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Deborah Erlich

(617) 636-2455
200 Harrison Avenue, Room 3rd floor
Research/Areas of Interest: a) Medical education innovation and leadership: With formal training and a master's degree in medical education, I have long been passionate about research on innovative models for educating learners. In my prior position as founding residency program director, I developed and integrated a novel didactic curriculum based on Jon Medina's Brain Rules, a summary of cognitive principles that govern learning. Previously as residency faculty at another residency program I created and implemented significant new curriculum, including Professionalism (now used nationally by other programs), Adolescent Health Elective, and the Diabetes Shared Medical Appointment Program, and I expanded the evaluation system. In my current position at TUSM as Family Medicine Clerkship Director, I am enjoying continuing to update the already excellent didactics to keep up with changing priorities in primary care and medicine as a whole. In 2016-2017 at the request of Dean Harris Berman, I co-chaired the Educational Strategic Plan II Committee (along with Prof. Peter Brodeur) to redesign the four-year medical school curriculum. In addition, in my current position in the Dean's Office I work closely with the Office of Student Affairs and Office of Educational Affairs and their respective Deans to develop new clinical teaching sites for third-year clerks. My research interests at TUSM have centered on my major curricular contributions including: 1. Implementation of a novel fourth-year student-as-teacher program embedded into the first-year Medical Interviewing and the Doctor-Patient Relationship course (IRB-approved study); 2. Development of a comprehensive longitudinal standardized approach to teaching students the physical examination; 3. Development of an integrated longitudinal approach to teaching Information Mastery across 4 years; 4. Development of a novel "open-internet" final exam testing both knowledge and the efficient use of point-of-case clinical resources to find answers to case-based questions. 5. Evolution of Family medicine didactics to keep pace with primary care education trends nationally. Nationally, in addition to ACGME committee service helping to redesign accreditation standards, I have published and presented on topics such as innovative education methods, teaching professionalism, novel assessment approaches including an open-internet exam, and my original student-as-teacher curriculum, which has influenced development of similar programs in the US and Europe. b) Information Mastery: As a graduate of Professor Allen Shaughnessy's faculty development fellowship for junior faculty, I value the principles of information mastery, and actively teach, present, and publish on this topic. In addition to teaching Advanced Information Mastery via the Family Medicine Clerkship, I am currently developing (along with Dr. Clinton Pong, Course Director of Competency-Based Apprenticeship in Primary Care or "CAP") an enhanced integrated four-year longitudinal undergraduate Information Mastery curriculum. c) Evidence-based primary care of diabetes: Because of the prevalence of this disease and the responsibility for its management of primary care physicians, I published a series of articles on a novel approach to diabetes care in the primary care setting, using both information mastery principles as well as a new framework for patient education. I also co-authored the paper on the Hand of Diabetes model, now internationally taught in medical education at the undergraduate and GME levels. I continue to teach students, residents, and colleagues these concepts.


  • Doctor of Medicine, Tufts University, USA, 2007
  • Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University, USA, 2002