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Med Teach. 2018 Mar 5:1-8. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2018.1440077. [Epub ahead of print]

Moving a mountain: Practical insights into mastering a major curriculum reform at a large European medical university.

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a Dieter Scheffner Center for Medical Education and Educational Research Charité, Dean's Office of Student Affairs Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Free and Humboldt University Berlin , Germany.



Undergraduate medical education is currently in a fundamental transition towards competency-based programs around the globe. A major curriculum reform implies a dual challenge: the change of the curriculum and the delivering organization. Both are closely interwoven. In this article, we provide practical insights into our approach of managing such a fundamental reform of the large undergraduate medical program at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.


Members of the project management team summarized the key features of the process with reference to the literature.


Starting point was a traditional, discipline-based curriculum that was reformed into a fully integrated, competency-based program. This change process went through three phases: initiation, curriculum development and implementation, and sustainability. We describe from a change management perspective, their main characteristics, and the approaches that were employed to manage them successfully.


Our report is intended to provide practical insights and guidance for those institutions which are yet considering or have already started to undergo a major reform of their undergraduate programs towards competency medical education.

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