Minutes 01.22.04

Minutes 01.22.04

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Committee

Minutes
01.22.04

Surgery Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.                       

Present (underlined) were: Reid Adams, Eve Bargmann,  Robert Bloodgood,  Anita Clayton,  Gene Corbett, Carl Creutz,  Donald Innes (Chair),  Vern Juel, Howard Kutchai, Chris Peterson, Jerry Short, Linda Watson,  Bill Wilson, Brian Wispelwey, John Bell,  Maria Meussling,  Debra Reed (secretary)
  1. NBME Shelf Exams.  At the present time some of the clerkships purchase and administer the NBME Shelf Exams but not all.  Clerkships who do not give the exams site lack of funding as the primary reason.  The exams cost $30.00 per student per clerkship (~4,200/year per clerkship). 

    The Curriculum Committee discussed the benefits of the standardized tests which include helping students prepare for the boards, assessing how our students are doing in relation to the rest of the country, and assessing the effectiveness of each clerkship’s curriculum.   

    The Committee agreed that the NBME Shelf Exams should be used at UVA and that funding would be requested from the School of Medicine for these exams to be given in all of the clerkships.

  2. Student Participation in Educational Activities.  It has been brought to the attention of the Committee that student attendance in many “not required” small group activities has been low.   Students report that faculty reputation, familiarity with the material, and in the PoM2 Problem Sets the 10:00 am. Friday morning time slot may contribute to the decline in participation.  At least two departments have complained that valuable faculty time is wasted when they reserve time away from clinic and only a few students show for the discussion. In this setting course directors can experience difficulty recruiting faculty to staff small group sessions.

    Many courses using small group sessions already require attendance in some form. It was noted that attendance at the Neurology clerkship morning student conference was poor until attendance was made mandatory for students. At student request, students now sign in at each session and attendance has improved dramatically allowing provision of a fairly comprehensive neurology overview for all.

    Most important is that students are missing valuable educational experiences by not attending these sessions. Small group sessions are valuable learning situations as they exercise a number of activities critical to the function of a physician.  Physicians rarely if ever function alone.  The practice of medicine is complex and requires the cooperation of many individuals. The educational value of small group sessions is outlined in the attachment below. (See “Small Group Sessions” attachment). The Curriculum Committee agreed that participation in small group activities is a necessary part of medical education.

    Some courses may wish to require attendance at all sessions while others might require attendance at a specific number of the sessions per semester, e.g. 8 of 10 sessions. Each course should have clear expectations for critical learning content and process.

Donald Innes/dmr

Attachment:

Small Group Sessions

Small group sessions are valuable learning situations as they exercise a number of activities critical to the function of a physician.  Physicians rarely if ever function alone.  The practice of medicine is complex and requires the cooperation of many individuals.

Small group sessions place the student in cooperative learning situations involving purposeful discussion, group interaction, teamwork, and assessment of group and of self.

Small group sessions build effective communication with training in both verbal and listening skills.

Small group sessions build the skills needed for team dynamics.

Small group sessions provide opportunities for one-on-one with teachers.

Small group sessions provide opportunities for students to teach one another.

For the reasons outlined above, small group sessions are required activities for students.

Participation in small group sessions is an important part of the learning process and it is expected that students will participate to the best of their ability.

Case based learning situations where contributions from all are needed to model the health team approach.

Functioning in a team environment requires the ability to lead in some situations and the ability to follow in others.