The McMaster M.D. program: a case study of renewal in medical education

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This paper presents four aspects of health professions education at McMaster University: (1) a review of the key elements of the history and distinctive approach of the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program; (2) a description of the process and substance of curriculum change over the past decade, focusing on a major revision of the M.D. program that began in 1983; (3) a summary of the findings of follow-up studies of McMaster M.D. program graduates; and (4) an analysis of the current context within which the Faculty of Health Sciences (of which the M.D. program is a part) is operating and a description of strategies for renewal that are being implemented. The evidence and experience to date support the assertion that satisfactory–and in some ways special–physicians can be prepared using the “McMaster approach” to medical education, but that continuous review and periodic major revisions of the educational program are both necessary and possible; they must occur in concert with developments in other sectors of Faculty of Health Sciences activities.

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