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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.
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 …
Contributors All authors contributed to study conception and design. PN contributed to acquisition of data. PN and MAM contributed to data analysis. All authors contributed to interpretation of data, drafting of manuscript and critical revision. All authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript and agree with the order of presentation of the authors.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent None declared.
Ethics approval Institutional review board and ethics committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.