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Medical Education
Bridges Curriculum

Glossary of Terms

Asynchronous learning: Asynchronous learning is a student-centered teaching method that uses online learning resources to facilitate information sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a network of people. 

Assessment, Reflection, Coaching, Health (ARCH) weeks: are week-long periods that will occur during Foundations 1 in the Bridges Curriculum. The four ARCH weeks will include activities related to these six key themes: assessment, remediation, coaching, professional identity formation, well-being, and career exploration.

Capstone course: A classroom-based curriculum designed to provide just-in-time learning to prepare graduating students for internship.

Capstone event: Annual program‐wide event at which students present final work products using the accepted modes of dissemination including the submission of abstract, posters, and live presentation. Can include awards.

Career Launch: The third phase of the Bridges Curriculum that involves the clinical and the inquiry Deep Explore component. 

CEPAER: Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency defined by the AAMC. (Link

Checkpoint: In the Bridges Curriculum, a required weekly online assessment comprised of MCQ and OEQ types of questions.

Clinical Immersion Experiences (CIEx’s): Electives in F2 that are 2 or 4 weeks long and provide opportunity for career exploration in specialties or subspecialties or health care delivery systems other than the core clerkships or a deeper exploration of a core clerkship specialty. The types of CIEx’s include:

Integrative Elective (IE): The goal is to explore a clinical topic and gain insight into how it integrates with other aspects of care.

Clinical Skills Building (CSB): The goal is to provide additional competency in skills such as clinical reasoning and/or organization of clinical tasks.

Subspecialty Elective (SSE) or Inpatient Immersive (IPI): The goal is to provide experience in subspecialty areas or an immersive core inpatient experience not available in core clerkships.

Apprenticeship Experience (AE): Goals may include gaining additional clinical experience, exploring, or receiving mentorship in an area of career or other interest.

Clinical Microsystems Clerkship (CMC): The longitudinal workplace learning and clinical skills element within Foundations 1. 

Coach: Coaches provide longitudinal academic guidance for 5-6 students and support their professional and personal development. In Foundations 1, Coaches serve as site faculty mentors in the CMC.

Core Inquiry Curriculum (CIC): An element of Foundations 1, formatted as weekly small group, open‐ended discussions of health scenarios that do not have clear answers.

Clinical Exam: An assessment format used to evaluate medical students’ clinical skills that usually uses standardized patients. Also known in the literature as an OSCE (Observed/Objective Structured Clinical Examination).

Committee on Academic Progress: This committee ensures that students are progressing as expected through the curriculum and through the competency milestones.

CPX: The UCSF Clinical Performance Exam (CPX) is a summative clinical skills exam based on standardized patients. The CPX is taken by all students at the end of their core clinical rotations; passage of the CPX is a graduation requirement.

CTR: Clinical & Translational Research.

Differences Matters: A UCSF initiative designed to create a truly inclusive culture and community that will work to identify and address inequities in health and health care across all of UCSF’s mission areas. To learn more about the initiative please visit the website.

Deep Explore: In-depth scholarly project  that is a graduation requirement in the Bridges Curriculum.

Direct Patient Care Skills: The skills students learn to apply in clinical encounters with an individual patient, including information gathering through history taking and physical examination, information sharing using clinical reasoning, clinical documentation, and communication skills.

Emerging foundational sciences: Scientific disciplines that have not traditionally been a substantial part of the core medical student basic science curriculum (e.g., systems engineering, root cause analysis, change management, clinical informatics, interprofessional care strategies, metacognition).

Enduring foundational sciences: Scientific disciplines that have been a traditional component of medical student basic science curricula.

EPA: Entrustable Professional Activity: An EPA is a key professional work activity entrusted to a trainee who has demonstrated competency with that activity. An EPA incorporates multiple competencies, such as medical knowledge, patient care skills, and communication skills.

EPAC: An AAMC sponsored project to develop Education in Pediatrics Across the Continuum. (Link

Foundations 1 (F1): The first phase of the Bridges Curriculum that begins in August and extends for 60 weeks. 

Foundations 1 Grading Committee: This committee assigns a grade at the end of each F1 course, integrating performance data from relevant elements of the course.

Foundations 2 (F2): The second phase of the Bridges Curriculum that begins in January of year 2 and extends for 48 weeks.

Foundational sciences: The emerging and enduring sciences that are basic to the 21st century practice of medicine.

FS-in-F2: A day set aside from the traditional clerkship structure that is primarily devoted to advanced foundational science and Core Inquiry Curriculum education.

Ilios: The UCSF interprofessional curriculum management system.

Independent learning: Instructor or mentor-guided activities to be performed outside of formal educational settings.

Inquiry: The process of challenging current concepts and creating new knowledge.

Inquiry Domain: The six UCSF scientific areas of Inquiry (Biomedical, Clinical Translational, Educational, Epidemiology and Population, Systems) that frame for the Inquiry component.

Inquiry Mini‐Course: An intensive, round‐table discussion of current literature on specific topics. Mini‐courses span 2‐3 weeks and will focus on particular areas of Inquiry.

Inquiry Symposium: An annual event to showcase and model for earlier learners’ application of Inquiry. Senior students from the Career Launch phase, with faculty coaches, will demonstrate the approach to an Inquiry Case.

iROCKET: iROCKET (interactive Resources Online Cultivating Knowledge through Educational Technology) is the online learning platform for the UCSF Bridges Curriculum.

JMP: UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program (JMP) is a five-year graduate/medical degree program.

KLIC: Kaiser Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship, located at Kaiser – Oakland medical center.

LEC: Longitudinal Enhanced Core Clerkship for MD/MAS students.

LIC: Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship.

MCQ: Multiple-choice assessment question.

MD/MAS: MD degree and Masters in Advanced Studies (MAS) degree in clinical research.

MedBiquitous curriculum inventory standardized instructional and assessment methods and resource types: A standardized set of terms for instructional methods, assessment methods, and resource types that will be used in the Bridges Curriculum to categorize these curricular elements.

MSTP: Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD program).

OEQ: Open-ended assessment question that requires students to answer in their own words.

Off-Ramp: A term describing the process of a student transitioning from a phase of the core Bridges Curriculum to an immersion phase in their Unique Program.

On-Ramp: A term describing the process of a student transitioning from an immersion phase in their Unique Program to a phase of the core Bridges Curriculum.

PBL: Problem Based Learning.

PISCES: Parnassus Integrated Student Clinical Experiences longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC).

PRIME-US: Program in Medical Education for the Urban Underserved.

Self-directed Learning: Learning in which students identify a need, formulate goals, identify resources, implement activities, and evaluate outcomes.

Spiral Learning: A pedagogy widely attributed to Jerome Bruner in which key concepts are presented repeatedly throughout a curriculum with deepening layers of complexity, or in different applications.

Systems Skills: The application of quality, safety, teamwork, technology, and policy foundational science in the clinical setting.

Student Experience Academic Advisors: Senior Office of Medical Education staff who provide support and guidance to students, including the transitions across curricular phases, course and clerkship enrollment, and medical student well-being.

Student Experience Faculty Advisors (previously known as Advisory College Mentors): Designated faculty who provide career guidance and mentoring to students. Faculty Advisors collaborate with Coaches to provide students a strong support network.

UCB: University of California, Berkeley.

UCSF 49: A curated collection of 49 core syndromes and disorders identified from population and community health data from the Bay Area that scaffold the Bridges Curriculum.

Workplace Learning: Medical students' longitudinal roles as active learners and contributing members of clinical teams.

Works in Progress (WIP): A cohort and/or learning community meeting focused on the presentation and refinement of project work.