Dissemination of a medical education innovation, such as mastery learning, from a setting where it has been used successfully to a new and different medical education environment is not easy. This article describes the uneven yet successful dissemination of a simulation-based mastery learning (SBML) curriculum on central venous catheter (CVC) insertion for internal medicine and emergency medicine residents across medical education settings. The dissemination program was grounded in implementation science principles. The article begins by describing implementation science which addresses the mechanisms of medical education and health care delivery. The authors then present a mastery learning case study in two phases: (1) the development, implementation, and evaluation of the SBML CVC curriculum at a tertiary care academic medical center; and (2) the dissemination of the SBML CVC curriculum to an academic community hospital setting. Contextual information about the drivers and barriers that affected the SBML CVC curriculum dissemination is presented. This work demonstrates that dissemination of mastery learning curricula, like all other medical education innovations, will fail without active educational leadership, personal contacts, dedication, hard work, rigorous measurement, and attention to implementation science principles. The article concludes by presenting a set of lessons learned about disseminating an SBML CVC curriculum across different medical education settings.
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