5.2 Curriculum Oversight & Management

Curricular Oversight & Improvement

The undergraduate medical school curriculum at the University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) is designed to provide students with a strong scientific foundation and a comprehensive approach to clinical medicine.

The oversight and management of the curriculum, including the medical school program objectives and competencies, are the responsibility of Curriculum Committees, as established by the Dean for the School of Medicine.

The educational leadership, i.e., block, course and thread directors, teaching faculty, Associate Dean for Curriculum, and the Curriculum Committee and its subcommittees, have responsibility for developing and implementing a curriculum that is appropriate for the education and training of students for the practice of medicine. The curriculum is educationally equivalent at each Foundations site, and common examinations are given to ensure that all students achieve the same level of competence.

Processes are in place to ensure continuous quality improvement in the structure, content and processes of the curriculum. The Associate Dean for Educational Quality Improvement plays a key role in working with the Associate Dean for Curriculum, the Curriculum Committee, and other faculty involved in curriculum to ensure that continuous quality improvement is an ongoing priority.

WWAMI Medical Education Program

The University of Washington School of Medicine medical educational program is a regional, four-year MD program for residents of the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI). The UWSOM respects the universities housing the WWAMI program governance structures while maintaining program comparability and congruence across sites and meeting LCME standards.

The UWSOM’s Academic Affairs administration provides leadership and structure for ongoing communication and dialogue among faculty responsible for curriculum, student learning and evaluation at all sites. Common standards that apply to all WWAMI sites are expected for teaching faculty appointments, evaluation, and retention. Expectations of student participation and contribution to their learning in both coursework and patient care settings will be clearly communicated in a variety of settings. Each Foundation’s site structure is required to include a designated administrative position to manage all aspects of the delivery of the curriculum and support of its students in collaboration with the appropriate Academic Affairs Associate Deans.

The Academic Affairs and Regional Affairs educational leadership manage issues such as expansion of the number of students overall, number of students in Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST), WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience (WRITE), city and state based tracks and other special programs, development of additional first year or clinical sites, and the scope of the MD program delivered at all sites. Protocol for establishing and retaining clinical educational sites, including the creation of unique longitudinal sites will be followed.

In addition, the Office of Academic, Rural and Regional Affairs provides individual state legislatures information regarding state funding and programs, such as paybacks, that affect a state’s students. A unified educational planning approach in collaboration with the legislative process will support the maintenance of the standards of the medical student program and assist in developing sound state initiatives aimed at increasing the number of healthcare providers within the WWAMI region.