A program to teach curriculum development to junior faculty

Fam Med. 2001 May;33(5):382-7.


Background and objectives: Even though curriculum skills are widely acknowledged to be an important part of faculty development in family medicine, reports of outcomes of programs that teach those skills are rarely found in the medical education literature. The Curriculum Workshop Series, one part of a 1-year faculty development fellowship for recent residency graduates, was designed to teach curriculum skills to junior faculty.

The program: Developed as part of the Harbor-UCLA Family Medicine Faculty Development Fellowship, the Curriculum Workshop Series consisted of monthly or twice-monthly group sessions, readings, discussion, and individual projects with feedback from colleagues and the instructor. Objectives included developing an understanding of six fundamental steps of curriculum development, completion of an individual project, and giving and receiving feedback regarding projects. Outcome measures included number of projects implemented, the quality of projects, and participant satisfaction.

Outcomes: Eight fellows participated in the Curriculum Workshop Series and completed projects. Six of eight were implemented, providing three new curricular opportunities and three enhancements to existing curricula for three family practice residency programs. Review of projects by outside experts showed that a majority of the six steps were addressed by most fellows but that more emphasis needed to be placed on the clarity of the written curriculum, the link between teaching strategies and specific learning objectives, and evaluation of learners and projects. Participants endorsed the relevance of curriculum skills, the practical step-by-step approach to curriculum development, and the opportunity to produce and implement an individual project.

Conclusions: The Curriculum Workshop Series provides a straightforward format for teaching curriculum skills to junior faculty and demonstrates that recent graduates have the ability to make a contribution in the area of curriculum development. The format presented here could readily be adapted to other faculty development settings. Long-term outcomes of this type of faculty development remain to be studied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Education
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / education*
  • Program Development*