Why Change?

Why is the curriculum at YSM being rebuilt?

Yale School of Medicine is proud of its medical education program, and continues to graduate exceptional physicians who match at outstanding residency programs and go on to careers of distinction. Yet the continuous and dramatic changes occurring in science, medical practice, educational pedagogy, and accreditation requirements have caused us to take a fresh look at our curriculum and use this opportunity to reshape it in new and responsive ways. Important factors that have driven this curricular renewal are:

  • The rapid explosion of knowledge in the basic sciences, including remarkable advances in molecular biology (i.e. proteomics, genomics) that increasingly inform our understanding of disease, lead to the development of new treatments, and offer hope for cures.
  • The evolution in medical practice, including the shift in focus of care from the hospital to the outpatient setting, the increasingly diverse patient population, the growing rate of chronic illness, the need to work in multidisciplinary teams, and the expectations for 
fiscal accountability.
  • The advancements in education based on current learning theory, opportunities afforded by rapidly evolving technologies and changing expectations of our students, including greater use of small group interactive teaching, opportunities for Web-based learning, and the growing use of simulation utilizing high-fidelity mannequins, standardized patient programs, etc. 
  • The impact and importance of evolving accreditation standards.

With all of this in mind, the Strategic Planning Committee for Medical Education conducted a detailed review of the Yale Medical Education program and recommended that the school rebuild the curriculum from the ground up and elevate the status of teaching at Yale, developing programs and initiatives to support and reward teaching.