Minutes 08.12.99

Minutes 08.12.99

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Committee
 Minutes 08.12.99

Pediatric-Pathology Conference Room 4:00pm

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

Correction to the minutes from 8/05/99 - Dr. Innes would like to have a broad plan established by November 1999 and begin implementation of this plan by the year 2000 (not 2001).

Minutes will be distributed entirely via e-mail in the future (no paper). 

The meeting was opened with a discussion of goals for medical education.

Goals for medical education:

  • Teach medical students to think in a way that will help them practice medicine (more problem solving techniques).
  • Make the first two years of medical school less like undergraduate years, shifting the student's mindset from student to professional.
  • Model professionalism.
  • Foster incoming medical student's passion for medicine instead of destroying it.
  • Decrease importance of tests - increase importance of learning.
  • Develop a curriculum then figure out the best way to evaluate and modify both the curriculum and the students; Robb Williams noted that if more clinical practice was included in the first two years of medical school, some of the emphasis on grades might be alleviated.
  • Monitor learning environment in regard to gender issues.
  • Determine what the depth of knowledge in medical school should be, not only what is required for standardized tests but also for residency programs. Recognize that medical school is not the end of a physician's training. Residency and lifetime learning contribute the majority of one's useful medical knowledge.
  • Determine what is "core knowledge," in effect setting curricular boundaries.

Evaluation of the curriculum: Extensive course evaluations, feedback from residency program coordinators, the Mulholland report, and the Looking Back questionnaire are already performed. The real issue is how to use this information to effectively manage the curriculum. It was reported that at Case Western, there is a committee to which course directors present their plan for each course for approval and receive feedback. It was indicated that the Preclinical and Clerkship committees would be reorganized, changing their function to take a more active role in developing, appraising and maintaining the curriculum under the guidance of the Curriculum Committee. See following attached statement.

In 1998, data was collected on how our medical students performed during their first year of residency. Dr. Short will provide this report to the committee, but recalled that a recurring theme was that our medical students are not as assertive as others.

Benchmarking: A suggestion was made to select 5-10 medical schools with similar board scores and rankings and determine how they teach medical students. However, board scores for other schools are not available to us. We have sent our board scores to other institutions in the past along with a request for an information exchange, but no responses were received. There has been some recent collaboration with Case Western and UNC. We must find other ways to benchmark. Benchmarking or "learning from others" has been described as a search to identify best practice organizations, but includes study of one's own practice. An analysis of site visits and interviews should lead to recommendations and execution as appropriate.

Miscellaneous: It will require courage to make changes in the curriculum and then wait for the results.

NEXT MEETING: At the 08.19.99 meeting, Dr. Eugene Corbett will review the "Twelve Objectives of Medical education" and the Medical Student Objectives report (you have copies and may wish to bring them).

Committee members are asked to think about possible mechanisms to monitor the curriculum. Please consider the following statement. Modifications and alternatives are solicited.


Attachment: This committee is responsible for management and evaluation of the curriculum in accordance with accreditation requirements. Specifically this means monitoring and regular evaluation of the objectives, content, and methods of pedagogy utilized for each segment of the curriculum, as well as for the entire curriculum. The effectiveness of the educational program should be measured by assessment of learning outcomes in the domains of knowledge, skills, and behaviors. The growth curve of our educational program improvement and innovation must be monitored and adjusted as appropriate. The Curriculum Committee is responsible for coordinating the institutionally integrated design and management of a coherent and coordinated curriculum.

The committee is responsible for development of a strategy, timetable, benchmarks, and endpoints to achieve horizontal and vertical integration of the curriculum throughout the four-year program.

The Curriculum Committee must be aware of educational space requirements, especially for small group conferences, standardized patient evaluations, and computerized learning and testing. The committee must also evaluate the adequacy of faculty personnel numbers and of the teaching time required of faculty. Importantly, the committee must gauge the time demands on the student such that time demands are intense and demanding, but not unrealistic. [See LCME letter, February 5.1999]. -DJI

Donald J Innes, M.D.