Consensus Curriculum on Diagnosis

Transforming medical education

About the Project

In its seminal report, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) made eight recommendations on how to improve diagnosis. The top two recommendations focused in improving diagnosis-related education of all healthcare providers and improving teamwork in the diagnostic process.

With support from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, SIDM staff and members led a three year Consensus Curriculum project to address these recommendations, with the goal of defining the key interprofessional competencies required for diagnostic quality and safety. The premise was that improving diagnosis-related education would improve the safety of diagnosis in practice (see the Driver Diagram), and that interprofessional education would familiarize providers with team-based, interprofessional practice.1

The project involved 40+ educators (medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory medicine, radiology), students and patients. Beginning with an environmental scan, and through a series of consensus-building meetings, the group identified a set of 12 key competencies, relevant to the education of all healthcare professionals.2

The competencies are organized into three overall domains: Individual, System-Related, and Team-Based, and for each competency, there are related learning objectives, and milestones to assess learning. Access additional publications.

  1. Graber M, Rencic J, Rusz D, et al. Improving diagnosis by improving education: A policy brief on education in healthcare professions. Diagnosis. 2018;5(3):107-118. Full text
  2. Olson A, Rencic J, Cosby K, et al. Competencies for improving diagnosis: An interprofessional framework for education and training in healthcare. Diagnosis. 2019; Nov 26;6(4):335-341 Full text

Build Your Own Curriculum

Driver Diagram

A major conclusion was that improving education could provide an effective approach to improving diagnosis, clearly in line with the mandate from the National Academy. The driver diagram identifies 5 pathways through which education can ultimately improve the diagnostic process.

Competencies & Learning Objectives

The project's consensus group agreed on a set of 12 key competencies to improve diagnosis. For each of the 12 competencies, key learning objectives are outlined, with extensive references to help with content development.

Milestones for Assessing Competency

Assessing competency in each area can be facilitated by using milestones. Download the milestone rubrics to evaluate learners in each of the individual, system-based, and team-based competencies. 

multicultural students and teacher walking on street near medical university

Who's Using the Curriculum?

Learn more about the different sites engaging in the Macy Learning Collaborative and a description of their projects.