Individualization and Standardization in Medical Education: Holy Grail or Third Rail?

Presented by Catherine Lucey on September 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm


  1. Describe drivers of and barriers to the widespread adoption of the principles of individualization and standardization
  2. List current teaching strategies that are compatible with individualization and standardization
  3. Cite pedagogical theories that support an individualization and standardization approach
  4. Describe elements of a successful individualization and standardization program
  5. Give examples of innovative educational programs implementing an individualized and standardized curriculum.

In keeping with a national focus on outcomes measures in health care and education, the 2010 Carnegie Foundation Report on Educating Physicians calls for medical educators and education systems to commit to developing objectively measurable performance standards for learners at all levels and ensuring that these standards are met before completion of the formal educational programs. To achieve these standardized outcomes, educators must prepare to continuously assess their learners across a broad range of complex competencies and to individualize curricula and experiences to the meet the professional developmental needs of their learners. This shift from a time based advancement system to a competency based advancement system poses unique challenges in both classroom and clinical learning environments. The speaker will address these challenges and provide examples of how the goal of individualized learning with standardized outcomes can be achieved in today’s busy health care environment.

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