Minutes 01/28/04

Minutes 01/28/04

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Principles of Medicine Committee
Minutes 01.28.04

  1.  John Bell, 2nd year medical student presented several issues from the medical student perspective:

    Proposal for student involvement in updating faculty lecture handouts.  Some faculty lecture handouts are outdated or unclear or have errors.  Since many faculty indicate that exams are based on lecture handouts, it is important to have accurate, useful lecture handouts.  Proposal is to assign, on a rotating basis, one medical student for each lecture handout.  After each lecture, the entire medical class will be invited to submit suggestions for changes.  The designated student will compile all the comments and provide these to the lecturer to use when revising the handout the following year.

    Another student pointed out that, rather than errors, the global organization of the lecture notes are of more concern to many students.  

    Dr. John Gazewood pointed out that it would be useful to give the compiled corrections to the medical class at the same time as the lecturer so that the same students who invest the work to improve the handouts would also benefit from their efforts.

    Dr. Julie Turner suggested that students be paid to do this.

    Dr. Howard Kutchai pointed out that most faculty lecture handouts are already pretty good, that students already do a good job of providing feedback to lecturers and course directors and worries that the proposed, rather complicated, system is unlikely to continue on from class to class. Maybe SMEC should lead this effort. Some faculty are apt to be refractory to change no matter the feedback.

    Medical students present noteed that the suggested rotation of the compiler duties through the entire medical class might not be well received.

    Dr. Julie Turner pointed out that Microbiology does a variation on this now in that students provide much feedback on the course lecture handouts and changes are immediately made to HTML versions of the lecture handouts that are posted on the course web site.

    Dr. Julie Turner raised the question of whether it was necessary to have both a textbook and detailed lecture handouts in a course.  Bob Bloodgood responded that trimmed down courses often do not cover much of the material in a textbook and lecture handouts are a mechanism for a lecturer to indicate what he/she feels is important.

    Dr. Wendy Golden pointed out that Medical and Molecular genetics is this year using a panel of 10 1st year students to provide feedback on the course, including handouts, using a standardized form.

    B.Mr. Bell pointed out that students would be interested in receiving some feedback from course directors as to what action was taken in response to medical student evaluations of faculty.  Students want to know that evaluations of faculty are taken seriously.  Dr. Kutchai pointed out that there is an important confidentiality issue here and students can not expect to be privy to what actions are taken in response to faculty evaluations.  Dr. Bloodgood emphasized that students evaluations of courses and faculty are taken seriously and faculty evaluation data are utilized in the promotion and tenure process.

    One medical student suggested that faculty evaluations be given more often during the semester so that all the evaluations don't pile up at the end of the semester.

    Bloodgood suggested the Principles of Medicine Committee take a look at the course and  faculty evaluations to see if any improvements need to be made in the forms.

    C. Suggestion that there be some sort of master Calendar of Events that would list upcoming GTAs, UTAs, registration deadline for Medical Boards, blood draw labs, etc.  It would be important to be able to make last minute notification of schedule changes, etc.

  2. Bob Bloodgood reported on three issues that touch on our discussions of a new medical school schedule.

    A. Dr. Randy Canterbury (Associate Dean for Medical Admissions) and Beth Bailey (Director of Admissions) were both contacted to get their feedback about the possibility of starting the first year of medical school earlier.  Both agreed that there would not be a problem, from an admissions standpoint, with starting the first year of medical school two weeks earlier in August than is currently the case.

    B. The data were presented from the survey of faculty regarding the impact that changing the medical school schedule might have on them.The survey and the data are now available on-line at:


    The potential schedule changes that had the least impact on faculty were: Start 1st year one week early, end 1st year 2 weeks later and start 1st year one week early.

    C. The results of a survey conducted by John Bell of all four classes of medical students was distributed (see below).



  3. Don Innes requested that all 1st and 2nd year courses think about how issues of professionalism can be conveyed to students through their courses.

  4. The Office of Student Affairs has agreed to adjust the start dates for Fall 2004 entry of the 1st year class by one week in order to accommodate the introduction of Cells to Society this Fall without changing the amount of time allocated to the rest of the 1st year curriculum during 2004-2005.  For Fall, 2004, Orientation will be held on Monday, Aug 16th and Tuesday Aug 17th, Cells-to-Society will be held on August 18-20 and the regular courses will begin on Monday, August 23rd.   The major schedule changes for the medical curriculum that we have been discussing will most likely begin in the 2005-2006 academic year.




The next meeting of the Principles of Medicine Committee will be held on Wednesday, March 10th, at2:00 PM in Jordan Hall, Room 1-17.