Minutes 04.26.12

Minutes 04.26.12

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Executive Management Group
Minutes – 04/26/12

Pediatric Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.

Present (underlined) were: Peter Ham, Donald Innes (Chair), Keith LittlewoodNancy McDaniel, Bart Nathan,   Casey White,  Mary Kate Worden, Guests:  Melanie McCollum, Kambiz Kalantari, Debra Reed (secretary)


  1. Musculoskeletal Integument System (MSI) Review - Melanie McCollum

    The MSI System Leaders are quite pleased with the report from the Curriculum Evaluation team.  The MSI System community and its leaders worked hard to develop a number of truly integrated active-learning sessions supported by concise learning objectives keyed to appropriate resources.  It is unfortunate that the integrated nature of the majority of morning sessions scheduled in the MSI System is not reflected in the System Evaluation Report, but this appears to be a limitation of the OASIS reporting instrument.  Hopefully this issue will be resolved in time for the next iteration of the MSI System.

    With respect to improving the MSI System, the System Evaluation Report includes the following recommendations:

    Recommendations 1 & 6:
    Anticipating the request for lectures and handouts the Systems Leaders included the following request in the End-of-System Evaluation:

    “Identify (only) three content topics that you feel would benefit from the addition of a lecture (recorded or live) and/or a customized handout.  Rank your list in order of priority with 1 = most needed and 3 = least needed.”

    We will use the student responses to this request to develop new lectures and handouts.

    Recommendation 2:
    The problem sets will be revised according to student recommendations.  In an effort to reduce the number of learning objectives the Systems Leaders hope to recruit a number of general practitioners (e.g., from Family Medicine, General Medicine, Pediatrics) to review our learning objectives for appropriateness in the Pre-clerkship Curriculum.

    Recommendations 3 & 4:

    If possible, the Integument/Dermatology material will be scheduled after the first summative exam.  The inclusion of an additional day to the MSI System this year should allow the material to be more evenly distributed. A change in the sequencing of the dissection is also being considered – lower limb before the upper limb.

    Recommendation 5:

    A request was submitted to the Curriculum Committee February to decompress the MSI System by moving the Integument/Dermatology to its own week in the Fall “Foundations” course.  This change would have addressed recommendation #3 as well and would have allowed for the incorporation of an additional TBL to the curriculum on the topic of skin cancer.  This change in schedule was not approved.

    The Committee asked that the USMLE Learning Objectives for Step 1 and 2 be reviewed by the System Leaders for MSI content.

    Camtasia lectures will be added to the MSI system to give students an introduction to laboratory and small group activities. 

    It was noted that the evaluation report does not include unobserved laboratory activities and in this system in particular presents false numbers regarding interactive sessions.  Observers will not longer be doing these evaluations in 2012-13 and system leaders will be self-reporting the numbers.  This along with audit procedures set up by Casey White will allow more accuracy in the reports.

    While it was deemed too late to add the additional week to MSI in 2013, the Committee will consider the request for an additional week for 2014-15.

    The Committee thanked the System Leaders for their work in creating and maintaining a vital and well-received system.  The group also endorsed the proposed recommendations for improvement.

  2. Renal System Review - Kambiz  Kalantari

    The Renal System Leaders reviewed the Renal System Evaluation Report and are planning to make significant changes to our 2012 system based on the feedback provided in the report and their interactions with the students. 

    The main strengths of the system were availability and involvement of the system leaders, clinical relevance of material, a clear connection between basic and clinical sciences, the organization of the schedule - moving smoothly from physiology to pathology to clinical syndromes and finally disease management.  Students particularly enjoyed having case discussions following each lecture. 

    Plans for 2012 Renal System based on the feedback provided:

    System Leadership:  Similar to 2011 we are planning to attend every session during our three-week block.  In addition to attending all sessions in 2011, we attempted to correspond with the class using discussion forums and group emails.  We used group emails to clarify complicated matters (mainly when we were not the lecturers), since none of the students in class of 2014 used the discussion forum.  We are planning to be heavily involved in such interactive web-based interactive systems in 2012.

    Materials: In response to students’ feedback on the quality of our reading assignments were have made a few changes in 2012.  Vander Renal Physiology was replaced by Physiology textbook by Linda Costansa.  This book was a heavy favorite by the students and we agreed.  Additionally, we realized neither Harrison’s nor Cecil Medicine is written at the 2nd year medical student level.  Therefore, we have selected Renal Pathophysiology, the Essentials, 3rd Edition by Rennke and Denker (2010) as our reference book for the Renal System. 

    Learning Objectives: in preparation for our system in 2012 we have set June 1 as the deadline for submission of all learning objectives by the instructors.  We have arranged meetings with all instructors in early march 2012 to review their previous learning objectives, the requirements of the Next Generation Curriculum in regards to LOs and provide them with the feedback we have received from the students and the observers.  We will focus on Blooms taxonomy and will assure all LO are of the highest quality.

    Clinical Relevance:  Students’ feedback on the clinical relevance and focus of our system was positive.  Although we would like to make sure all basic concepts and mechanisms are covered in the system, our new weekly schedule is almost entirely based on case reviews and problem solving during the morning class hours.  In reference to CPD, all morning patient interviews have been moved to Thursdays.  We are also changing the CPD cases for afternoon sessions to match the topics discussed during each week.

    System Organization:  The feedback on the organization of our system was positive as well.  Our first week mainly focuses on physiology, the second week on basics of pathology and approach to kidney diseases and the third week deals with clinical syndromes and basic concepts in the management of kidney diseases.  For 2012, we are planning to record most of the lectures using Camtasia and make them available to the students in advance.  We will start our days with 40 minute sessions dedicated to bringing up the highlights of each topic, clarifying difficult concepts and answering questions.  The rest of the day will be dedicated to discussion of cases, problem solving, attending small groups and laboratory sessions. 

    Our main goals in the design of our system are development of a solid foundation in basic sciences as well acquiring skills required in the diagnosis and management of different diseases of the urinary tract.  We greatly appreciate the value of feedback from the students and observers.  We plan to revisit the structure and content of our system based on the provided feedback on a continuous basis.  We hope to see improvements in the quantity and quality of student feedback and the observation process.

    Faculty in some disciplines (e.g. Pathology) have been strongly encouraged/required to provide camtasia lectures for introductory material and case studies during class but have been unresponsive. Problems such as this should be referred to the Thread Leaders for assistance.

    Dstribution of anatomy, histology and pathology labs throughout the system has been refined and work better in the coming year. 

    Kambiz expressed opposition to the proposed removal of one week of renal CPD renal cases to be replaced by H&P sessions. 

    Although concern was expressed at the dramatic drop in lecture time fit was recognized that the problem sets, etc. allowed for brief focused explanations by faculty of difficult concepts or confusing material.

    The Committee thanked the System Leaders for their work in creating a very well-received system.  The Committee also endorsed the proposed changes for improvement.

  3. Guidelines for Curriculum Development.  The Committee was asked to send comments or suggestions for this document to Don Innes.  The Guidelines will be presented to the System Leader retreat on May 9.


Donald J. Innes, Jr., M.D.