effectiveness of an interactive computer-based, hypertext information resource on asthma pathogenesis, diagnosis and management that could be used by students, housestaff and practicing physicians.
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