Aim: Undergraduate medical education is currently in a fundamental transition towards competency-based programs around the globe. A major curriculum reform implies a dual challenge: the change of the curriculum and the delivering organization. Both are closely interwoven. In this article, we provide practical insights into our approach of managing such a fundamental reform of the large undergraduate medical program at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
Methods: Members of the project management team summarized the key features of the process with reference to the literature.
Results: Starting point was a traditional, discipline-based curriculum that was reformed into a fully integrated, competency- based program. This change process went through three phases: initiation, curriculum development and implementation, and sustainability. We describe from a change management perspective, their main characteristics, and the approaches that were employed to manage them successfully.
Conclusions: Our report is intended to provide practical insights and guidance for those institutions which are yet considering or have already started to undergo a major reform of their undergraduate programs towards competency medical education.