Lessons learned from a student-driven initiative to design and implement an Organ and Tissue Donation course across Canadian medical schools

Alexandra Fletcher
Bing Yu Chen
David Benrimoh
Sam Shemie
Stuart Lubarsky
Soort article
Show and Tell
Competency development,
Course design,
Organ donation,
Undergraduate medical education,
Verscheen in

The competencies required of the well-trained physician are constantly evolving, and medical education must adapt accordingly. In response, a growing number of influential medical education licensing and accreditation bodies have proposed frameworks that outline society’s expectations of physician competencies. In Canada, undergraduate and graduate curricula have undergone major changes to meet the specifications of the CanMEDS framework, and similar efforts are underway internationally. Nonetheless, ensuring the values enshrined within such frameworks become integral to a physician’s identity remains challenging. We believe that student-led curricular initiatives represent a novel way of approaching this shifting medical education landscape.

In this article, we reflect on lessons we learned as medical students spearheading an initiative to change how organ and tissue donation is taught in Canadian medical schools. Citing relevant medical education literature where applicable, we include a detailed description of our approach as a roadmap for students contemplating their own curricular innovations. By outlining the factors influencing this project’s implementation, as well as the benefits and limitations of student participation in curriculum reform, we offer educators a fresh perspective on optimizing the student role in this important process. Ultimately, the authors argue that not only can student participation render curricular content more accessible to learners, but that the responsibilities students take on in this role naturally lead to the development of CanMEDs-based competencies such as advocacy, scholarship, and inter-professionalism.


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