NEXUS’ biggest challenge may be finding out what students are learning.

In 2009, HHMI and the Association of American Medical Colleges convened a group of scientists, physicians, and science educators to examine the training that a graduating physician needs for 21st century science-based medical practice. 

Their report, Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians, recommends a competency-based approach to teaching premedical students and laid out eight competencies in the sciences that undergraduates should know before medical school. 

The NEXUS assessment team will design an assessment strategy and develop new tools to measure competency. The goal is to allow educators to move beyond testing students’ knowledge of facts toward assessing their ability to demonstrate that they understand and can apply what they have learned.