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Designing and implementing a curriculum for Sports and Exercise Medicine elective course for undergraduate medical students of Tehran University of Medical Sciences
  1. Pardis Noormohammadpour1,2,
  2. Farzin Halabchi1,2,
  3. Reza Mazaheri1,2,
  4. Mohammad Ali Mansournia1,3,
  5. Zahra Alizadeh1,2,
  6. Tohid Seif Barghi1,2,
  7. Maryam Abolhasani1,2,
  8. Ramin Kordi1,2
  1. 1 Sports Medicine Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
  2. 2 Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
  3. 3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
  1. Correspondence to Professor Mohammad Ali Mansournia, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran; mansournia_ma{at}yahoo.com

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Introduction

The addition of exercise prescription as a part of patient treatment to medical school curricula currently seems necessary due to the high rate of morbidity and mortality of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).1 Many studies have shown the importance of regular physical activity in preventing NCDs and their risk factors such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and obesity.2 Based on the World Health Organization (WHO)’s action plan, healthcare policies should be in line with increasing physical activity for all people.2 Physicians can play an important role in making this possible.3 Studies have shown, however, that graduate medical students are not well prepared to achieve this goal.4 5 Also, with an increase in athletes’ participation in recreational and professional sports activities, physicians can play a significant role in the management of athletes’ injuries.6 Therefore, creating an educational Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) curriculum for medical students is both helpful and necessary.

Challenges ahead

Considering the variety of educational courses offered at medical school and students’ compact study schedule, finding the time, relevant content and experienced faculty members who can teach the syllabus of the SEM curriculum are all challenging. Harden has proposed 10 steps for planning and developing a curriculum (Harden’s 10 questions).7 Identification of needs and establishment of learning outcomes are the primary steps. It is expected that young doctors should be able to prescribe exercise and physical activity for the promotion of health and NCD prevention, and course evaluations should be defined based on these goals. Methods of content organisation and educational strategies should then be selected. Across the various proposed learning strategies, problem-based learning, integrated methods and elective programmes make it easier to reach the aforementioned goals. Professors can apply a range of teaching methods including lectures, study groups, slides, computers and simulators. For …

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