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Responsibilities of Essentials Core Block Directors

Each block in the Essentials Core will have two block directors, one from a basic science department and one from a clinical department. Together, the block directors will be directly responsible for developing and implementing the block and will participate with other block directors in planning and coordinating the overall Essentials curriculum. Block directors will be required to attend monthly meetings of the Essential Core along with any curriculum retreats. Block directors will be supported by the administrative staff of the Essentials Core Curriculum Office. Block content and format will be consistent with the School of Medicine educational mission, goals, educational objectives, and principles of learning. Specific duties will include:

Faculty recruitment

The clinical and basic science block directors will work together with the Assistant Dean of the Essentials Core and with department chairs to identify and recruit faculty to lecture and act as small group facilitators.

Keeping the curriculum current

The clinical and basic science block directors will jointly be responsible for keeping the content of the block current and appropriate by continuing to improve existing parts of the block, as well as developing and implementing new curricular elements. Block content will focus on basic science material that provides a foundation for further medical education. An important aim in the design of the curriculum will be to establish a clinical context for the basic science material being presented. This will include developing clinical examples, cases, or exercises that provide opportunities for students to apply basic science concepts to clinical situations. Formats will include: lectures, labs, small group activities and opportunities for self-directed learning. Active-learning methods that involve the student as an active participant in the learning process will be emphasized. Block directors will also be responsible for developing tools to assess student progress.

Quality control

The clinical and basic science block directors will be responsible for monitoring the quality of the block, which will include observation and evaluation of faculty and of the block as a whole. Evaluation expertise and support will be provided by the Office of Evaluation which will also solicit and review student on-line evaluations of the block, lecturers and small group facilitators, and otherwise aid block directors in evaluating and communicating the success of their blocks.


Appointment as block director will be considered a significant time commitment (0.25 FTE) and will be supported by funds from Undergraduate Medical Education.