Evidence-based and Population-based Medicine: National Implementation under the UME-21 Project

John F. Mahoney, Malcolm Cox, Robert E. Gwyther, David V. O'Dell, Paul Mark Paulman, Vicki Kowlowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: The Undergraduate Medical Education for the 21st Century (UME-21) project developed and implemented innovations to medical school curricula at medical schools across the country. This report describes the development and implementation of innovative approaches to improving instruction in evidence-based medicine with a population-based perspective. Methods: Each school participating in the UME-21 project designed, implemented, and evaluated its own unique curriculum initiatives. We examined these initiatives using data abstracted from written reports submitted to the project Executive Committee. Additional data were obtained by personal communication with project directors and evaluators at the various schools, student and preceptor comments, internal program evaluation at each school, and external evaluation by the UME-21 project leadership. The Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire was also used. Results: Fourteen of 18 participating schools implemented a broad range of curricula to facilitate teaching and learning about evidence-based and population-based medicine. Common themes included the application of evidence to patient care, use of clinical practice guidelines and pathways, and the general incorporation of evidence-based techniques (literature searching, critical appraisal, etc) into the teaching of other content, such as clinical science and managed care. Teaching approaches included Web-based and other computer-based education, an emphasis on active and self-directed learning, use of small groups and workshops, and distribution of this content over multiple years. As an alternative to full-length evidence-based medicine courses, many schools incorporated an evidence-based approach into existing courses and clerkships. Data demonstrated an upward trend in student satisfaction with how topics were presented at UME-21 schools. Conclusions: These innovations successfully demonstrated that evidence-based and population-based medicine content can be introduced into medical school curricula. Introducing these constructs in ways that demonstrate their relevance to patient care facilitates student learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S31-S35
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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