Minutes 11.03.05

Minutes 11.03.05

University of Virginia School of  Medicine
Curriculum Committee

Surgery Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.                        

Present (underlined) were: Reid Adams, Gretchen Arnold, Eve Bargmann,  Daniel Becker, Robert BloodgoodGene Corbett, John Gazewood, Jennifer Harvey, Donald Innes (Chair),  Howard Kutchai, Marcus Martin, Chris Peterson, Jerry Short, Bill Wilson,  Anthony DeBenedet, Sixtine Valdelievre, Heidi Scrable, Kevin Lee, Debra Reed (secretary) 

  1. Neuroscience Course Review.  (Heidi Scrable, Kevin Lee) 

    Heidi Scrable outlined the strengths and weaknesses in the 2004-05 Neuroscience course. 

    Primary strengths include 1) above average scores on their ULMLE Step 1 exams in the field of neuroscience, 2) a substantial component of clinical correlations and 3) small group problem solving.

    A notable weakness is the relatively small number of core teaching faculty, due to the small size of the department.  Neuroscience has 9 faculty members in comparison to most basic science departments of 25-35 faculty members.  She notes they are fortunate to be able to draw from other clinical departments such as neurology and neurosurgery.  Staffing small group sessions is difficult.  During the 05-06 course, in addition to coping with the overall restructuring the first year schedule, the Med Neuro course lost instructors responsible for 15% of the lectures.  The Committee offered help in recruiting more faculty from other departments such as Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, and Radiology.

    Another weakness is in the web-based instruction and this is the direct result of a lack of personnel to implement the program.

    Student evaluations have been varied.  Last year, mainly due to confusion with the schedule, students did complain that the course seemed disorganized.  There have been no problems with the schedule this year.  Students also believe the course is difficult but Dr. Scrable concedes that while it may be difficult, results of the student boards scores confirm content is appropriate.

    Last year, responding to student requests, on-line quizzes were developed and have been expanded for 05-06. 

    Don Innes noted that in a recent meeting with third and fourth year medical students, there comments about the Neuroscience course as well as other basic science courses were strongly positive.  The Committee discussed the organization of a panel discussion for first year students with third and fourth year students to help demonstrate the relevance of  the basic science courses.  The Committee also believes the move of the Neurology clerkship closer to the Neuroscience course (from fourth year to third) will be an asset.

    The students also comment about the varied teaching abilities of faculty/residents.   Residents and faculty in small group teaching are given a training session outlining the teaching points prior to the small group and case discussions.   The Committee discussed the possibility of organizing training sessions for all residents in the School of Medicine in the form of CME to enhance their teaching skills.

    Dr. Scrable noted that their small groups are made up of 35-40 students per group.  They would prefer to offer smaller groups but are limited by the number of faculty which can be recruited.       

    The Committee thanked Drs. Lee and Scrable for their input on the Neuroscience Course.  The Committee offered assistance in recruiting faculty from other departments and also assistance in any other aspect of the course the course directors needed.

  2. The Committee briefly discussed the poor attendance noted by Chris Peterson at a lecture this week. Only 35 of the students attended a lecture on “motivating patient behavior change.”    The Committee discussed how to improve the students motivation to attend important lectures such as this one that cover a topic probably not covered anywhere else in their curriculum.

  3. The Curriculum Committee will meet next week, November 10, 2005 , at 4:00 p.m. in the Surgery Conference Room.  Agenda will include discussion of enhancing resident teaching skills, an update on the Principles of Medicine Committee meeting on November 9, 2005 and a discussion of the 05-06 first year schedule.

Donald Innes