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Bringing Basic Science to the Women\'s Health Bedside: A Proof of Concept

Background: The University of Michigan’s new curriculum emphasizes an early introduction to clinical training. This presents a challenge as it condenses two years of traditional classroom basic sciences into just one. Therefore, an elective was developed to integrate reproductive sciences into clinical training.


Methods: The elective was developed by OBGYN departmental medical education experts and faculty from the pathology department. The goal was for students to engage in patient care, and relate these experiences to underlying pathophysiology. The topic of placental pathology was chosen as a pilot, and faculty from MFM, pathology and the basic sciences were recruited.


Results: The pilot course was designed so students initially review normal placental histopathology and placental abnormalities. After following patients with interesting clinical findings, students examine specific patients’ placental histopathology with the expertise of pathologists. The latter half of the course focused on a literature search of a basic sciences topic of interest, which was presented to the department.


Discussions: We were successful in developing and offering an elective that revisits basic science education in the context of clinical activities. We identified areas for improvement, including narrowing a topic of interest earlier to allow students to expand their scientific inquiry, and realize the vast amount of resources required to optimize learning. We envision that this pilot can be broadened to include concepts such as fetal malformations, genito-urinary dysplasia, and gynecological cancers.


Keywords: Curriculum Development/Evaluation, Interdisciplinary, Research Methods, Other

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2017, Student, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, UME, Independent Study, Maternal-Fetal Medicine,

General Information

Student,Faculty,Clerkship Director,
Patient Care,Medical Knowledge,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,
Independent Study,
Clinical Focus
Maternal-Fetal Medicine,

Author Information

Angela Liang, MD, Univeristy of Michigan; Maya Hammoud, MD

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