The WrightCurriculum

Vital Signs » Winter 2015
WrightCurriculum dimensions

The Boonshoft School of Medicine is transforming its curriculum to meet the health care challenges of the future

Health care is changing rapidly in the United States, and medical schools nationwide are transforming medical student education to better prepare physicians for delivering safe, evidence-based, quality care to a diverse population.

To ensure that our future graduates can meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving health care environment, the Boonshoft School of Medicine is revamping its medical education with the creation of a new WrightCurriculum.

“We expect our graduates to be outstanding physicians who continue to learn through their professional lives, and who will serve both their community and the profession,” said Dean Parmelee, M.D., professor of psychiatry and pediatrics and associate dean for academic affairs. “When it is implemented, our new WrightCurriculum will ensure that our new graduates will be ready to meet the health care challenges of the future.”

In 2010, the Faculty Curriculum Committee (FCC) appointed a task force, led by Brenda Roman, M.D., assistant dean for curriculum and medical education research, to define the key components for a new curriculum and provide guideposts for moving forward. In 2011, the FCC created the Wright-Curriculum Steering Committee to begin the detailed planning and development for the entering class of the 2017-18 academic year.

Since 2013 the medical school has been field-testing and evolving its pedagogies and assessments. Faculty of all ranks in all departments are involved in the creation of the WrightCurriculum, which will go live in the fall of 2017.

“The WrightCurriculum, represents our faculty’s collaborative efforts and creativity over several years to build an innovative and enduring program of study for the practice of medicine,” said Roman. “It will evolve with new information and best practice, strengthen as students and faculty provide feedback, and emphasize a spirit of inquiry and discovery that will benefit our patients, their families, and the communities in which they live.”

The curriculum will no longer be structured with learning “the normal,” then “the abnormal,” and finally clinical application. Rather students will be learning about disease processes and therapeutic approaches within the context of normal development and function. The medical knowledge threads and overarching learning objectives will be incorporated into foundational modules, clerkships, clinical electives, and assessments throughout all three phases of the curriculum.

The new curriculum will include milestones that will align the undergraduate medical education experience with the next phase of residency training, within the continuum of medical education. These educational milestones will be a starting point rather than an endpoint, a new way of thinking about undergraduate medical education using a developmental approach.

“The Boonshoft School of Medicine is committed to providing its students a curriculum that is forward-thinking, faculty who practice and research contemporary medicine, and a learning environment that nourishes the professional and personal growth of every student,” said Margaret Dunn, dean.

For more information about the WrightCurriculum, visit:

Last edited on 03/10/2016.