The Interdisciplinary Generalist Curriculum Project at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University


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Abstract

The Interdisciplinary Generalist Curriculum (IGC) Project was designed to enhance interest in and support of generalism during the first two years of medical education. The original goals at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University included the design and implementation of a core curriculum, Introduction to Patient Care (IPC), and enhancement of teaching excellence through faculty development. The core curriculum facilitated integration with the basic sciences and early introduction of physical examination skills, which were further developed in longitudinal clinical experiences with mentors. Although it was not originally intended to include basic scientists in the preceptor groups, they became important additions and created additional opportunities for interdisciplinary teaching and reciprocal learning. The mentor program, another well-received and intended curriculum change, evolved from a structured experience to a more flexible component of the curriculum. The program met the requirements of the IGC Project but 53% of the originally intended mentor time was achievable, due to curriculum constraints. Faculty development, another success, was originally intended to target IPC faculty but ultimately became a university-wide effort. The changes implemented as a result of the IGC Project continue to flourish beyond the funding period and have become integral aspects of the curriculum and the medical school.

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