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Educational/Faculty development material The 6 degrees of curriculum integration in medical education in the United States
Julie Youm1*orcid, Jennifer Christner2orcid, Kevin Hittle3orcid, Paul Ko4orcid, Cinda Stone5orcid, Angela D. Blood6orcid, Samara Ginzburg7orcid

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2024.21.15
Published online: June 13, 2024

1University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Medical Education, Irvine, CA, USA

2Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine and School of Health Professions, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

3School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

4Department of Emergency Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA

5Pre-Clerkship and Curricular Management, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ, USA

6Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC, USA

7Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, NY, USA

*Corresponding email:  jyoum@uci.edu

Editor: Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea

• Received: 24 April 2024   • Accepted: 7 June 2024
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Despite explicit expectations and accreditation requirements for integrated curriculum, there needs to be more clarity around an accepted common definition, best practices for implementation, and criteria for successful curriculum integration. To address the lack of consensus surrounding integration, we reviewed the literature and herein propose a definition for curriculum integration for the medical education audience. We further believe that medical education is ready to move beyond “horizontal” (1-dimensional) and “vertical” (2-dimensional) integration and propose a model of “6 degrees of curriculum integration” to expand the 2-dimensional concept for future designs of medical education programs and best prepare learners to meet the needs of patients. These 6 degrees include: interdisciplinary, timing and sequencing, instruction and assessment, incorporation of basic and clinical sciences, knowledge and skills-based competency progression, and graduated responsibilities in patient care. We encourage medical educators to look beyond 2-dimensional integration to this holistic and interconnected representation of curriculum integration.

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JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions