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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Curriculum Renewal

Integrated Pathways Curriculum



In the Fall of 2008, the College of Medicine undertook the task of renewing its curriculum to ensure that we graduate students with excellent preparation to practice medicine in a changing medical and social environment. This process was informed by our commitment to the unique educational mission of our school and which is reflected in the students we attract and select. Many of our students are members of minority and cultural groups under-represented in medicine and/ or come from families of first generation immigrants or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. With this mission in mind, we have designed a competency-based curriculum that features the 3 principles of Integration, Collaboration, and Relevance.


Principles and Goals of Curriculum

Principle of Integration

Curricular material is integrated within and between all four years of the curriculum while threading both clinical and basic science throughout the four years. This is so that our students experience the curriculum as an integrated whole. The curriculum explicitly defines learning outcomes and competencies that can be measured. These outcomes and competencies reflect a building of attitudes, knowledge, and skill level across the four years so that students progress along a continuum of depth of understanding of content and the adoption and mastering of skills. Our integrated curriculum welcomes every student into the profession of medicine on day one, and the values and behaviors we desire of our graduating students will be cultivated by our faculty and medical educational program. We make every effort to assure every student becomes the best physician possible.

Principle of Collaboration

Collaborative efforts involved faculty and staff from all areas of the College, our affiliates, our students, and important organizations such as the Alumni Association and other academic organizations. This effort will continue as the curriculum responds to changes in medical education. Collaborative teaching and learning are used in the curriculum.

Principle of Relevance

Medical science is rapidly changing and we are poised to identify and integrate on an ongoing basis new curricular materials that are relevant to training the best physicians. This means not only integrating new scientific knowledge and principles, but also assuring that we are training physicians with the skills they need to practice effectively in a changing health care environment. This includes such skills as the ability to work in teams and understand the health care system, practicing in a patient centered manner, and developing the ability to be a life-long learner who can evaluate and integrate new knowledge and skills throughout one's professional life.