Minutes 06.11.09

Minutes 06.11.09

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Committee
Minutes 06.11.09

Pediatric Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.                       

Present (underlined) were: Gretchen Arnold,  Dan Becker, Robert Bloodgood, Megan Bray, Eugene Corbett, Thomas Gampper, Wendy Golden, Donald Innes (Chair), Keith Littlewood, Veronica Michaelsen, Mohan Nadkarni, Chris Peterson, Jerry Short, Linda Waggoner-Fountain, Bill Wilson Acting Chair),  Mary Kate Worden,  Lisa Herrmann, Evan Lapinsky, Debra Reed (secretary) Guests: Brad Bradenham, David Geldmacher, Eugene McGahren

  1. Announcements:   

    The Curriculum Committee will not meet again until August. This summer, committee business will be conducted via e-mail as needed.

    Demonstration of NowComment software will be held on 6/12/09 at 3:00 p.m. in the Health Sciences Library, room 1334.  This software allows students to add real time comments to lecture notes.

    Articles of Interest:

    AAMC/HHMI Committee Defines Scientific Competencies for Future Physicians -
    New Report Offers Blueprint for Designing Premedical and Medical School Curricula.  Press Release, AAMC, June 5, 2009. 

    Specialty and Geographic Distribution of the Physician Workforce: What Influences Medical Student & Resident Choices?  Phillips R.L., et al, The Robert Graham Center; Funded by the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, March, 2009.

    The June 4, 2009 Wall Street Journal Changes Could Be Coming for Pre-Meds and the MCAT suggests that the length of medical school might be decreased by a competency-based curriculum in undergraduate education. How could institutions make sure that the knowledge base of a student doesn't actually shrink? [Answer:]The knowledge base will become more relevant.

  2. Neurology Clerkship Review.  David Geldmacher, Neurology Clerkship Director,  met with the Curriculum Committee to discuss the recently submitted Neurology clerkship report. Students on the Neurology Clerkship are required to complete the on line patient logs and a Passport.  The Clerkship receives excellent support from the Department of Neurology and their clerkship coordinator, Karen Vale.   Clerkship objectives have been pared from 14 to 10 items to assure each student is exposed to all items, no matter the assigned rotation,.  The clerkship recently moved from the fourth year back to the third year and this has worked out well.  The clerkship is almost entirely an inpatient rotation. 

    At the present time this clerkship is only offered here at UVA.  Negotiations are ongoing to for clerkship sites at Fairfax, Roanoke Carilion and possibly Winchester.  Issues of housing and financial compensation are being addressed.

    This year a one and a half hour session run by Dr. Ivan Logan has been added.  This session focuses on history taking and clinical skills and has been well received by the students.

    A required essay requirement last year on either a difficult clinical case or a review of a neurologic disorder in the humanities has been suspended due to negative student evaluations and feedback.  It has been resurrected now as an "extra credit" exercise.  Brad Bradenham noted that this exercise was quite worthwhile for him and should be encouraged on a optional basis.

    The move from fourth year to third seems to be helping with students selecting Neurology as a career choice.  Although no definitive data were presented to compare interest before and after the change from 4th year to 3rd year, six students chose Neurology last year and were accepted into excellent Neurology residency programs.

    Dr. Geldmacher provides much feedback to the Neurology teaching faculty and this seems to have opened up their willingness to teach.

    Dr. Geldmacher was congratulated on leading an outstanding clerkship. 

  3. Surgery Clerkship Review.    Dr. Eugene McGahren, Surgery Clerkship Director, also met with the Curriculum Committee to discuss the recently submitted Surgery clerkship report.  The Surgery Clerkship is an eight week experience.  Week 1 is composed of didactic sessions and introductory material - all done at UVA. The clerkship is then divided into two three-week rotations, one of which is a core surgery experience and one a subspecialty experience.  These rotations may be at UVA, Salem VA, or Roanoke Carilion.  The students then return to UVA for the final week for the Life Saving Techniques session, written examination, and focused sessions with subspecialties.    Students are required to take overnight call twice during a rotation.

    The ultimate goal of the clerkship is to have the student become a valuable member of the surgery team.   During the introduction, students are instructed to be proactive in the Surgery clerkship.

    The Clerkship receives excellent support from the Department of Surgery and their clerkship coordinator, Sylvie Moore.

    Grades are composed of 40% written (shelf) exam, 10% oral presentations, and 50% faculty evaluation scores.

    Dr. McGahren notes that many of the Surgery residents receive teaching awards each year and are highly regarded by the students.

    There are concerns about the capacity to accommodate additional students when the class size increases to 160 - how not to overload the services is being considered.

    Student subject exam ("shelf exam") scores have remained consistently above the national mean even after the downsizing of the clerkship from 12 to 8 weeks.

    The Oral Examination has been discontinued in Surgery.  This move was in response to student and faculty input as well as the nationwide trend to discontinue this exercise.  The exercise caused high stress levels among the students and required extensive amounts of faculty time.

    The "Lawrence cases" which were a part of the oral examination have been retired.  Brad Bradenham noted that most students found these cases to be very valuable. Dr. McGahren said perhaps they could be put back into the handout or on the website for the students as an optional tool.

    The Committee thanks Dr. McGahren for his leadership in directing the Surgery Clerkship.  

    The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 PM; the next meeting will be scheduled for mid-August.

Donald Innes