nation of educational programs is essential. Further, many health care-related programs are actively embracing new technologies for teaching (e.g., computer simulations of office practices) that provide an opportunity to ensure that sleep-related materials are incorporated into evolving curricula.
Most important, however, somnology health care providers need to be engaged in curriculum development and implementation. This will enable more effective curricular time and resources necessary for addressing basic educational goals in sleep disorders medicine and for integrating sleep materials into other academic areas. A coordinated curriculum—one that is not departmentally based—offers many advantages to encouraging more rational allocation of time and resources to critical areas of public health, including sleep and its disorders (Reynolds et al., 1995). This could be critical to a new integrative approach to teaching and learning about somnology and sleep disorders for the rest of the medical curriculum.
Recommendation 5.2: Academic health centers should integrate the teaching of somnology and sleep medicine into baccalaureate and doctoral health sciences programs, as well as residency and fellowship training and continuing professional development programs.
The subjects of sleep loss and sleep disorders should be included in the curricula of relevant baccalaureate and graduate educational and research programs of all the health sciences. Similarly, postgraduate, residency, and fellowship training programs, as well as continuing professional development programs, must include this content. The curriculum should expose students in the fields of medicine and allied health fields to the etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and public health burden of sleep loss and sleep disorders. Relevant accrediting bodies and licensing boards ought to define sleep-related curriculum requirements and expectations for knowledge and competency (e.g., Liaison Committee on Medical Education, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, American Board of Medical Specialties, the National League for Nursing, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Council on Education for Public Health). Further, a means for credentialing nonphysicians should be maintained by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, or new mechanisms should be developed by relevant organizations.