A new curriculum begins

Beginning with the Entering Class of 2020, Washington University implemented a new, innovative course of study for medical students called the Gateway Curriculum. It was awarded the highest level of accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in September 2023.

The Gateway Curriculum integrates academic and clinical excellence with self-care, individualized career development, flexibility, coaching, and a special emphasis on social justice.

Why a curriculum renewal?

At Washington University, we are advancing human health as a diverse and inclusive community, inspiring learners to create the future of medicine, science and society. Our goal is to produce physicians who are leaders in medicine, science, education and advocacy.

In the 20 years since our last curriculum renewal, the world has been transformed by technology, scientific discovery, and our understanding of education science’s role in training physicians. More importantly, health care delivery and our understanding of social determinants of health are evolving rapidly. 

Our new curriculum ensures that our students are not only exceptional physicians, but are prepared to lead the transformational changes needed to improve the future of our field. No school or college of medicine is better positioned to achieve this goal.

View curriculum overview

Guiding principles

The Gateway Curriculum is based on the following guiding principles:

  • Use of a competency-based curricular structure that provides standardization of learning outcomes but individualization of process through backwards design
  • Development of an assessment system that is transparent and continuously incorporating both regular feedback and routine self-reflection on strengths, direction, and opportunities for growth
  • Use of maximally effective educational methodologies including incorporation of technology and active learning strategies
  • Programming that promotes relationships with peers, teachers, patients and systems of care
  • Ensuring integration of foundational, clinical and social sciences content throughout training with progressive complexity and depth as learners progress —known as helical integration
  • Required and elective longitudinal curricula to support the formation of identity as an academic leader with skill development in:
    • Leadership and teamwork
    • Science, discovery, and innovation
    • Teaching and learning
    • Social determinants of health, community engagement, and advocacy

Gateway Coaching Program

Learn more about the Gateway Coaching Program.