TTUHSC School of Medicine
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non-TTUHSC ESP Features

Welcome to a special version of the ESP at Texas Tech designed for the benefit of students and faculty at other institutions.  To be clear, this program is free of charge with easy online access to all materials except for some in-house copyright protected case questions used in Block 3: Step 1 Prep.  Other institutions will need to identify comparable materials to fit their needs.  There are three major Blocks of activity in the ESP, with the primary differences in the two programs occurring in the last two blocks that are conducted on each individual campus.

We consider the first part of the ESP, the Block 1: Self-Study Activities, to be an essential beginning point for all entering medical students regardless of institution because:

  • It scaffolds the concepts essential to individualized application of DP to learning skills.
  • It preserves the students individuality.
  • It leads to a consistent expert professional outcome.
  • It prepares the student for any curriculum. 

In order to take advantage of a motivational moment, the TTUHSC SOM offers the invitation to begin as soon as we receive confirmation that the student has accepted our offer of admission. (A sample "boilerplate" email is available to other institutions as a doc file to allow editing to suit the institution). The design of Block 1 also permits it to be adapted to academic advising interventions.  We expect that, as the ESP at Texas Tech becomes improved through experience, academic interventions will no longer be necessary except in the case of failure due to personal life issues.

Differences in TTUHSC and non-TTUHSC Expert Skills Programs
(Click the link in the heading to learn more about the block)

Block 1: Self-Study Activities - A discovery activity

  • Likely differences in start dates
  • Also effective with newly matched residents
  • Independent use by individual students at nonparticipating institutions
  • Institutional collection and evaluation of academic performance and professionalism data

Block 2: Orientation Week Training Workshops - A skill development activity

  • Possible alternative introduction to Deliberate Practice in medical school
    • The video and slide notes used at TTUHSC SOM are available at this website as a resource for other institutions
  • Possible alternative workshop examples for topics that appear within the first week of the curriculum
    • A motivational advantage is gained by using material that will be learned immediately; this makes the workshops equivalent to “study time.”
  • Possible different practices or approaches that are specific to a unique curriculum.

Block 3: Step 1 Prep - A skill development activity

  • Use of resources for weekly review sessions must match topics in current week of the curriculum.
    • Coverage of topics will vary by individual curriculum.
  • Administration of the study groups will vary according to interest (remember that this doesn’t work if it is compulsory).
  • An estimation of "Institutional Resource Requirements" is provided below for individual institutions to evaluate. 
    • Careful examination will reveal the lack of commitment of faculty resources or curriculum time.
Institutional Resource Requirements

Human resources needed

Program Director

  • Minimal time commitment
  • Ideal for Academic Advising Individual
  • Oversight and day-to-day implementation of program components.
  • Possible collaboration with admissions office; 

Staff assistant

  • Minimal time commitment
  • eMail communication of initial program invitation as applicants commit
  • Maintains mail list for announcements, research surveys
  • Normal responsibilities typically in student affairs or admissions


  • Time requirement only to select questions for review
    • One time only except for minor revisions if course content changes
    • Questions selected for relevance of answer choice to concepts to course exams.
  • Questions re-used each year if course content remains stable.
  • No other faculty are needed!

Peer mentors

  • Not required but helpful in maintaining continuity and reporting of progress
  • Possibility for year 3 and year 4 mentors to observe and motivate
  • Function of mentors similar to PBL tutors; only active when needed
  • No preparation, but brief training may be helpful

Physical resources needed

  • Small group meeting rooms, preferably that can be reserved
  • Used for USMLE Step 1 Prep sessions
  • Normal scheduling at 5pm, but varies with curriculum schedule if openings exist during the day.
  • White boards, 8ft wide (for year 2 groups)