University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

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Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

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Medical Education | Research Methods in Life Sciences | Translational Medical Research


In the Spring of 2020, we launched a rigor and reproducibility curriculum for medical students in research training programs. This required class consisted of eight, two-hour sessions which transitioned to remote learning in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. The class was graded as Pass/Fail. Flipped classroom techniques, with multiple hands-on exercises, were developed for first year medical students (MD/PhD (n=9), Clinical and Translational Research Pathway students (n=9)). Four focus groups (n=13 students) and individual interviews with the two instructors were conducted in May 2020. From individual interviews with instructors and focus groups with medical students, the course and its components were favorably reviewed. Students thought the course was novel, important, relevant, and practical - and teaching strategies were effective (e.g., short lectures, interactive small group exercises, project). Most students expressed concerns about lack of time for course prep. Sharper focus and streamlining of prep work may be required. Pre- and post- student self-assessments of rigor and reproducibility competencies showed average post-scores ranging from high/moderate to strong understanding (n=11). We conclude that rigor and reproducibility can be taught to first year medical students in research pathways programs in a highly interactive and remote format.


curriculum, reproducibility, rigor

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DOI of Published Version



Lapane KL, Dube CE. Rigor and reproducibility training for first year medical students in research pathways. Clin Transl Sci. 2020 Dec 18. doi: 10.1111/cts.12966. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33337579. Link to article on publisher's site

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Clinical and translational science

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.