TUSCALOOSA LONGITUDINAL
COMMUNITY CURRICULUM

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
TUSCALOOSA REGIONAL CAMPUS

WHAT IS TLC2?

The Tuscaloosa Regional Campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine is addressing the need for change in clinical medical education with the Tuscaloosa Longitudinal Community Curriculum — an innovative longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC). Third-year Tuscaloosa Campus students gain a strong foundation in clinical medicine, experience deeper connections with patients and form lasting relationships with mentoring physicians.

“One of the major benefits was seeing patients over a long period of time. You get to see if what you told the patient the first time was what they needed to hear.”

KAY RAINEY, MS4
KAY RAINEY, MS4Pilot TLC2 StudentRead More

“Caring for a patient during her pregnancy, then being able to deliver the baby, was an experience I’ll never forget.”

ELIZABETH JUNKIN, MS4
ELIZABETH JUNKIN, MS4Pilot TLC2 StudentRead More

“The opportunity for a long-term mentoring relationship allows for professional growth, and students develop an enduring connection with their core medical practice and the community.”

THADDEUS ULZEN, MD
THADDEUS ULZEN, MDAssociate Dean for Academic Affairs, Tuscaloosa Regional CampusRead More

HOW DOES TLC2 WORK?

TLC2 FOLLOWS AN
INNOVATIVE MEDICAL
EDUCATION
MODEL

TLC2 students learn clinical medicine by developing a panel of patients that they follow and care for over nine months, through various disciplines and in all settings, including primary care and specialty clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms and nursing homes.

This differs from the traditional four- to eight-week clerkship models in medical education, in which students commonly experience single encounters or brief episodes of illness with a patient, and may fail to see and understand the evolution of health and disease over time and in the context of family, cultural and social determinants—education, jobs, safe housing, access to food, and crime and violence.

Students learn to care for patients as people instead of as merely a procedure or disease process. They become integrated members of the health-care team.

The traditional clerkship model is typically limited to single, isolated encounters with a patient, but longitudinal clerkship students are also able to follow the patient’s progress and see how clinical decision making impacts the patient’s health. TLC2 students have the benefit of seeing how patients respond to treatment and how health and disease evolve over time and in the context of social influences.

Students work with preceptors at University Medical Center in Tuscaloosa and at practices in rural and urban communities across Alabama. Following the care of patients over nine months lets TLC2 students build relationships with both their patients and their preceptors. This results in a meaningful experience for students, who become part of a health-care team, which is less likely to happen under a traditional block schedule.

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PROGRAM
INFORMATION
STUDENT
EXPERIENCES

BROWSE OUR FAQ

WHY IS THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE PURSUING A LONGITUDINAL COMMUNITY CURRICULUM?

The Tuscaloosa Regional Campus leads the University of Alabama School of Medicine in addressing the need for a change in undergraduate medical education. Robust and growing research on the effectiveness of LICs…

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO MEDICAL STUDENTS?

TLC² uniquely prepares students to provide and appreciate comprehensive and continuous care of patients over time. LIC students become self-directed learners, more patient-centered and have a more expansive clinical experience…

HOW DOES TLC² COMPARE TO THE STANDARD UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE CURRICULUM?

TLC² students meet the same learning objectives, have the same required patient encounters, are graded using the same metrics, take the same standardized exams and have the same opportunity to earn honors as…

WHAT DO RESIDENCY DIRECTORS THINK ABOUT STUDENTS WHO COMPLETE A LIC CURRICULUM?

Experience shows that students who complete a LIC curriculum are attractive residency candidates. Because of their long-term teaching relationships with LIC students, faculty can write personal and effective residency letters…

WHAT TYPE OF PATIENT POPULATIONS WILL STUDENTS WORK
WITH?

Students see patients of all ages with medical needs across the spectrum of traditional and sub-specialty disciplines.

HOW ARE PRECEPTORS AND SITES SELECTED FOR STUDENTS?

Determining placement sites for students is a thoughtful, individualized matching process. Locations and principal preceptors will vary from year to year, and include University Medical Center in Tuscaloosa and rural towns and urban…

ARE OTHER MEDICAL SCHOOLS USING THIS TYPE OF CURRICULUM?

Yes, some schools have been teaching this way for decades, and in the last five to 10 years many more schools, both in the United States and elsewhere in the world, have adopted longitudinal integrated clerkships (Brown University, Harvard University, University of California San Francisco, University…

COMPARE THE TWO MODELS

TRADITIONAL CURRICULUM

In a traditional medical education model, students follow a separate and sequential discipline-specific block rotation.

A LONGITUDINAL INTEGRATED CURRICULUM IS DIFFERENT

Instead of following a traditional block schedule, TLC2 students follow and care for patients through the nine-month experience.
This may take them through various disciplines and settings simultaneously.

USE YOUR MOUSE TO HOVER OVER THE SPOTS ON THE CHART BELOW TO LEARN MORE.

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A TLCstudent might see an adult patient at an initial visit.

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The student might then accompany the patient to a specialty consult and assist in surgery on the patient.

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The student may then see the patient back in the primary care doctor’s office for follow-up visits.

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A TLC2 student may start by seeing a pregnant patient in a primary care doctor’s office.

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The student may follow the patient into obstetrics and help deliver the baby.

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The student might then follow the newborn through well-baby checks.

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In addition to following the newborn, the student would continue to follow the care for the mother.

WHAT ARE STUDENTS SAYING?

…AN EXPERIENCE
I’LL NEVER FORGET

Fourth-year medical student Elizabeth Junkin participated in TLC2 in its pilot year working closely with Dr. Julia Boothe in Reform, Alabama. Junkin shares a unique experience she had with a patient that she wouldn’t have had with a traditional curriculum.

HEAR FROM SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
FACULTY AND LEADERSHIP

“It’s very clear that students are well prepared from this model for any specialty that they choose. The record has shown that students are successful applicants in all specialties.”

“Our curriculum has been very conventional for decades. The change with the TLC2 curriculum is that it is more patient-centered than discipline-centered … and really allows students to build relationships with their patients will still meeting the same educational objectives that we’ve always had. The question is why isn’t every medical school doing this? It clearly makes sense.”

“In traditional clerkships, students don’t have an opportunity to form long-term relationships with their clinical teachers. In TLC2, the opportunity for a long-term mentoring relationship allows for professional growth, and students develop an enduring connection with their core medical practice and the community.”

DR. RICHARD STREIFFER

ASSOCIATE DEAN, TUSCALOOSA REGIONAL CAMPUS

DR. CRAIG HOESLEY

SENIOR ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

DR. THADDEUS ULZEN

ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS,
TUSCALOOSA REGIONAL CAMPUS

INTERESTED IN BEING
A PRECEPTOR?

If you’re interested in being a preceptor for our TLC2 students, contact Dr. Drake Lavender at drake@cchs.ua.edu for more information.

JOIN US

Students interviewing with the University of Alabama School of Medicine who are interested in participating in TLC2 should indicate the Tuscaloosa Regional Campus as their preference when asked to rank their campus choices. Campus preference does not affect admission status with the School of Medicine.

CONTACT

For more information, contact Brook Hubner at bhubner@cchs.ua.edu or (205) 348-1384.

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