Table 1

Curriculum development steps

Curriculum development stepsDescriptionSpecific example
1. Performing a needs assessment and writing a rationale statementThrough focused attention on the current state—medical knowledge, community need, learner time/access—one can develop the right format for assessing needs.Quality data was used to make a case for a new educational initiative for intern note writing.
2. Determining and prioritising contentUsing a variety of sources, drill down a list of key areas of content to be addressed in the curriculum and, if possible, prioritise.White-Davis et al used a qualitative analysis to mine discussion around the topic of racism in medical education to identify key essential themes to be addressed in the curriculum.6
3. Writing goals and objectivesGoals: broad overview of the content to be covered.
Objectives: specific measurable statements that identify the who, what, and when of the goals.
Goal: learners will be able to address the topic of tobacco cessation in all office encounters.
Objective: by the end of the curriculum the learner will be able to list the five steps of the ‘5 A’s’ approach to smoking cessation.
4. Selecting teaching/educational strategiesOne should match the learner, teacher and material to one or more of the available teaching formats.Teaching laceration repair is most beneficial in a hands-on format, whereas assessing basic knowledge of pharmacokinetic rules may be confirmed via web module.
5. Implementation of the curriculum
  1.  Develop resources

  2.  Obtain support

  3.  Design a management plan

  4.  Anticipate and address barriers

  5.  Roll out

Noriea et al used already existing resources to great benefit for their curriculum on health disparities, while also developing external support for their project.8 A great example of a detailed management plan can be seen in their paper.
6. Evaluation and application of lessons learnt
  1.  Develop a plan to use evaluation results

  2.  Determine how to measure objectives

  3.  Collect data

  4.  Analyse data

  5.  Use evaluation results

Malterud et al evaluated a primary care implementation model to better manage depression in primary care. They attend to process measures and utilisation of results to change clinical practice.14