The Genes to Society Curriculum
A Brief History of the Hopkins Model
In 1889, the founding physicians of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine created a new medical curriculum that for the first time integrated a rigorous program of basic science education with intensive clinical mentoring. The original faculty created a curriculum designed not just to impart knowledge, but also to create it. Virtually every medical school in the United States adopted the “Hopkins Model.”
A New Curriculum for the 21st Century
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has forged a new educational model, one that brings the patient’s unique and variable genetic, environmental and societal influences to the fore. The result is a promotion of biomedical knowledge targeted at customized health and wellness, an approach that ultimately translates to individually tailored care.
Much of the curriculum is built around the advances in understanding the human genome to recognize the individual variation in susceptibility to and manifestations of disease and what treatments are likely to work best with different individuals. We are preparing our students to understand the interactions of a patient's biology down to the genomic level with external environmental and societal factors to explain a patient’s unique phenotype. This is especially important for patients coping with chronic illnesses, ranging from cancer to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Instead of consecutive courses of rote learning that often is not applied clinically until months or years later, concepts are concurrently reinforced with clinical experience. Concurrent education in basic science and clinical medicine begins in the first year and continues throughout all 4 years.
In this way the natural question many students ask—Why does this matter?—is answered through patient interaction from the first day they step into class.
This constant application of scientific concepts and critical thinking to the clinical setting continues throughout the educational experience, building a confidence level in our graduates that gives them an outstanding foundation for residency and postgraduate training.