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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2018 Nov 6. doi: 10.1139/cjpp-2018-0428. [Epub ahead of print]

Medical education dilemma: how best to accommodate basic sciences in a curriculum for the 21st century medical students?

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Alfaisal University, 101686, Anatomy , Aljohara Street , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia , 11533 ;
Alfaisal University, 101686, Anatomy, Riyadh, Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia ;
Alfaisal University, 101686, Surgery, Riyadh, Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia ;
Alfaisal University College of Medicine, 288867, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ;
Alfaisal University, 101686, Surgery, Riyadh, Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia ;


Over the years the medical curriculum has been changed to accommodate a variety of evolving disciplines and an exploding scientific knowledge of the basic sciences to prepare "a competent physician" of the 21st century. Therefore, we must be innovative in our approach of curricular development if we wish to continue to incorporate new basic sciences knowledge in the face of decreasing contact hours to satisfy the buzz word, "integration". Certainly, the challenges are phenomenal. The question how best to integrate basic sciences, is not easy to answer as the objectives of the courses and outcome vary from one medical school to another and the fact is, one size does not fit all. However, if we believe that basic sciences are the language of medicine and foundation of clinical knowledge, then we must resolve this ongoing dilemma by introducing basic sciences through a better alignment in a given curriculum. The purpose of this mini review is to evaluate different curricular models for their basic sciences content and address their strength and weakness. In addition, we will introduce a spiral design to integrate basic sciences for senior students. Finally, we will provide some insight as to how learning and retention of basic science content can be sustained.


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