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Medical Education
Bridges Curriculum

Design Process

The Bridges Charter

The UCSF Bridges Curriculum will prepare the 21st century physician to work collaboratively in promoting health and reducing suffering while continually improving our health care system. Our students will contribute to improving healthcare outcomes today while being educated to work within complex systems to improve health care tomorrow.

Rationale for change

Despite years of dramatic advances in biomedical science and over a decade of attention to the problems of quality and safety issues, progress towards achieving the IOM goals for high quality health care has been slow. Medical education is part of the problem. If medical education is to fulfill its social contract and work to ensure that all members of our society have access to care that is safe, timely, effective, efficient, cost conscious and patient centered, it is time for a major change.

Read the full Bridges Charter

Curriculum Development Stages: 2012-2016

1. Vision: Work to define the vision for the Bridges Curriculum began in 2012 through broad stakeholder engagement, which included collaborators such as the UCSF Medical Center, SF-VA Medical Center, SF General Hospital, and Kaiser Permanente.The BLD (Bridges Leadership and Design) Committee was comprised of experts from many fields and across sites who worked to define the enduring and emerging characteristics of the 21st Century Physician. The collaborative, inquisitive, patient-centered physician would drive the design of the curriculum.

The UC San Francisco School of Medicine successfully competed for an AMA grant to “accelerate change in medical education". The grant provides funding towards the curriculum redesign process.

2. Design: In 2013 the BLDIng (Bridges Leadership Design and Integration) committee oversaw the work of five key steering committees to create a curriculum structure. Faculty, students and staff participated in the year-long design process which resulted in the Bridges curriculum blueprint. The structure is a three-phase, fully integrated curriculum delivered over four years. The curriculum is broken into three phases (Foundations I, Foundations II and Career Launch) with three curricular elements (foundational sciences, clinical and systems applications, and inquiry activities) embedded through the three phases.

3. Development: In 2014, work began on the build-out of the curriculum based on the blueprint structure that was created in the design phase. This phase moved away from committee-driven work to a focused project management approach.  A full time project manager and faculty leads were appointed to oversee the development of key curriculum elements. Components of the curriculum are being phased in slowly between 2014 and 2016 with the entire Bridges Curriculum launching in fall of 2016.

4. Implementation: In 2015, implementation began on some elements of the Bridges Curriculum such as longitudinal clerkships with systems improvement opportunities and use of asynchronous learning. This phase will also include development of a new series of Foundations I core integrated courses and planning for the student advising system.

5. Launch: 2016 saw the full launch of the Bridges Curriculum in which the graduating class of 2020 will experience all phases of the Bridges Curriculum. This period will include intense evaluation and quality improvement of the new curriculum.