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Managing expansions in medical students' clinical placements caused by curricular transformation: perspectives from four medical schools.


Many challenges could occur that result in the need to handle an increase in the number of medical student clinical placements, such as curricular transformations or viral pandemics, such as COVID 19. Here, we describe four different institutions' approaches to addressing the impact of curricular transformation on clerkships using an implementation science lens. Specifically, we explore four different approaches to managing the 'bulge' as classes overlap in clerkships Curriculum leaders at four medical schools report on managing the bulge of core clinical placements resulting from reducing the duration of the foundational sciences curriculum and calendar shifts for the respective clerkship curriculum. These changes, which occurred between 2014 and 2018, led to more students being enrolled in core clinical rotations at the same time than occurred previously. Schools provided respective metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness of their bulge management technique. These data typically included number of students affected in each phase of their curricular transformation, performance on standardized examinations, and student and faculty feedback. Not all data were available from all schools, as some schools are still working through their 'bulge' or are affected by COVID-19. There is much to be learned about managing curricular transformations. Working on such endeavors in a learning collaborative such as the AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Initiative provided support and insights about how to survive, thrive and identifying lessons learned during curricular transformation.

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