University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Committee
Minutes 02.17.00

Pediatric Pathology Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.

Present (underlined) were: Reid Adams, Robert Bloodgood, Anita Clayton, Al Connors, Gene Corbett, Joanna Goldberg, Donald Innes (Chair), Steven Meixel, Jerry Short, Bill Wilson, Robb Williams (Mark Mikkelsen), Debra Reed

  1. A proposed schedule for first year 2000-01 was distributed to the committee. Meetings will be arranged with the first year course directors for both spring and fall 2000-01 to finalize the schedule.

  2. The committee discussed a request by Dr. Hinton that Anatomy Labs be moved to the afternoons on Wednesday and Friday.

     Dr. Hinton is concerned about the well-being of the students and faculty. He believes it is not appropriate to have only a one hour period between gross anatomy and another class. This might occur for the 6 MSTP students and the graduate cell course on Friday afternoon. He feels students need to go home, shower, eat and return before taking on another class. Likewise, faculty need to shower etc to continue for the rest of the day. He notes that some faculty teach in gross anatomy and in the first year graduate courses and that dissecting the human body is very tiring for both students and faculty. >From his own experience and from speaking with students, he does not believe that we will provide an optimal learning environment in the afternoons if the students are tired. Likewise, for faculty, it is not fair to expect the faculty to pursue their research program, teach other courses, go to committee meetings etc when they are also tired.

    It was generally agreed that Friday classes should definitely be morning as for 134/140 the last scheduled class time will be anatomy, finishing at noon. The future Exploratory is better placed in the pm for scheduling purposes (meeting with clinicians, laboratory experiments) and this year showering is not an issue as all students will have their last scheduled class (anatomy) finishing at noon on Wednesday. Also with the consistent mandatory mid-day break - it's good to have a solid end to the anatomy labs as OSHA regulations limit laboratory time to 2 hours. Consistency of 8:00 start time for both first and second years create good habits for the third year and beyond. There are some facilities for showering in Davis 5 and in the OR for the MSTP students who have class later in the day and for faculty -although certainly not enough for the whole class.

    The committee weighed the pros and cons of morning versus afternoon anatomy sessions and after much discussion felt that it was in the best interest of the majority of students and of the long term curriculum issues that morning classes should be the policy.

    It was noted that surgical correlations in anatomy should be more "generalizable" with topics of interest to all physicians. Appropriate topics might consist of putting in central lines, performing spinal taps, etc and placing emphasis on anatomic imaging. The reduction in the number of hours allotted to Anatomy was discussed and felt to be appropriate while meeting the goals of our educational program.

  3.  The committee discussed the scheduling of exams for next year. In the proposed schedule for 2000-01 distributed to the committee today, the exam schedule has been worked out for Anatomy to have an exam on Monday morning of week 6 and Monday morning of week 11. The rest of the exam schedule is very similar to the 1999-2000 schedule. An alternative evaluation plan was discussed. It has been suggested that exams be scheduled weekly or biweekly for the majority (60-70%) of the students grade, with a final cumulative exam worth 30-40% of the final grade. This schedule for exams would take no more time from the schedule than is devoted to exams currently. This proposal will be discussed at greater length at a subsequent meeting.

-Don Innes