Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Acad Med. 2007 Nov;82(11):1079-88.

From traditional to patient-centered learning: curriculum change as an intervention for changing institutional culture and promoting professionalism in undergraduate medical education.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58202-9037, USA.


The authors reframe a curriculum change from a traditional lecture-based to an integrated patient-centered approach as an intervention for changing the culture and hidden curriculum of an institution in ways that promote professionalism. Within this context, the authors articulate some of the inherent process and relational factors brought about by these curricular changes that are essential elements of this intervention process. In 1998 the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UNDSMHS) introduced a new preclinical patient-centered learning (PCL) curriculum for first- and second-year medical students. Case-based, small-group learning forms the critical foundation of the PCL process, and an integrated basic and clinical science didactic component supports this process. At the student level, the case-based PCL process generates innovative opportunities for professionalism education from the explicitly articulated formal content that arises naturally from the cases, but more importantly from the implicit values inherent to the PCL small-group process itself--humanism, accountability, pursuit of excellence, and altruism. Further, the organizational changes necessary for the transformation to the PCL curriculum required process changes at student, faculty, and administrative levels that have resulted in a cultural shift toward relationship centeredness within the institution. The authors describe the evolution and structure of the PCL curriculum at UNDSMHS and how this curricular transformation has served as an intervention that promotes professionalism and institutional culture change through (1) processes at the student level that present new opportunities for professionalism education, and (2) processes at student, faculty, administrative, and institutional levels that have created an institutional culture that supports, models, and promotes relationship-centered professional values.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk