Minutes 08.28.03

Minutes 08.28.03

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Committee


Surgery Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.                       

Present (underlined) were: Reid Adams, Eve Bargman,  Robert Bloodgood,  Anita Clayton,  Gene Corbett,   Donald Innes (Chair),  Vern Juel, Howard Kutchai, Maria Meussling, Chris Peterson, Jerry Short, Linda Watson, Bill Wilson, Brian Wispelwey, Maria Meussling, Ryan Zaklin,  Debra Reed (secretary)

  1. New members of the Curriculum Committee were introduced – Eve Bargman, Department of General Medicine and Co-Director of the PoM1 course; Chris Peterson, Department of OB/GYN, Director of Student Health; Maria Meussling, President of the Mulholland Society; and Ryan Zaklin, Class2005.

  2. Report on Clerkships/Electives The passports are working fairly well in the Clerkships but there appears to still be a learning curve, more so for faculty than students.  The CMC will work to increase faculty preceptors awareness of the importance of the passports (USMLE-2 clinical exam; CPX) and their responsibilities regarding the signing of them.  The CMC plans to develop a standardized student evaluation process for 2004-2005 stressing the necessity of a good narrative in student evaluations. The timeliness of faculty evaluation of students needs improvement. The CMC will also study the feasibility of a “Honors/Pass/Fail”-like grading system versus the current A/B/C/D system.

  3. Cinical Skills Assessment Project grant has been awarded (Gene Corbett) to develop a  “Clinical Skills Teaching and Assessment Program for the Clerkship Year.”  The grant will support expansion of the clinical skills workshops to include pediatrics, develop and evaluate clinical skills assessment tools and develop online teaching materials and evaluation systems.  The USMLE Clinical Skills examination is great leverage for the project.  The Committee agreed that a “culture change” might be necessary to increase involvement by faculty in this type of project.

  4. A proposal for modernizing curriculum – “Advancing the Curriculum” was presented.

“ Throughout the century, the high quality of American medical education depended far less on the formal curriculum than it did on attracting motivated, capable students and providing them unfettered opportunities to learn.

   Essential to this learning environment were good laboratories and libraries, an ample and diverse supply of patients, and stimulating teachers and colleagues. 

   Most important of all was the fact that medical education was conducted in settings where learners were provided sufficient time with patients so that patients could be studied and understood.”

    - Ludmerer: A Time to Heal



  • Create an environment focused on learning – especially active learning
  • Increase clinical experience - early and progressive student-patient contact
  • Incorporate contemporary cultural, scientific, social and professional developments
  • Teach and apply medical problem solving and management of medical information
  • Increase the efficiency of learning
  • Communicate the excitement and future of medicine

Steps toward Goals

Principles of Medicine

  • Introduce the theme “Cells to Society” in the first week of medical school in which the focus is on patients and connects to all aspects of the Foundations of Medicine from molecular to cultural and global health issues.
  • Begin Foundations of Medicine with Genomic & Molecular Biology and Human Behavior.

Foundations of Medicine structure:

Molecular Biology
Human Behavior
Practice of Medicine-1
Cell & Tissue Structure/Physiology
Microbiology - immunology
Pathology - general

  • Create a program for Medical Decisions and Critical Thinking
  • Create Exploratories
  • Organize pathology, pathophysiology and pharmacology into an Integrative Core Medical Systems incorporating elements of anatomy, embryology, histology, physiology, neuroscience, and human behavior.


Infectious disease - Microbiology - bacteriology; virology
Pulmonary - Allergy
Hematology - Oncology
Endocrine – Reproductive
Musculoskeletal - Rheumatology
Psychiatric Medicine

  • Create an introductory/review program - Major Diseases of Our Time
  • End mid-March allowing time for USMLE-1, vacation and

Clinical Care Experiences

  • Start Clerkships May 1
  • Return Neurology to the clerkship environment
  • Basic Science for Careers course where basic sciences and clinical skills are specifically applied to residency and career choices
  • Renew the clerkships, selectives and electives
  • ACE – Advanced Clinical Elective
  • Career Practice Enhancement (4th yr) - social, economic and political aspects of medical practice
  • Consistent education in radiology, emergency medicine, geriatrics & palliative care and preventive care

General Enhancements

  • Joint degree and program access
  • Incorporate simulation technology to prepare for and augment patient encounters and to increase the safety and efficiency of learning
  • Encourage student research
  • Use simulation technology to prepare for and augment patient encounters and to increase the safety and efficiency of learning
  • Provide an educational environment to support personal and professional development for students and faculty


A PowerPoint presentation will be made available to members of the Curriculum Committee to allow for more thoughtful discussion at our September 4, 2003 meeting. We should consider ourselves still at the committee “brainstorming” level with wider faculty and student discussion to follow in the weeks ahead – “education town meetings for faculty and students”.