Minutes 02.10.05

Minutes 02.10.05

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Committee

Surgery Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.                       

Present (underlined) were: Reid Adams, Eve Bargmann,   Robert Bloodgood,   Anita Clayton,  Gene Corbett, John Gazewood, Donald Innes (Chair),  Howard Kutchai, Marcus Martin, Chris Peterson, Jerry Short, Linda WatsonBill Wilson, Brian Wispelwey, Nnaemeka Anyadike, Michael Richardson, Debra Reed (secretary) 

  1. Dx & Rx: US Health Care update.  Linda Watson reported that the website for the course is in development.  Since the course begins in about a month, final materials (curriculum, schedule, learning objectives, reading materials) for the website are needed by 2/17/05.  All members of the Curriculum Committee should have the most recent distribution: the DX-RX Health Care System:  4th Year Medical School Course syllabus. Other materials will be made available to the Committee as soon as they are ready.

  2. Biochemistry Review.  Course evaluation data from Jerry Short was distributed to the Committee and will be redistributed at the 2/17 meeting.

  3. Clinical Skills Education update.  Don Innes met with Michael Rein to begin development of the Clinical Skills Educator Program.  Dr. Rein will meet with Drs. Corbett and Wispelwey to pilot this program prior to July 2005.  The curriculum will focus on the history and physical examination with extensive critique by the faculty mentor. The class should be notified that because this is a pilot, not all students in the class will have the opportunity to participate at this time.

  4. Clinical Connection Review.  A date in March, 05 will be arranged.with Course Director, Reid Adams for the Curriculum Committee’s review of the Clinical Connections program.

  5. Medical Education Building Committee.  Bob Bloodgood gave a brief update of the progress of the Building Committee.   The budget for the building has been increased as plans for the new medical education building will need to develop quickly to avoid inflationary building costs.  At this point in the planning process, six floors are planned with the sixth floor temporarily unfinished.  Negotiations with the Life Support Learning Center to share some of the space (and cost) are being considered.   An architect may be hired as early as Fall, 05.  At this point two large auditoriums are planned – one traditional and one flat with movable partitions that could be divided into small group space. 

  6. P/F practical and philosophic questions.   Assignment of cumulative honors for the basic sciences in future years was discussed.    For the P/F pilot, honors designation will be determined by averaging all grades in the first two years of medical school.  The top 20% will be selected for honors recognition.  This designation will be noted on their transcripts and in the Dean’s letter. The current policy is that honors are to be calculated by the top 20% rank in all courses at the end of 2 years. All courses use the same 0 – 100 grading system. The unweighted rankings are combined to give a class rank for the purpose of determining honors.

    The rankings are unweighted. Although one might put more effort into one area of study than another to achieve competency, it is the degree of competency that is important, not the amount of work it took to get there.

    A few faculty and at least one student have raised questions regarding the weighting of   course grades.    Whether or not course hours or length of course should be a factor in averaging the grades was considered.  The argument that all courses are important in medical school and should be weighed equally was made and that weighing courses might also send a message that one course is more important than another. A physician must be as competent in interview and physical exam skills, and human behavior as in biochemistry or physiology; just as competent in pharmacology and pathology as in psychiatric medicine or microbiology. A true honors medical student will excel in all areas of study.

    If courses were to be weighted, by what measure would they be weighted – course length in weeks or hours, hours of study required, number of exams, or perceived difficulty by students or faculty. There seemed to be general agreement that if the policy were to be revised that we should move to a straight P/F without honors. 

    In the research data that is available, grades in the preclinical years is ranked at or near the bottom for residency selection.     The Curriculum Committee will view the evaluation data on the P/F pilot in July/August, 05 before changing future policy. 

  7. Human Patient Simulator.  A new human patient simulator (HPS) will be displayed on Monday in New Jordan Hall in conjunction with the Life Saving Techniques Laboratory.  Committee members were invited to come by and take a look.

  8. Medical Education Research Day .  Bob Bloodgood invited the members to the reception in the Claude Moore Library from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on 2/21/05.  Forty abstracts have been received and 28 were selected.  The posters will be on display both in the library and outside in the hallway from 2/21 through 2/23.

Donald Innes