PURPOSE: The National Tuberculosis Curriculum Consortium (NTCC) is a multidisciplinary project whose main objective is to instill knowledge, skills, and appropriate attitudes in the management and control of active and latent tuberculosis (TB) among undergraduate and graduate health professions students (medical, nursing, pharmacy, public health, respiratory therapy, clinical laboratory sciences, and physician assistant) in their formative years and thereafter.
METHODS: A core group, five curriculum centers, and 23 partner schools compose the NTCC. The NTCC members are TB experts, educators and program directors from these different health-professional disciplines. Members of the NTCC work together by disciplines using state-of-the art electronic resources such as a web-based NTCC TB Portal to coordinate the activities of the members and to develop educational products.
RESULTS: From 2004 to 2007, the NTCC project has generated discipline-specific TB Competencies for all 8 NTCC disciplines as well as various educational products including 7 computerized cases; a multimedia bank with 67 images and multiple choice questions with answers and teaching points; several classroom presentations; and over a dozen complete case descriptions to be used by faculty to develop teaching exercises. Since July 2007, four-hundred fifty-nine non-NTCC members used the Portal (http://ntcc.ucsd.edu), including 259 (53%) students and 85 (19%) faculty from the United States and abroad. Free-of-charge educational products were downloaded 4,376 times.
CONCLUSION: The collaborative experiences from the NTCC can be used as a model for future efforts to strengthen curricula in other countries where TB is a serious public health problem, as well as for other important public health problems that require a multidisciplinary approach. Web-based technologies can assist effectively in disseminating this type of educational initiatives.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: A web-based multi-disciplinary model approach to teach medical and allied health-professional students about tuberculosis during their time of training can establish a foundation on which complex clinical issues relating to TB can be continually revisited throughout the span of their careers, potentially improving the care of patients with TB.
DISCLOSURE: Patricio Escalante, No Product/Research Disclosure Information; Grant monies (from sources other than industry) Since 2004, I have received approximately $6,000 per year in salary support for my participation in this NIH-sponsored project (NTCC).