University of Virginia School of
Pediatric Pathology Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.
Present (underlined) were: Reid Adams, Robert
Bloodgood, Anita Clayton, Al Connors, Gene Corbett,
Donald Innes (Chair), Steven Meixel, Gary Owens
(guest-M.D./Ph.D. Program), Jerry Short, Bill Wilson,
Robb Williams (Mark Mikkelsen), Debra Reed
1. The meeting opened with a review of the M.D./Ph.D. Program by
Gary Owens. There are a total of 42 M.D./Ph.D. students at present
(target of approximately 6 per year) and 101 approved mentors in the
program. Dr. Owens has been Director of the M.D./Ph.D. program for the
past one and one half years. Shortly before he took over, NIH funding
was halted. Deficiencies in the M.D./Ph.D. Program had been evident for
five or more years prior to the withdrawal of funding. NIH had noted
problems with selection of students, high drop out rate, passive
attitude of program, and lack of integration in the first and second
years of medical school. Two years ago, NIH returned for an inspection,
found the problems unresolved and withdrew funding. The curriculum for
the M.D./Ph.D. program has now been revised.
The rationale for the Curricular Changes for M.D./Ph.D. Students
- to create curriculum flexibility to best meet the training needs of
the individual student
- to increase exposure of aspiring physician-scientists to the
primary research literature particularly in areas of interest and
importance to physician-scientists
- to promote self learning and ability to formulate hypotheses and
critique research results
- to nurture and expand the students passion for research
During the first year of medical school, the M.D./Ph.D.. program
substitutes a Graduate Cell & Tissue and a Graduate Biochemistry
for the Medical School Cell and Tissue and Biochemistry courses. The
M.D./Ph.D. students experience a modified DPI where they are paired
with Physician Scientists instead of Primary Care physicians. There is
also a Research in Progress course in which all the M.D./Ph.D. students
are gathered together. In addition, in the spring of first year, the
M.D./Ph.D.. students take a Molecular Basis of Human Disease course.
M.D./Ph.D. students also add an imaging component to their anatomy
class. In the second year M.D./Ph.D. students remain in the same
classes as second year general medical students with the exception of
the addition of a Research in Progress course. Dr. Owen believes the
NIH will be pleased with their curricular changes. The NIH review is
scheduled for October 18, 1999.
Dr. Owen would like to see more flexibility in the general school of
medicine curriculum to allow more freedom in scheduling the M.D./Ph.D.
students. He would also like to see a broader perspective with regard
to career tract given to the general medical student. Students should
have more exposure to Physician Scientists, perhaps by providing an
A draft of his proposal, Academic Clinician Admissions and Training
Initiative was distributed. The proposal correlates well with many of
the goals of the Curriculum Committee.
The M.D./Ph.D. director or a designee was asked to represent the
M.D./Ph.D. program on the Practice of Medicine Committee as well as the
Clinical Medicine Committee.
2. A WEB site is under construction for the Curriculum Committee.
Committee minutes will be posted on the site. This WEB site should
enhance communication with faculty and students and will be
interactive, allowing faculty and students to correspond with the
Donald J Innes, M.D.