Minutes 02.17.11

Minutes 02.17.11

Curriculum Committee Minutes 02.17.11

 University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Committee
Minutes – 02.17.11

Pediatric Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.


Present (underlined) were: Gretchen Arnold, Robert Bloodgood, Megan Bray, Troy Buer, Chris Burns, Donna Chen, Eugene Corbett, Thomas Gampper, Wendy Golden, Donald Innes (Chair), John Jackson, Keith Littlewood, Veronica Michaelsen, Mohan Nadkarni, Linda Waggoner-Fountain, Bill Wilson,  Mary Kate Worden,  John Hemler,  Christina Portal,  Nicole White,  Debra Reed (secretary)   Guest:  Selina Noramly


  1. Clinical Performance Development (CPD) Interim Report/Response from Drs. Mary Bryant,
    Eugene Corbett, Jennifer Marks
    .  Dr. Eugene Corbett outlined the CPD directors response to the items in the Report that needed improvement.  

    The directors agree that more attention should be given to the Physical examination skill development time earlier in the course. This skill competency area will be more heavily addressed during the organ-system phase of the preclerkship curriculum as part of the weekly cases. 

    In regard to patient interviewing, they also agree that time for this skill learning and practice needs to be considerably expanded. This message has also been received from the small group faculty mentors during the recent faculty development sessions as well. Having less time (18 months) for this in CPD-1 compared to POM 1+2 (24 months) has created some difficulty in this regard. They plan to revise this aspect of CPD-1 for the incoming class. More opportunities for students to hone interviewing skills could be with standardized patients or possibly even real patients in the ER or the clinics.

    Mindfulness practice was thought to be too extensive by the students but it really was only taught during two afternoon sessions.  From the qualitative comments, the course directors believe, at least at the outset of their clinical development, some students may not yet appreciate the comparative importance of being mindful as a clinician.  Timing and presentation of the material will be explored.

    Complete coordination with MCM topics was not achieved this year.   This is the first year that such a high bar has been set for the preclerkship curriculum overall. As with all education innovations, the course directors note this is a work-in-progress. It may take another year to have this aspect of the curriculum become seamless.

    The CPD is working to improve the flow of afternoon sessions.  Approximately one half of the mentors are new to this teaching approach this year so more faculty development will be necessary.   This is also on their CPD-1 to do list. The goal is to have all of the planned elements of these afternoon sessions be robust and educationally effective including group reflections, case discussions, student learning objective teaching, and skill learning and practice. An example that was discussed at a recent faculty development  is the desire to have a different student practice interviewing “the patient “ (as portrayed by a mentor) each week. A few groups have not been doing this. This issue is also a work-in-progress.

    Course directors agree the value of coordinating and continually improving the course evaluation process.

    CPD will be re-reviewed more frequently during the coming year – twice per semester rather than just once at the end of the semester.  This will allow for more timely improvements to be made to the course.

    Approximately half of the CPD mentors are from Family Practice or Medicine, the other half are specialist.  This is quite similar to the ratio in PoM1 and 2.  PoM1 was predominantly made up of generalists and PoM2 mostly specialists.

    John Jackson noted that student performance data as judged by the mentors showed 75% of the students scored in the top two points of the scale.  The expectation is 5-20% of the students to score in this top two point range.    This will be addressed in faculty development.

    Anonymity of student mentor evaluations was discussed.  Students submit evaluations of their mentors but are often less than forthcoming due to the lack of anonymity.  At present evaluations are submitted and then a report is sent by the CPD Directors to the faculty mentor.  Stripping this report of any student identifying elements and letting students know this will be done will be worked on.

    Obtaining student evaluations of their fellow group members will also be explored.

    The Committee also suggests exploring more human behavior topics in MCM.  This could be accomplished by increasing this element in the patient cases and interview sessions.  

    CPD Directors were asked to flesh out their plans to address these issues and report back to the Curriculum Committee seeking help from the Curriculum Committee if necessary.

  2. Redefining MCM.    On the Action plan, items 1-4 were discussed at last weeks meeting.  Beginning at the end of the plan with #16 – integration, the Committee discussed how to make MCM less “lumpy” and more seamless between disciplines.  Sabrina Nunez has been hired as the Assistant System Leader in all of the systems.  She will help to assure consistency between the systems in content, content level etc. and also help the System Leaders to stay on schedule in providing information to the students and support staff.

    It was felt that the nutrition portion of  MCM worked very well and should  be emulated in the growth and development, disease and defense and cancer portions of the curriculum. MCM was intended to be a foundation course but further integration of all the disciplines is necessary.  There should be as little delineation between the disciplines as possible, i.e. biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology, immunology, neuroscience, etc.

    Splitting MCM into distinct parts,  grading of the parts and the whole was discussed  How to schedule student remediation of individual parts was also briefly discussed.

    Inclusion of the microbiology topics – microbiology, virology, bacteriology into MCM was discussed.

    Course directors will incorporating breaks into the MCM curriculum for next year which will alleviate student and faculty fatigue and hopefully divide the material into recognized units.

Donald Innes