Content leaders identified in Department's curriculum changes

The Medical School curriculum is undergoing a major reorganization for the 2015-2016 class. The Department of Pathology’s Dennis Burns, M.D., along with James Stull, Ph.D., are chairing the Strategic Planning Committee for Curriculum Reform, organized last year by Greg Fitz, M.D., Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School, and charged with development of the new curriculum. Considerable progress has been made to date.

The Foundation for Excellence Curriculum will present material traditionally taught in the first two years of medical school in an integrated 18 month “pre-clerkship” block, giving our students earlier exposure to clinical work and adding considerable flexibility and breadth to each student’s educational experience. This reduction in course time in the pre-clerkship phase will be facilitated by minimizing content redundancy through coordination with all respective disciplines teaching each topic.

The 18-month pre-clerkship curriculum will consist of a Body Structure and Foundation section (consisting of Embryology, Gross Anatomy, Microanatomy, and Radiological Imaging), a Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences section (consisting of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Cell Biology and Physiology, Neoplasia, Pathology Principles, Microbiology Principles, Immunology Principles, and Host Responses), and an Integrated Medicine section (consisting of the various organ systems, Hematopoietic, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Gastrointestinal/Liver/Nutrition, Renal and Genitourinary, Endocrine/Reproductive System and Metabolism, Muscle and Skin, and Brain and Behavior).

The Content Leaders have been identified for the pre-clerkship blocks, and the Department of Pathology will continue to play a major leadership role in a curriculum that will have broad, campuswide visibility and significantly impact the medical student education here at U.T. Southwestern over the coming decades.

In the Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences section, James Richardson, D.V.M., Ph.D., and Kathleen Wilson, M.D., (directors of the current Sophomore Pathology Course), will act as content experts for the Pathology Principles section. Dr. Wilson will also act as a content expert for the Genetics section. Rene Galindo, M.D., Ph.D., and Diego Castrillon, M.D., Ph.D., will head the Neoplasia section.

Pathology content experts in the Integrated Medicine section include Weina Chen, M.D., Ph.D., (Hematopoietic System), Joel Thibodeaux, M.D., (Pulmonary System), Terri Crook, M.D., (Gastrointestinal System), Purva Gopal, M.D., (Liver), Jose Torrealba, M.D., (Renal System), Kyle Molberg, M.D., (Genitourinary and Reproductive Systems), Dwight Oliver, M.D., (Endocrine System), Dr. Richardson (Musculoskeletal System), Travis Vandergriff, M.D., (Skin) and Dr. Burns (Brain and Behavior).

The new curriculum plan has been reviewed and enthusiastically endorsed by medical students, faculty, departmental Chairs, and by Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., President of UT Southwestern, and other senior administrators at UT Southwestern. We look forward to the official launch of the new curriculum in August 2015.

View details of the new curriculum