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Podcast: Launching a New Medical Curriculum During a Global Pandemic

Launching a new medical curriculum during “normal” times is challenging. Add in a global pandemic, and implementation becomes even more complicated.

Dr. Deshpande and Dr. Agarwal sit on an orange couching facing Dean Ford, who is sitting in a white chair.
Gauri Agarwal, M.D.; Amar Deshpande, M.D.; and Dean Henri R. Ford

In the latest episode of the Inside U Miami Medicine podcast, Gauri Agarwal, M.D., associate dean of curriculum at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Amar Deshpande, M.D., associate dean for medical education and administration, join Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A, dean and chief academic officer, to discuss the launch of the NextGenMD curriculum during COVID-19.

“There were lots of challenges — but also positives — in the way the pandemic transformed educational models, such as telehealth and spreading beyond our boundaries by developing clinical partnerships,” Dr. Agarwal said.

The episode also explores the history of the curriculum the school followed since its inception in 1952 and the shift from the “2+2 model” — two years of foundational sciences followed by two years of clinical training — to a more integrated curriculum that focuses on early introduction to clinical experiences and small-group learning.

Dr. Agarwal, Dr. Deshpande and Dean Ford stand and smile at the camer.

“You see some of the true value in the old ways we were trained as physicians, but in this new way, we can create better medical students and prepare them for their careers,” Dr. Deshpande said. “We wanted to seek opportunities to get young adults to learn, and leverage that pedagogy to deliver a greater education.”

The biggest setback in the launch of NextGenMD involved getting students the necessary clinical experience during a time of social distancing and hospital restrictions. Drs. Agarwal and Deshpande discuss the many innovative implementations that led to success, such as creative scheduling with hospital leaders, the use of virtual components, and the role of longitudinal clinical educators.

Find the episode here or wherever you listen to podcasts.


Tags: Dean Henri Ford, Department of Medical Education, Dr. Amar Deshpande, Dr. Gauri Agarwal, Miller School of Medicine, NextGenMD