Interstitial Curriculum (ISC): Program Highlights
Many topics essential to medical practice are overlooked by traditional undergraduate medical education. These topics often intersect multiple disciplines, represent significant public health concerns and demand that physicians collaborate with non-medical organizations or with providers from other disciplines. Moreover, these topics emphasize physicians' social responsibilities in addressing concerns that may fall outside the traditional biomedical domain. How should such topics be taught, while ensuring that traditional clinical educational objectives continue to be met?
In 1994, the undergraduate curriculum committees at University of Massachusetts Medical School identified areas of curriculum deficiency and collaborated to develop an innovative format to address these needs. It was a priority to teach this material when it could be immediately reinforced during clerkship training in the third year of medical school. Hence the ISC Program was launched in 1995.
The program has grown throughout the years, currently encompassing 9 ISCs in AY 2012/2013. The ISCs undergo ongoing revision and new courses have been added to respond to changing curricular needs.