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Background: Curricular redundancy can be a significant problem for any educational curriculum. Redundancy can be both desirable and undesirable, but differentiating the two can be quite challenging. Further, pinpointing undesirable redundancy and quantifying it so as to produce an estimate of inefficiency is even more difficult. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to describe a student-led strategy for evaluating redundancy in a highly integrated medical school curriculum. It is our hope that the methodology presented here will serve as a useful evaluation model for persons attempting similar work in various educational arenas. Setting: A highly-integrated medical school at a large public university. Intervention: This research did not require an intervention. Research Design: We identified two advanced medical students and asked them to identify redundant material across the first two years of the medical school curriculum. The students had to operationalize ‘redundancy’, develop an evaluation plan/framework, and evaluate the extent to which undesirable redundancy was prevalent in the current curriculum. Data Collection and Analysis: Students reviewed course syllabi, notes, and materials and documented the amount of redundant material they found in the curriculum. Findings: A total of approximately 167 hours, or 8.35 weeks, could be eliminated from the curriculum; the vast majority of the redundancy occurred as a result of small group activities.
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