Guiding Principles for Curriculum Change


The New Directions Task Force is committed to revitalization of the Upstate medical student curriculum. The Task Force is a think-tank for developing innovative educational curricular changes that address pedagogy, technology, learner-centeredness, and the needs of patients and populations.

In accordance with Upstate's mission to improve the health of the communities we serve, approaches to learning will build on our tradition of excellence in patient care, scholarship, leadership, teamwork, unique and integrated learning experiences, and enhancement of skills for lifelong learning.

Guiding Principles and Educational Program Objectives

Early in its work, the NDTF created the Guiding Principles and recommended College of Medicine Competencies and Educational Program Objectives. NDTF members met with College of Medicine faculty and student focus groups. Faculty and students were also surveyed regarding these competencies. The competencies and objectives were approved by the newly established Curriculum Committee.

The New Directions Task Force will be guided by the following principles:

Guiding Principles

In our work in redesigning the medical school curriculum at Upstate Medical University, we will be guided by the following principles:

  1. The Content of the Curriculum will:
    1. Be responsive to societal needs, physician practice patterns, national standards, and developments in biomedical science.
    2. Be focused on Upstate Medical University's Graduation Competencies and Educational Program Objectives.
    3. Emphasize the longitudinal integration of early clinical exposure and relevant biomedical sciences into the evidence-base of clinical medicine.
    4. Equip students with the skills for and commitment to lifelong and active learning in the areas of:
      1. Critical thinking and self-directed learning
      2. Information management and technology
      3. Continuous quality assessment and improvement in healthcare delivery
    5. Incorporate opportunities for student-directed experiential learning in research, scholarship, and service.
    6. Provide students with the knowledge and communication skills to:
      1. Comprehend and manage socially, biologically and economically diverse patients
      2. Devise healthcare plans and partnerships centered on the patient's needs
    7. Integrate instruction in professional development topics:
      1. Ethics and professional responsibility
      2. Personal health and stress management
      3. Time management
  2. The Delivery of the Curriculum will:
    1. Be respectful of and responsive to the needs of students.
    2. Be designed to evolve with changes in societal needs, national standards, and technological enhancements.
    3. Emphasize both efficiency and logical sequencing, and eliminate unintentional repetition and outmoded information.
    4. Be based on active learning principles, best educational practice and research-based educational principles.
    5. Incorporate early authentic clinical experiences from the first year.
  3. The Student Assessments will:
    1. Be developed using Upstate Medical University's Graduation Competencies and Educational Program Objectives.
    2. Emphasize authenticity with respect to the work of a physician.
    3. Be structured to accommodate the development of new physicians.
  4. Continuous Improvement of the Curriculum will be provided by a system that incorporates:
    1. Continuous educational quality assessment and improvement.
    2. Ongoing review and feedback by students and faculty.
    3. Input and opinion from relevant stakeholders.
    4. Support and opportunity for the study of educational innovations.

Final NDTF Recommendations