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  • MedEdMorphosis is a comprehensive review and redo of the current medical education program of the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine (SFESOM) generated to achieve the school’s updated mission statement and program values adopted in 2021.
  • The envisioned program is referred to as the MD Program (mission-driven, medical- doctor program) while the current program is known as the Legacy Program and/or Curriculum.
  • MedEdMorphosis will promote value-driven enhancements to pre-admissions outreach, admissions, curriculum, student affairs, wellness, academic success, and ongoing efforts to ensure anti-racism, equity, diversity, justice, and inclusion.
  • Watch the overview of MedEdMorphosis, narrated by McKayla Smith (MS2), for more information. Key curriculum elements featured in the overview are highlighted in the FAQ below.


    Here are just a few of the conditions driving MedEdMorphosis:

    • The updated mission-statement and program values, with its increased focus on being the University FOR Utah and address healthcare disparities.
    • The ability to complete desired revisions prior to our next accreditation visit.
    • Vulnerabilities in current teaching and learning methods in both clinical and nonclinical settings exposed during the COVID Pandemic.
    • The need to address concerns about anti-racism, equity, diversity, justice and inclusion by promoting a more personalized yet professional approach to education that focuses on the value of community and relationships among faculty, students, and patients.

    Houses are similar to an academic society and provide a safe, nurturing environment for student learning.

    • Houses will help students develop important professional relationships with their peers, near peers, residents, and faculty.
    • Each House will be comprised of approximately 80 intergenerational students (MS1 – MS4) along with faculty, residents, and interprofessional and community partners.
    • Houses will foster strong longitudinal mentoring, coaching, and support relationships among house members. Nevertheless, students will also have opportunity to connect with students from other Houses, both socially and academically.
    • Entering students in each House will be subdivided into Learning Communities (6 – 8 students). Students within each community will serve and learn together throughout in both Student-led Clinics and Problem Based Learning (PBL) small groups.
    • Within the Houses, students will have both formal and informal experiences in instruction and assessment that will help them master all program objectives in an integrated manner, continually building upon personal areas of strength and readiness to learn.

    Student-led Clinics will be aligned with Houses. Students will serve, learn, and teach in their House’s sponsored clinic throughout all four years. This means that students in each House will have assigned responsibility for a specific clinic.

    • The goal of the student-led clinics is to provide high quality care to patients who otherwise are unable to receive care due to problems with insurance, legal status, or other barriers, and to provide opportunities for students to continually expand their knowledge of the foundational sciences related to being compassionate and competent physicians.
    • Entering* students will spend 2-3 half days per week in the clinic working in increasingly more complex roles as their knowledge and skills grow. Prior to working in the clinics, students will be prepared for their responsibilities in a skill-building boot camp.
    • Senior* students will have opportunities to mentor their junior peers as they work with patients in the student-led clinics. Doing so, will help the senior students consolidate their knowledge and skills in preparation for residency.
    *The curriculum in the MD Program will be divided into three phases: Phase 1, ~12 months; Phase 2, ~12 months; and Phase 3, ~24 months.
    • PBL has proven in many other schools to be an effective student-directed learning method. Using PBL, students solve authentic patient-based problems and put the scientific method into practice in small groups.
    • Learning motivated to solve real-world problems, using PBL makes learning “more sticky” so that knowledge is accessible when seeing actual patients later in the future. Furthermore, PBL mirrors the type of learning physicians use throughout their careers.
    • In an LIC, students will participate in the care of patients over time, engage in community relationships with preceptors and evaluators, and meet core clinical competencies across all of the specialties throughout the entire year.
    • Our goal is to get students from rural areas back to where they have a network in place if they choose to do so.
    • There is a demand for providers in most rural communities.
    • We estimate that 15 – 25 LICs will be rural, some of which will be available in Idaho and other regional states.
    • LICs for most students will be within the Salt Lake Valley so will not require moving. A priority will be to place students in LICs outside of Salt Lake only for students who have expressed interest in such LICs.
    • Many communities that will be home to an LIC have surgeons and other procedural specialists. All physicians who precept students will have at least an adjunct faculty appointment in the School of Medicine, assuring that our own departments will have a means of monitoring the qualifications of supervising physicians.
    • In some instances, it may be necessary to supplement the LIC experience with in-patient exposure in another setting.
    • All students will maintain an Individualized Development Plan (IDP) describing their short- and long-term goals for personal and professional development. The IDP will describe development activities needed to achieve these goals. Mentors will review these plans with students regularly and help students identify opportunities to compensate for lack of experience.

    Yes, scholarly research is integral to our mission and embedded in our MD Program:

    • The MD Program promotes inquiry-based, problem-solving approaches that will encourage students to be curious and think about foundational science all the time.
    • Furthermore, by design, Phase 3 of the MD Program will be like year 4 in the Legacy Curriculum, but almost twice as long, giving student more time to engage in meaningful research projects (on par with experiences that once required taking an additional year to graduate). We are also investigating MD-PhD participation in Pathways, allowing for credit toward the MD school elective requirement and thereby giving more flexibility and time to research.
    • MD-PhD students will be integrated into the House model. These students understand the scientific method and research principles and can help their MD peers think about emerging sciences as they mentor, coach, and tutor fellow students.
    • Under the MD Program, students will take Step 1 after Phase 2. Step 1 topics are clinically relevant, and clinical exposure tends to improve retention of information.
    • The MD Program promotes inquiry-based, problem-solving approaches that will encourage student to be curious and think about foundational sciences all the time.

    The MD Program is specifically designed to better prepare students for residency.

    • More time spent in Phase 3 of the curriculum facilitates student differentiation and individualization.
    • Participation on Student-led Councils provides opportunities for students to gain additional skills, knowledge, and advanced training in areas of their choosing.
    • Doing well in the residency match will depend on many factors, many of which are related to students’ personal efforts to master program objectives. Evidence from other institutions which have implemented changes similar to those proposed for the MD Program (e.g., moving Step1 to after a year of clinical training) strongly suggest these curricular changes will enhance match outcomes (i.e., students getting into their top- choice programs). School leaders are very committed to ensuring your success!

    Absolutely! Students are integral to the MedEdMorphosis process.

    • Students have served as members of envisioning and advisory teams, been hired as consultants, and continue to be engaged in piloting and feedback.
    • Our leaders appreciate the value of student voice, including that which runs contrary to initial plan designs.
    • We even created an elective course called “Getting Your Ed in the Game” to encourage student participation and provide them with credit for their efforts toward the MedEdMorphosis change initiative.

    Please email Manager of Strategic Operations, Shari Veverka at for more information or to get involved in MedEdMorphosis.