Document Type: Commentary

Authors

1 Department of Medical Education, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Medical Education, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medical Education, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Introduction: Pervasive beliefs regarding curricular reformand integration have flourished among medical students, facultymembers and medical school administrators. These conceptshave extensively impacted the reform process, sometimes byresisting the reforms and sometimes by diverting the curriculumfrom its planned objectives. In the current paper, we have tried toaddress the challenges of integration in MD program by lookingat the existing literature and the experience of the internationaluniversities.Methods: We collected the questions frequently asked duringthe curricular reform process. We, then, evaluated them, andselected 5 main ideas. In order to find their answers, we searchedthe literature using these keywords: integration, reform, andundergraduate medical curriculum.Results: The findings are discussed in five sections: 1) Reform isnot equivalent to integration, 2) Integration can be implementedin both high school and graduate programs, 3) Organ-systembased integration is not the only method available for integration,4) Integration of two phases (basic sciences and physiopathology)can be considered but it is not mandatory, 5) Integration does notfade basic sciences in favor of clinical courses.Conclusions: It seems that medical education literature and priorexperience of the leading universities do not support most of theusual concepts about integration. Therefore, it is important toconsider informed decision making based on best evidence ratherthan personal opinions during the curricular reform process.Keywords: Medical education; Curriculum; Reform; Integration