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Medical Education
Bridges Curriculum

April 2017 Curriculum Retreat Brings Excitement for Foundations 2

May 19, 2017

In January 2018, the Foundations 2 (F2) phase of the Bridges Curriculum will launch. This phase advances students’ patient care and systems improvement skills, and also revisits and builds upon core concepts in foundational science, in a “spiral learning” education method.

To plan for F2 implementation, 120 UCSF faculty, staff, and students gathered on April 21 for the Bridges Curriculum retreat at the Mission Bay Conference Center.

“Foundations 2 will immerse students in clerkships, inquiry, and advanced foundational sciences,” said Patricia Cornett, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine. “The Bridges Curriculum retreat was a pivotal forum to gather perspectives on elements that will be critical to ensuring a successful integration of foundational science with students’ learning in clinical settings.”

Associate Dean for Curriculum Susan Masters, PhD, gave an overview of F2 that was followed by a presentation on key elements of the Clinical Microsystems Clerkship (CMC). CMCs are shaping the clinical and systems skills that Bridges students will bring into F2. Dr. Masters highlighted how the students’ skills will differ from those of previous students entering the core clerkship curriculum phase.

The extraordinary value of coaches and mentors during Foundations 1 was expressed by all of the first-year medical students who spoke in a panel session moderated by Sara Clemons, Manager, Foundations 2. Several students also voiced appreciation for the diversity training received early in their medical career.

“I have so many memories of seeing diversity and equitable healthcare in action at UCSF,” said medical student Sarah Takimoto. “My favorite memories are witnessing UCSF members observe inequity, and then start nationwide movements to support increased education opportunities and access to healthcare for diverse groups. Not many institutions can say that. I am constantly amazed at the capability of my classmates and faculty at UCSF.”

Coaches who participated in a panel session noted the importance of reciprocal learning in which “coaches learn from the learners.”

Retreat participants’ collective creativity shone during breakout sessions in which the group brainstormed ways in F2 to partner with topic stewards to ensure coverage of curriculum topics; foster relationships with interdisciplinary co-workers; integrate foundational science into clinical clerkships; demonstrate diagnostic reasoning; set goals for students; develop physical examination skills, and; enable systems analysis to promote patient safety and quality of care.

The afternoon breakout session tasked clerkship-based groups to create a message about the Bridges students who will enter F2 in January 2018. They were asked to “Imagine yourself delivering an inspiring message to your clinical colleagues (faculty, residents, staff) about the Bridges students and what they will bring to their clinical rotations in your clerkship’s department. Consider how the Bridges students’ new knowledge and skills may be applied and enhanced during F2, especially within the core clerkships.”