Curriculum Renewal Update


The Gateway Curriculum is in full swing, with students completing Module 1 on October 30, 2020. Molecules to Society focused on an introduction to the perspectives of health, illness, sickness, and disease, highlighting applications across the bio-societal spectrum. Through a focus on health, students learned about the structure and function of the body, the healthcare system, professional identity, and the community. Consistent with the guiding principles of the Gateway Curriculum, students experienced the integration of all of the critical dimensions of healthcare practice: basic science, clinical skills, health systems science, social and behavioral science, and professional identity formation.

The module was organized into four units:

  1. Identity: The Process of Becoming
  2. Communication, Relationships, and Teamwork
  3. Homeostasis: Life as a Balancing Act
  4. Measurements of and Perspectives on Health

Students also began their clinical skills practice, started engaging in the community and forming longitudinal relationships with their coaches. These curriculum components will continue throughout phase 1.

Module 2: Defense and Responses to Injury launched November 2, 2020. Module 2 builds on the first module to broadly examine host defense and the ways complex systems can be compromised or fail and thereby contribute to loss of health. This foundational knowledge is first applied to the skin and lays foundations for all the subsequent Phase 1 modules, which examine health and disease in the context the other major organ systems of the body. The module is organized as a series of six strands or units.

  • Cellular Homeostasis and Cell Injury examines how cells maintain homeostasis and adapt to stress, as well as the etiologies and mechanisms of cell injury and pathologic cell death.
  • Host Defense considers the important roles innate and acquired immunity, how abnormal immune regulation can contribute to tissue damage, and the processes of wound healing and tissue repair.
  • Hemostasis describes how platelets and coagulation factors minimize blood loss in the face of damage to blood vessels, as well as the clinical consequences of hemorrhage and abnormal clotting.
  • Microorganisms deal with the major classes of microorganisms and their key structural and biological features. It also examines our diverse interactions with microorganisms and the clinical manifestations of infection.
  • Neoplasia builds on knowledge ofnormal cellular growth to examine how genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of benign and malignant neoplasms. It examines the potential clinical manifestations and clinical approaches to cancer.
  • Skin in Health and Disease investigates the structure and normal functions of the skin, the manifestations of common cutaneous disorders, and how the skin can inform physicians of systemic disease.

Each of the above units contributes to the ongoing discussion of patients, physicians, societies, and systems. Examples include:

  • Examining the core foundational concepts of medical ethics.
  • How physicians can contribute to the recognition of disorders related to environmental agents and how expeditious and effective physician advocacy can benefit the affected populations.
  • Considering the roles of redundancy in healthcare systems and how they can fail and contribute to poor health of the populations they are intended to serve.
  • Examining how physicians and other healthcare providers can act to enhance the healthcare of underserved populations and mitigate systemic deficiencies that contribute to health inequities
  • Studying how epidemiological studies and clinical informatics contribute to healthcare and their potential future roles.
  • Investigating the growing problems of antimicrobial resistance and decreased rates of vaccination on population health and patient care, also the vast implications of epidemics and pandemics.
  • Considering how cancer screening programs can contribute to the early recognition and expeditious treatment of preneoplastic disorders and cancers, but may also lead to unnecessary medical interventions.

We greatly appreciate the tremendous efforts put into the design, build, and implementation of Module 1 by the leaders and content experts including Audrey Coolman, MPH; Lai Kuan Dionne, PhD; Amanda Emke, MD; Jonathon Mullin, MD; Kaytlin Reedy-Rogier, MSW; Colleen Wallace, MD; Andy Wiegert, MBA; Tim Yau, MD; and Nichole Zehnder, MD. We also acknowledge the outstanding contributions of the curricular support team including Melissa DeHart, Lacey Jackson, and Kelly Mock, Ed.D.

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