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IAMSE - Publications Committee Journal Review

Thursday, December 31, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to provide a ‘glimpse’ of a recent publication that is interesting and at the forefront of medical education. Given that the Medical Science Educator featured theme for 2015 has been “Integration”, the recent Online First Article (ISSN: 2156-8650) “A First-Year Medical School Course Integrating Development, Structure, and Function” by Jonassen et al. (, University of Massachusetts Medical School, is timely and on-target. The authors have integrated anatomy, development, histology and physiology into a single course on development, structure and function (DSF) for first-year medical students. The interdisciplinary format resulted in a 25% reduction in teaching time, an envious statistic, and maintenance of student performance on USMLE Step 1 scores. The DSF course covered 260-hours and occurred over a period of 5 months, using an interdisciplinary collaboration among basic science and clinical faculties. Approximately 50% of the course was lecture-based, with the remainder devoted to active- and experiential-learning exercises including problem-based sessions, laboratories, student-oriented response technology and simulation. This latter exercise has indeed become a unique and useful part of curricular formats at numerous medical schools, both national and international. 

As we move forward in medical education we are realizing the distinct value of integrating clinical science cases in basic science and the integration of basic science principles and knowledge into clinical medicine. In the continuum of medical education the evaluation of integrated curricula and impact on student knowledge should provide a better understanding of how integration provides a unique style for learning.

Floyd C. Knoop, Ph.D.
Member, IAMSE Publication Committee
IAMSE Editorial Board
Component I Director
Professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology
Creighton University School of Medicine

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