Since the 1960s there has been pressure to reform medical education in a more humanistic direction. One reason this has been difficult is that must medical schools have been forced to maintain themselves on resources allocated to Support research Lind the technology of specialised tertiary care, Nevertheless, many people believe that medical education can still change because of changes taking place outside the sciences, such as a redefinition or the meaning of health and the need to provide better health care to the U.S. population at a lower cost. Taking this optimistic view will help strengthen reformers’ resolve for curricular charge and the incorporation of important areas such as family violence into medical students’ education. There are numerous barriers to curricular change. Yet there are useful principles chat can guide reform efforts, such as having an explicit rationale for the desired change, focusing on educational goals rather than on resources for their implementation, recruiting support from the departmental and school leadership, anticipating negative reactions, and recognizing the need for negotiation. There are also principles to foster successful implementation, the most important of which is to have everyone involved agree on the goals of the new program and participate in the process.The way to increase an emphasis on family violence Issues is to find areas in the curriculum where these issues cart be integrated with current teaching. Finally, a medical school curriculum on family violence does not need to be all-inclusive, hut instead should prepare a good foundation so that students can expand their knowledge and skills during residency training and medical practice. © 1995 Association of American Medical Colleges.
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