Department of Medical Education

About the Department

The Department of Medical Education was established in 1963 to support and encourage the improvement of medical education by providing faculty development; consulting on the design, implementation and revision of educational programs; and conducting research into effective means of delivering medical education. Over the years the division garnered an international reputation under the direction of Stephen Abrahamson, PhD who is still active in the Division as an emeritus faculty. The current Chair is Henri Ford MD, MHA and Vice-Chair is Cha-Chi Fung, Ph.D.

The mission of the Department of Medical Education is to transform the education of health professionals through: a) designing and administering academic programs; b) promoting educational research and innovation, and c) maintaining a national presence. In addition, the department provides support for Keck’s mission of educating tomorrow’s physicians. This includes student academic support, student assessment, program evaluation, faculty development, and policy and curriculum development

Research and Scholarship

The department provides mentoring and consultation support to Keck faculty and students who are interested in conducting research in medical education across the continuum (UME, GME and CME). Our areas of expertise include course/program evaluation, curriculum development, clinical skills assessment, research design, psychometrics, and statistical analysis.



Master of Academic Medicine

Our goal is to cultivate leaders who will develop and advance educational programs for healthcare professions globally. Health profession education is continuously evolving, which requires leaders that are process experts with a broad repertoire of approaches that can be applied to varied content arenas and situations. The program addresses a challenge in health professions’ education – the need for qualified educators who can model and lead change in their respective schools and programs. Graduates will be positioned to guide future generations of health professionals toward better meeting the health needs of our global society.

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Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA
Chair of the Department of Medical Education VP and Surgeon-in-Chief, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Professor and Vice Dean, Medical Education, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California


Cha-Chi Fung, Ph.D.
Vice Chair of Medical Education
Associate Professor
Assistant Dean of Educational Affairs
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Department of Medical Education

Faculty Development

The USC Health Sciences Faculty Development Program is designed to support faculty interested in improving their expertise in teaching, implementing and assessing educational innovations, and utilizing current educational technologies. Sessions are strategically scheduled to fit the busy academic life of our faculty, while also making available customized sessions suited for individual departmental needs (upon request only). All sessions incorporate didactic and interactive modalities to best enhance the retention and transfer of knowledge and skills. Currently, twelve highly engaging topics are offered and are scheduled regularly during the noon hour on the Health Sciences Campus. A certificate will be given to those who complete 9 sessions with concomitant CME credit.

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The Clinical Skills Education and Evaluation Center

The Clinical Skills Education and Evaluation Center (CSEEC) is an educational resource, used for both teaching and evaluating the clinical skills of medical students and other health professional students and residents.  The Center provides the space and offers opportunities for faculty to help students practice, reinforce, enhance and refine the critical skills that are needed to succeed clinically. The Center conducts a clinical performance examination, a graduation requirement for all USC students in the fourth year of medical school, as well as Objective Structured Clinical Exams for students in Introduction to Clinical Medicine and various clerkships.  The center participates as a member of the California Consortium for the Assessment of Clinical Competence, which was initially created by a grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

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Keck Evaluation, Institutional Research/Reporting, and Assessment (KEIRA) Office

KEIRA aims to transform the training of medical professionals through research, service, and education. We support evidence-based decision-making by providing accurate and timely information about students, faculty, and curricular programming. We build the capacity of medical educators to consume and use data. We conduct educational research and evaluation studies to grow the knowledge-base on what works, for whom, and under what conditions in medical education.