Building a Core Clinical Virtual Integrated Curriculum
May 11, 2020

Pearls | May 11, 2020

Stacey Rose, MD | Assistant Dean of Clinical Curriculum | Baylor College of Medicine

Nadia Ismail, MD, MPH, M.Ed | Associate Dean of Curriculum | Baylor College of Medicine

Clerkship: Integrated curriculum across all core clerkships (Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, OBGYN, Family and Community Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Neurology)

Level of Students: MS2 & MS3

Aquifer courses used:

  • Aquifer Family Medicine
  • Aquifer Geriatrics
  • Aquifer Internal Medicine
  • Aquifer Pediatrics
  • Aquifer Radiology
  • Aquifer High Value Care

Due to curriculum modifications related to the COVID-19 pandemic, our clerkship directors were charged with developing a virtual curriculum that would allow students to remain engaged in clinical learning activities while suspended from participation in face-to-face clinical care.

Rather than develop a virtual curriculum for each individual clerkship, the course directors for all core clerkships came together to develop an integrated module, termed the Core Clinical Virtual Integrated Curriculum (COVIC), which includes primarily content form Aquifer (along with some “home-grown” materials on our learning management system). By using Aquifer and other asynchronous platforms, the course allows students to complete the curriculum in a flexible way over several weeks. Aquifer also allows tracking of student completion of each required activity.

COVIC was designed to prepare students for the return to clinical rotations and to solidify integration of knowledge across multiple disciplines. Course participation is required for all MS2 and MS3 students as part of students’ professional responsibilities and clinical education. To clarify expectations for students, we developed a course overview document for the course (including a curriculum map outlining all required activities); we also held a “Zoom” orientation to introduce students to the learning plan.

The orientation for students was key, as Aquifer was a new platform for many of our students. The feedback from both students and faculty has been outstanding. As one student queried: “I was just wondering when our access to the Aquifer modules will end? They are very helpful and I would like to redo some of the modules when it comes time for my rotations later in the year.” We are thrilled that students are finding the material so valuable that they will want to repeat them later on! The ease of tracking student completion of the material is also quite useful.

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