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
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