Health Professions Education Pathway

The Health Professions Education Pathway educates learners from all health professions fields to develop excellence in teaching, curriculum development and application of learning theory to practice sound educational principles in the learning environment and expand knowledge in the field of health professions education.

"This course was so helpful and has not only changed how I am approaching my project, but also how I am approaching every lecture, didactic and chalk talk session I give. "

HPE Pathway Learner, 2023


Participants will obtain hands-on experience teaching on the UCSF campus and join a local community of like-minded faculty and trainees. They will participate in coursework and complete a mentored scholarly project related to health professions education. Those in the Advanced Program will gain additional training in learner assessment and educational leadership.


Weeks with option to participate in Fall or winter


Sessions Led by education experts per offering


New and Returning GME and ume participants in 2022-23


Conversion to UCSF faculty 2019-2021

HPE Pathway Highlights
  • Develop a vision for your educator career through engagement with renown education experts and mentors 
  • Gain mentorship on longitudinal education projects that is supported by monthly works-in-progress sessions, conferences with directors and office hours before, during and after the course
  • Expand and refine teaching skills through various hands-on teaching experiences and sessions
  • Build connections across disciplines with others committed to careers in education 
  • Didactics led by education science experts and educators, which can be applied towards a Master's degree from UC Berkeley
  • Become part of the UCSF education community through intentional engagement and curated activities

"I loved the teaching practice sessions including chalk talk, large group, and procedure. I felt they really helped me to practice skills and develop content. The learning environment was very inclusive and thoughtful."

HPE Pathway Course

The HPE Pathway course is a pre-requisite that all learners need to complete before transitioning to the other components of the program (i.e., longitudinal curriculum, advanced pathway, master's program).

Coursework includes learning and practicing various teaching strategies, learning the process of curriculum development, and exposure to learning theory with integration of education research and instructional technology. Learning will be both didactic and experiential utilizing in-person sessions and workshops and independent assignments.

For UME students that will only be taking the course and not participating in the longitudinal pathway, it is the expectation that learners will engage in the education community activities built into the month long course. Participants that will join the longitudinal pathway will have the opportunity over the year to partake in these events and activities. Additionally, Deep Explore students are expected to attend HPE hosted work-in-progress (WIP) sessions and complete the WIP requirement prior to March of your graduation year.

HPE curriculum map with various sessions from fall 2020
HPE Curriculum Map


Once learners complete the course, they can then progress to the longitudinal pathway. Based on whether the participant is a UME or GME learner, the longitudinal pathway expectations differ slightly. Once learners complete the core pathway elements, they can then transition to the advanced pathway, which can lead to acquiring credits to transfer to the UC Berkeley Master's in Education program.

HPE Pathway Longitudinal Curriculum
Core GME Pathway Expectations
Core UME Pathway Expectations
Advanced Pathway Expectations
Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do once I am in the Health Professions Education Pathway?

  • To help prepare you for careers of innovation, leadership, and scholarship in health professions education, you will participate in formal courses, guided experiential learning, and a mentored scholarly project. As a GME learner, you have two options for participation, the Core Program or the Advanced Program. Our UME participants can either take the course or participate in the longitudinal pathway. 

Who should take the Core Program?

  • Most learners will take the Core Program which may be completed in one to two years for residents, fellows, and other health professional students. The Core Program is intended to be an introductory course for those who are interested in teaching and education of health professionals.

Who should take the Advanced Program?

  • A few learners may opt to take the Advanced Program, which can take either one or two years to complete. The curricular work completed in the Advanced Program may be transferred to UC Berkeley to count towards the Master’s Degree in Education. The Advanced Program is intended for those who are interested in health professions education leadership and need additional knowledge and skills in learner 6 assessment and education leadership. 

Is there a cost to participate in the HPE Pathway?

  • No, the GME Pathways program and the various pathways within the program, including the HPE Pathway, is offered free to our UCSF trainees and students.

What is your absence policy?

  • In general, we excuse no more than 2 days of absences (approximately 80% attendance is required). Several of the missed sessions can be made up through attendance at a CFE workshop. Course directors should be notified in advance of any sessions that will be missed and we will work with you to develop a make-up plan GME learners are expected to take the October course as an elective month with minimal clinic duties, limited to call duty and required clinics of approximately 1/2 day per week. Please clear this time with your program director prior to applying for the HPE Pathway.

What is a Legacy Project?

  • All learners must complete a Legacy Project with an HPE Pathway approved mentor. Because these projects are designed to allow you to develop additional skills, previously completed projects may not be used to meet the Legacy Project requirement. However, the Legacy Project may certainly be an extension or next phase of a previously completed project. It may also be completed to concurrently meet other project requirements if appropriate (e.g. required project in residency or pharmacy program). These projects must have a foundation drawn from the educational or health professions education literature. The scope of the project is variable depending upon your time availability (minimum 3 months), prior experience in the chosen domain, and whether you are in the Core or Advanced Program.

Do I need to have a project and mentor identified before starting the pathway?

  • We strongly encourage our scholars to identify a mentor and develop ideas for a project proposal during the summer months prior to starting the pathway. The course directors will contact each participant to discuss scholarly project goals and plans to provide support and guidance to ensure they're on track with their scholarly goals. During the course, there will be further support for research formulation and we will have sessions that are focused on developing and reviewing project proposals. The monthly WIPs will also serve as an organic progress check-in for learners so they can present their work and receive feedback from both faculty and peers.

I’m a Deep Explore student. Why should I take this course/pathway?

  • In addition to receiving 4 weeks towards your Deep Explore project time, this course would be very helpful in gaining mentoring to help you execute your projects that oriented towards education science. You will also be required to participate in the work-in-progress sessions hosted by HPE rather than Deep Explore. There are three additional features we like to highlight. Residents and fellows also participate in this program, which provides students with a unique opportunity to interact with others crafting a career in education. Second, the course hosts monthly Works in Progress sessions that provides additional feedback on projects and challenges. Third, this course work can apply toward a Master’s degree from Berkeley. Dr. Lo who is a course director for HPE took advantage of this opportunity.

I’m a non-Deep Explore student. Will a project still be required of me?

  • Yes, even if you are exempt from Deep Explore project requirements, students are required to complete a project if they want to participate in the HPE Pathway. We strongly believe these projects will allow you to develop additional skills, and to engage extensively within the education science community.

What are the Works in Progress sessions, ESCape conferences, Medical Education Grand Rounds, Medical Education Journal Club, Equity and Justice in Education, and Academy of Medical Educator events? Do I have to attend them as part of HPE Pathway?

  • These sessions are designed to foster an ongoing community of like-minded peers and faculty. Learners in HPE engage in these sessions and we hope you will be connected to and engage with an ongoing peer, near-peer, and faculty support system to further their knowledge, skills, and careers as educators and education scholars.

When do I need to complete all the requirements for the Pathway?

  • All HPE pathway requirements must be completed by late-May of your completion year or before graduation for our UME students. However, if specific situations arise that prevent learners from completing their requirements, we will work to support the learner complete the pathway.