Minutes 09.12.13

Minutes 09.12.13

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Curriculum Committee
Minutes – 09/12/13

Pediatric Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.

Present (underlined) were: Gretchen Arnold, Stephen Borowitz, Megan Bray, Donna Chen, Peter Ham, Donald Innes (Chair), Sean Jackson, Keith Littlewood, Nancy McDaniel, Bart Nathan, Sabrina Nunez, Neeral Shah, Amita Sudhir, Linda Waggoner-Fountain, Casey White, Bill Wilson, Mary Kate Worden, Yassaman Pourkazemi, Jean-Baptiste Maitre, Derick Thiel (alternate Tom Jenkins), Elizabeth Bradley, Debra Reed (secretary)

  1. Announcements. The September 10 Next Generation Grand rounds presentation presentation “Engaging the Digital Learner” by Curtis L. Whitehair can be seen at:


    Attendance at lectures and use of laptops show clear generational approaches. Digital Natives like to receive information quickly and from multiple sources, and that is considered by them to be relevant, active and instantly useful. They gather information through a multistep process that involves grazing, then a "deep dive," and a feedback loop where they “talk back” to information. In Web 2.0 content is not delivered to learners but co-constructed with them. Digital natives multitask in a state of ““continuous partial attention.” Overload is a problem. For information to be relevant, important and useful, it needs to be processed. Simpler, smaller messages (Tweets) or ending active participation may be a compensatory mechanism.

    Physiological stress of digital overload: Increased heart rate, Increased cortisol and adrenaline levels, Migraines, Retarded reading skills, Reduced attention spans, and Restlessness.

    Psychological effects: Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Low motivation, Panic

  2. Mind, Brain & Behavior System (MB&B) Review Elizabeth Bradley led a review of the 2013 MB&B System for 2013 with comparison to the 2012 System. The 2013 September 20, 2012 Curriculum Committee minutes of the MB&B Review were reviewed http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/education/medical-students/UMEd/curriculum/minutes/minutes-09-20.12.html

    Several content changes will take place in 2014 as some elements of the Human Behavior component, e.g. Families, Aging & Loss, Life Cycle, have been moved to the Foundations of Medicine course. Other topics, e.g. sleep will remain with MBB.  

    Conclusions 2013:

    Conclusions 2012

  3. Note to Clerkships. It is asked that anatomy learning objectives be placed (repeated) in appropriate clerkships, e.g. Surgery, Surgery Specialties.

  4. Assessment Guidelines The Curriculum Committee gave consideration to providing more time for the first examinations in medical school as students are adjusting to the pace and intensity. After considerable discussion it was the considered opinion of the majority that all courses should allot a standard 1.5 minutes per question on the summative and formative examinations. Clinical vignettes should be carefully and concisely written with consideration of reading time.

  5. Delivery of New Material Prior to Examinations New material delivered the day an assessment opens, e.g. Friday morning material prior to an examination weekend, should not be tested on that examination, but can be tested on later examinations. This does not apply to quizzes, iRATs, etc.

  6. PROBLEM SETs The discussion of “Problem Sets” continued regarding whether standardization was needed and how to improve the quality of the exercises so that they were challenging and focusing on application, analysis and evaluation in group settings. The exercises need to “be worth working in a group.”

    Work is needed to improve Problem Sets so students want to come but I would not make them required. It is best not to restrict the definition of Problem Sets.   Faculty should be encouraged to develop relatively hard problem sets so students want to be there to figure out how to solve them.  I would not post those sessions as podcasts but make them optional.  If some do better solving them on their own, so be it, as some will learn best that way.

  7.  Assessment Point Value A discussion of assessment point value began with discussion of the following – here a more detailed proposal for further discussion at the next meeting.

    All formative questions should be worth no more than approximately one-half the value of a summative question for the corresponding summative period.

    -No summative question in a three-week summative period (30 questions per week for the summative) should be worth more than 0.67% of the final grade. 

    -No summative question in a four-week summative period (30 questions per week for the summative) should be worth more than 0.5% of the final grade.


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