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Med Teach. 2018 Feb 28:1-5. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1440080. [Epub ahead of print]

School of Medicine of Federal University of Rio Grande Do Norte: A traditional curriculum with innovative trends in medical education.

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a Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte , Natal , Brazil.
b Infectious Diseases Department, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte , Natal , Brazil.
c Surgery Department , Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte , Natal , Brazil.
d Clinical Medicine Department , Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte , Natal , Brazil.



The Medical School of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) is one of the biggest public medical schools in Northeast Brazil. In the last decade, significant investment in faculty development, innovative learning methodologies and student engagement has been key milestones in educational improvement at this medical school, harnessed to recent political changes that strengthened community-based and emergency education. This study describes how curriculum changes in UFRN Medical School have been responsible for major improvements in medical education locally and which impacts such transformations may have on the educational community.


A group of students and teachers revised the new curriculum and established the key changes over the past years that have been responsible for the local enhancement of medical education. This information was compared and contrasted to further educational evidences in order to define patterns that can be reproduced in other institutions.


Improvements in faculty development have been fairly observed in the institution, exemplified by the participation of a growing number of faculty members in programs for professional development and also by the creation of a local masters degree in health education. Alongside, strong student engagement in curriculum matters enhanced the teaching-learning process.


Due to a deeper involvement of students and teachers in medical education, it has been possible to implement innovative teaching-learning and assessment strategies over the last ten years and place UFRN Medical School at a privileged position in relation to undergraduate training, educational research and professional development of faculty staff.

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