The Interdisciplinary Generalist Curriculum (IGC) Project at the Medical College of Ohio sought to develop and introduce a new required preclinical community-based ambulatory experience and to incorporate existing clinically oriented courses in the first two years into one specific curriculum. The major portion of the IGC was the Introduction to Primary Care (IPC), which consisted of 180 hours of new and restructured curriculum time in the first and second years. It included a community-based ambulatory care experience involving students spending time with community-based preceptors, problem-based group discussions with two generalists of different backgrounds, patient-centered workshops in primary care during both first and second years, an in-depth experience in the first year for students who worked with preceptors for two full days, and the development of a two-day clinical assessment and feedback session just prior to entry into the third clinical year.
The IGC Project progressed as planned with two major exceptions. The problem-based group discussions were difficult to coordinate with schedules of two physicians as well as the busy schedules of four students, and were adapted after the initial experience so that at least one preceptor attended each meeting. The second difficulty involved coordinating with other clinical departments to effect a true change in the culture of the institution.
Nonetheless, as a result of having the IGC Project at the Medical College of Ohio, the curriculum has been revised to incorporate all of the basic IGC concepts and principles. Other results are the development of objective structured clinical examinations that are held at the end of the first and second years and institution of the primary care block in the third year, which have provided the impetus for the establishment of a clinical skills assessment center.