Minutes 09.03.09

Minutes 09.03.09

University of Virginia School of  Medicine
Curriculum Committee

Pediatric Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.                       

Present (underlined) were: Gretchen ArnoldDan 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 WilsonMary Kate WordenLisa Herrmann, Evan Lapinsky, Debra Reed (secretary)

  1. MD-PhD Curriculum Proposal.  The Curriculum Committee voted over the summer to formally approve the following proposal from Dr. Gary Owens.  The proposal has been reviewed by the Offices of Admissions and Student Affairs and brings some consistency across all MD-PhD programs nationwide.

    1. The University of Virginia Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) students shall start July 1 of each calendar year.  
    2.  MSTP students will be enrolled in the MSTP Summer Program on July 1 of that calendar year.

  2. UVA SOM 2009 Competencies.  The Curriculum Committee also voted over the summer to formally approve the revised statement of the UVA Competencies.

    Changes include:

    1. Putting the science competencies in 2nd place; keeping the 2 sub-elements (communication going to 3rd place)  
       2.  Using the UVA elaboration of the professionalism competency in place of the AAMC version,
    3. Using the AAMC competency sequence (similar to that of our library poster).
    4. Including the (italisized) annotations and moving them to read after the respective competencies.
    5.  Using the AAMC wording (elaboration) for competencies 3 - 12.

    Other minor grammatical changes were also made.  Thanks go to Gene Corbett for his work to make the revisions as discussed at the May 14, 2009 Curriculum Committee meeting.

    The 2009 Revised Competencies statement is now posted on the Curriculum website at:


  3. Announcement:  The Curriculum Committee will meet on the first, second and third Thursday of each month.   Members were also asked to reserve the fourth Thursday in October in case developments in the new curriculum require a special meeting.

  4. End of First Year USMLE Style Examination.  Jerry Short reviewed the results of the cumulative exam given to the Class of 2012 immediately after completion of their first year in April 2009.  This exam was developed by the USMLE and questions are derived from disciplines covered in the first year.   There was no "passing" score and the score did not affect the students' record in SOM.  The students were asked not to study for this exam - preparation for the exam was having taken the first year courses. 

    The purpose of this self-assessment were: 

    1. to allow the student to preview and practice the actual format and testing environment used in the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) required in Years 2, 3, and residency.  
    2.  to provide the student with feedback about their mastery and retention of material from the entire first year.

    The exam was expensive and given under USML strict security conditions which involved a much faculty time for proctoring.  The questions on the exam were selected by the National Board of Medical Examiners not by UVA Faculty.  

    Each student received a print out of their performance on the exam as a whole as well as individual subject areas.  Distribution was thought to be similar to that of most course grade distributions and not unlike those from the Step 1 exam.  Comparison of the scores to those of the same students' Step 1 scores in 2010 was discussed.

    The validity of the scores was questioned since students knew it was not going to affect their UVA record.  A few students did seem to complete the exam very quickly and received a poor grade.  Whether this would have happened had the score been part of the students' grade in the SOM was discussed. 

    The Committee discussed whether the information obtained from this test is of value to the medical student and/or the administration.  When the USMLE was considering giving Step 1 after the third year, it would have been more important to have some national assessment prior to that exam.  It now appears this is not likely to happen in the near future.  An exam based on first year courses will also not fit with the new curriculum, at that point, if used it would have to be tailored to systems.  The USMLE does offer such as approach. 

    The Committee will ask the Assessment Committee if the data from this exam would be useful to them before making a decision on whether to continue giving this exam.  Veronica Michaelsen will take this back to the Committee and provide the Curriculum Committee with their response as soon as possible.

  5. AM/PM Scheduling of Classes in the New Curriculum.    Chris Peterson, a member of the Working Group on Clinical Skills Education further explained a proposal by this group for morning/afternoon CPD (Clinical Performance Development) activities.  The Foundations course and some of the systems have difficulty incorporating the 1-2 hours of CPD large group activities into the morning hours and faculty recruitment and hospital usage in the morning hours presents difficulties. The CPD recommends:  (italicised comments from Chris Peterson) that the CPD-I sessions need to uniformly be scheduled in the pm - a) faculty recruitmen and b) occasional large group sessions. The CPD also recommende that for the MCM period, the CPD-I large group Monday session can be held from 1-2pm (not in the morning). This means that the CPD-I sessions during this period will generally need to be limited to 3 hours including Monday CPD small group sessions from 2-5pm and Tu-Wed-Th sessions from 1-4pm.

Donald Innes