Our current curriculum is a very good curriculum. We graduate exemplary MDs year after year. Therefore, one of the questions we are frequently asked about the curriculum renewal process is “why change it?”
There have been a lot of changes to health care since we last renewed our curriculum in 1997. One of the biggest has been the advancement in our scientific knowledge. Another is in our ability to use technology. Within our province-wide distributed MD program, we have embraced technological changes and innovations and we are now able to support learners in all areas of British Columbia.
In the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC)’s “Future of Medical Education” project, there were a number of recommendations about the curriculum of medical schools across Canada and how they would have to change to meet future needs. Our renewed curriculum embraces all of these recommendations.
There are some important changes happening in postgraduate medicine such as competency based learning and assessment. One of the key changes to our undergraduate curriculum will be a move towards competency-based assessment of our students as this will better prepare them for residency. We will also be training our students to use ePortfolios, which are going to be required not just of medical residents, but also of practicing physicians. Finally, we have embedded the CanMeds roles which are going to be required of both residents and physicians.
As we look forward and see some of the changes in health care, we need to adapt and continually improve our curriculum to best prepare our students for success both as residents and physicians who will be able to flourish in the environment as it continues to change over the years.