The curriculum of caring

Kerry Boyd

Award: Phoenix Project Fellowship (2013)

Co-Sponsor: McMaster University

The “Curriculum of Caring” prepares healthcare professionals to be more capable (comfortable, confident, competent) in delivering compassionate, person-centred care to patients generally considered harder to serve, specifically people with developmental disabilities (DD). The Curriculum of Caring began as a Hamilton/Niagara regional partnership of Bethesda Services with McMaster and Brock Universities to provide medical and nursing students with experiential learning that promotes responsive inter-professional care. People living with DD play central roles in this education. The AMS Phoenix Project Fellowship has afforded more opportunities for people who have experience with DD to become champion educators through involvement in focus groups, curriculum development and creation of video resources for healthcare education. CommunicateCARE.machealth.ca.


  • Enhanced and advanced the Curriculum of Caring: Video and web-based resources featuring “voices of experience” have been developed, evaluated and utilized in medical and nursing education with open access for international use.
  • Expanded the network for Curriculum of Caring: There is now a provincial network of contributors that includes people with DD, families, developmental service partners, experts from Ontario medical schools and allied health students/professionals/faculty.
  • Extended the influence of Curriculum of Caring: On going knowledge translation, exchange and interchange activities include presentations, publications, Internet presence and international networking.
  • Evolved the Curriculum of Caring: It is recognized that Curriculum of Caring premises and practices have broad applicability. Healthcare students continue to be mentored in related projects and initiatives.Patient educators are promoted as champions of compassionate,person-centered care.

To learn more about this research, read¬†Kerry’s recently published article in the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics.

Hear Kerry Boyd talk about their work