Medical College of Wisconsin Unveils “Discovery Curriculum”

When new medical students enter the Medical College of Wisconsin in August, 2012, they will encounter a curriculum which is very different from the educational program currently in place.  The Medical College is making major changes to its curriculum, the hallmarks of which will be the earlier integration of patient observation for medical students, a year-long foundational program, and a full year of symptom- and system-based units of education to ensure grounding in the basic sciences.  Among the highlights of the new curriculum is “Active Learning,” which is a teaching methodology that encourages student interaction in small groups to deepen the understanding of content.  Active Learning will be a component all four years of the curriculum.

The new curriculum, called the Discovery Curriculum, is the culmination of more than four years of planning by faculty, staff, and students.  Several hundred people at the Medical College joined forces to craft a vision and develop a working design for the project.

“I am extremely proud of the tireless, dedicated and thoughtful efforts of scores of our faculty, staff and students to bring this important curriculum initiative to fruition,” said Joseph E. Kerschner, M.D., Dean of the Medical School and Executive Vice President of the College.  “The exceptional quality of their work will enable us to move forward on a firm foundation as we seek to educate a new generation of physicians in a cutting-edge, real-world academic medical learning environment.”

Nearly 30 students are participating in a pilot curriculum and provided input to the Discovery Curriculum design team.

David Wang, a second-year medical student and a pilot program participant from San Diego, Ca.,  commented, “The Discovery Curriculum pushes students towards clinical excellence in the short term and becoming lifelong learners in the long run. This new educational direction is rooted in tireless self-examination, self-improvement and meeting the needs of changing times.”

For more information about the Discovery Curriculum, visit the College’s Discovery Curriculum website at

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Page Updated 07/23/2013