Explore Learning Health Sciences

Improving Learning to Improve Health

“We have taken an idea that has been around for long time and applied it to health. The concept of a learning system involves deep interdisciplinary science that can be applied to our own medical centers and in health generally. Together our diverse faculty study the science of advancing how we learn, and how improving this process at all levels then improves health.”
--Charles P. Friedman, PhD

Three units comprise the Department of Learning Health Sciences, each contributing a vital component in our main mission to improve learning by studying how we learn:

Division of Professional Education

The Division of Professional Education (DPE) focuses on the sciences of learning, from individual through system levels. Our team of nationally recognized scholars in educational program design, individual learner assessment, curriculum development and program evaluation focuses on developing innovative approaches to teaching and learning within the rapidly changing health care landscape.

Our department has a long history of interprofessional education, and our faculty collaborate closely with other health sciences schools and colleges across the University to facilitate sharing of pedagogical knowledge, best practices, and innovation experiments.


Division of Learning and Knowledge Systems

The Division of Learning and Knowledge Systems (DLKS) focuses on an emerging interdisciplinary science exploring how human society—using technology, information, and policy as tools—can create sustainable infrastructures that continuously improve health.

Our team of interdisciplinary scientists with expertise in biomedical informatics, implementation science, health behavior, and quality and performance improvement methods focuses on the organizational and system levels of scale. We address how large-scale systems can routinely learn and improve through continuous self-study and self-surveillance, application of analytical methods converting data to knowledge, and subsequent application of that knowledge to drive positive change.

Our faculty and staff have played leadership roles in numerous learning health system and care quality improvement initiatives at local, state, and national levels.


Clinical Simulation Center

The University of Michigan Clinical Simulation Center (CSC) is an innovative learning laboratory providing immersive simulation training for physicians, nurses and other health care professionals at the University of Michigan.

Our mission is to advance best practices in health care education and improve patient safety through the development of effective simulation-based instruction, robust assessment, and rigorous research. The CSC plays an integral role in leading change by studying how learning can be improved through simulation-based education. Our research focuses on advanced simulation methods and continuous evaluation and improvement of our programs.