have incorporated into their curricula. The committee believes the creation of an improved, periodically updated database on the state of behavioral and social science instruction in U.S. medical schools would be of significant benefit to individual medical schools, credentialing bodies, government agencies, and professional organizations. An alternative to creating a new database would be to modify CurrMIT to produce these data. Because both are major undertakings, the decision to develop a new database or modify CurrMIT should be based on which method best collects behavioral and social science teaching information within the available resources. The committee also believes AAMC is the logical organization to design and operate such a database, as it has access to and is respected by all U.S. allopathic medical schools, and its staff has considerable experience and expertise in data collection and analysis. AAMC should consider collaborating with other relevant professional organizations, such as the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), in the design and operation of the database.

It is beyond the scope of the committee’s charge to specify the data that should be collected, the collection methodology, or the types of analyses that should be performed—matters that would best be decided by those using the database. It may be noted that the ad hoc survey conducted by the committee for this study reflects some of its thinking about the minimum contents of a curriculum database.

Conclusion 1. Existing national databases provide inadequate information on behavioral and social science content, teaching techniques, and assessment methodologies. This lack of data impedes the ability to reach conclusions about the current state and adequacy of behavioral and social science instruction in U.S. medical schools.

Recommendation 1: Develop and maintain a database. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research should contract with the Association of American Medical Colleges to develop and maintain a database on behavioral and social science curricular content, teaching techniques, and assessment methodologies in U.S. medical schools. This database should be updated on a regular basis.

Behavioral and Social Science Content in Medical School Curricula

No physician’s education would be complete without an understanding of the role played by behavioral and social factors in human health and disease, knowledge of the ways in which these factors can be modified, and an appreciation of how personal life experiences influence physician–patient relationships. The committee believes that each medical school should expect entering students



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