Bridges Challenge

Your IDEAS building Bridges!

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What should be UCSF's response to the call for a three year medical school?

Challenge Status: 

Medical education nationwide has a new focus on learning outcomes and the competencies of a graduating medical student. This approach opens the option for medical schools to move away from a time-based, required four years for medical education.

With a shortened degree option, some medical students might go into residencies after three years while others might choose to take a “deep dive” into projects or specialties, but not in the constrained format of medical education today. The New England Journal of Medicine recently posted a point/counterpoint on the issue of the three year medical school curriculum. See Point: A 3-Year M.D. — Accelerating Careers, Diminishing Debt and Counterpoint: The Three-Year Medical School - Change or Shortchange?

As we work to design the Bridges Curriculum for the 21st Century physician, we turn to our community to ask your thoughts on the three year curriculum debate. Should UCSF work to design a curriculum in which students could complete all required rotations (including subinternships) in three years? If so, what would be our main goals of that curriculum: the opportunity for students to complete their education earlier or to take deeper dives into more individualized content? What would have to be in place so that we are confident that our graduates are still expert? How might you envision compressing the existing curriculum to make this happen? We welcome your thoughts on these and any other questions about shortening training in medical school.

Challenge closed as of December 12, 2013. Thank you for your ideas!


We have summarized the results into three key findings:

  1. Themes for which there was consensus among respondents regardless of whether they agreed with whether UCSF should have a three-year medical school
  2. Themes from those who either supported or did not support the notion of a three-year medical school and reasons why
  3. Suggestions respondents suggested should be considered in developing a three-year medical school

See details

Commenting is closed.

Developing Habits of Mind in Inquiry

Challenge Status: 


Since March, the Bridges Curriculum design teams have identified the importance of students developing the habits of mind in inquiry as key attributes of the 21st Century Physician. Habits of mind in inquiry include the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are used to approach problems when solutions are not readily apparent or don't exist. The Bridges physician should have the ability to tackle complex problems in the health sciences in order to improve health and our systems of care. 


It has been proposed that we teach inquiry across six domains of science critical to development of a UCSF physician, these are identified as:

  • Biomedical science
  • Clinical science
  • Population science & public health
  • Pedagogical science
  • Social and behavioral science
  • Systems science


Bridges Challenge: 

Given these recommendations how might we teach, support and assess inquiry as habits of mind in the core UCSF MD curriculum? 


Your recommendations might include teaching and learning strategies, frameworks for assessment, administrative structures for support, processes for how students could take a "deep dive" into one of the six domains of science. 


Commenting is closed.