In collaboration with:

International Association of Medical Science Educators

IAMSE logo

The Aquifer Sciences Initiative is a partnership between Aquifer and the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) to develop and disseminate teaching and learning tools that promote cognitive integration and collaborative teaching of basic and clinical sciences in health professions education.


The Aquifer Sciences curriculum and Integrated Illness Scripts are being developed by a nationally representative and multi-institutional team of over 100 leading science and clinical educators drawn from eleven core basic science disciplines and nine major clinical disciplines, working in collaboration with senior medical student curriculum interns selected through a competitive national process.


The goal of the Aquifer Sciences Initiative is to provide evidence-based teaching and learning resources that promote:

  1. Effective cognitive integration of the basic and clinical sciences by clinical learners, ensuring excellence in clinical decision making that places patient care, quality, value and safety at a premium.
  2. Productive and collaborative teaching by basic and clinical science faculty to ensure learner’s foundational basic science knowledge is effectively organized for clinical practice and life-long learning.

Project Phases

Aquifer Sciences Open Curriculum Database

Available to the Public

The Aquifer Sciences curriculum is the first nationally-developed and publicly available curriculum that comprehensively outlines the core basic sciences concepts that must be understood and mastered by health professions learners in order to provide safe, routine patient care. The open, public database covers:

  • 11 Basic science disciplines
  • 9 Clinical disciplines
  • 105 Core concepts
  • 789 Learning objectives
  • 248 Common conditions
  • 5 Clinical decisions
  • 15 Systems
Aquifer Sciences Integrated Illness Scripts

Coming Soon

Building on the traditional illness script format, Integrated Illness Scripts embed basic science core concepts as causal and explanatory mechanisms associated with clinical features. Scripts provide a mental model for that helps students make connections and form a deeper understanding to make better, safer clinical decisions.

An initial set of Integrated Illness Scripts are actively in development for release in 2021.

Aquifer Sciences Virtual Patient Cases

Future Development

Aquifer Sciences Virtual Patient Cases are in development by a nationally representative, multi-institutional team of leading science and clinical educators to deliver evidence-based teaching and learning tools that promote cognitive integration and collaborative teaching.

Aquifer Sciences Contributors

The Aquifer Sciences initiative curriculum is developed by over 100 leading science and clinical educators from institutions across the nation.

Leadership Team


“Finally, we have a means by which to bridge the gap between basic sciences and clinical medicine!”

Amy Wilson-Delfosse, PhD. Professor of Pharmacology, Associate Dean for Curriculum, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

“I would have much appreciated learning from this curriculum during my transition from the classroom to the wards.”

Fourth-Year Medical Student