Innovations in applied health: evaluating a simulation-enhanced, interprofessional curriculum

Med Teach. 2012;34(3):e176-84. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.642829.


Background: In response to current trends in healthcare education, teachers at the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences implemented a New Curriculum Model (NCM) in 2006, building a curriculum to better transition students from didactic to clinical education. Through the implementation of interprofessional education and simulated clinical scenarios, educators created a setting to develop, contextualize and apply students' skills before entry to the clinical environment.

Aims: In this pilot study, researchers assessed the impact of the NCM intervention on student preparedness for clinical practicum.

Methods: A mixed-methods evaluation was conducted, collecting survey assessments and qualitative focus group feedback from clinical educators and students.

Results: Clinical educators identified Michener NCM students to be significantly better prepared for clinical practicum when compared to previous cohorts (p < 0.05%). Students also noted significant improvements as implementation issues were resolved from years one to two of the NCM.

Conclusions: The infusion of simulation and interprofessional education into Michener's applied health curricula resulted in a significant improvement in clinical preparedness. The Michener NCM bridged the gap previously separating didactic education and clinical practice, transitioning applied health students from trained technicians to more complete health care professionals.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Curriculum / standards
  • Curriculum / trends
  • Health Occupations / education*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Studies / standards
  • Interdisciplinary Studies / trends*
  • Models, Educational
  • Pilot Projects
  • Problem-Based Learning / methods*
  • Problem-Based Learning / standards
  • Problem-Based Learning / trends
  • Students, Health Occupations*