Minutes 02/10/10

Minutes 02/10/10

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Principles of Medicine Committee


  1. New medical educator coordinator for Microbiology: Chris Burns, PhD, has been hired by the Department of Microbiology as the replacement for Julie Turner and will coordinate the medical education activities of the Department of Microbiology, to include being course director of Medical Microbiology, the System Leader for "Microbes: The Essentials" and Content Thread Leader for microbiology topics (bacteriology, virology, immunology).

  2. Remuneration Letters: Don Innes discussed the use of remuneration letters for clinicians teaching in basic science courses/organ systems units and showed a proposed template for such letters. Don suggests that course directors/System Leaders send letters to MDs teaching in their courses/Organ Systems Units indicating appreciation for their contributions to medical education and indicating the specific amount of remuneration that is being provided to their clinical department to be credited towards their salary. This amount will vary with the nature and amount of the teaching and the clinical department in which the clinician resides; the specific financial figures will be provided to the course directors/Organ System Leaders by the Dean's Finance Office. This same remuneration system will apply to PhD faculty who hold a primary appointment in a clinical department and who teach in basic science courses/Organ System Units. Note that, in order for faculty to get the proper remuneration, it is essential that accurate information (including the number of hours of instruction and kind of instruction) be put into the Oasis scheduling system, since this will be the basis for the financial calculations. For small group teaching, it is important to list the names of all small group instructors in Oasis.

  3. Grade and Evaluation Tools in Oasis: John Jackson demonstrated how to use the grade reporting course evaluation and faculty evaluation tools within Oasis. For grading purposes, Oasis generates an Excel spread sheet that can be downloaded by the course director/Organ System Unit Leader and then populated with the grades and then uploaded back into Oasis. It is important not to alter the Excel file (except to add data to existing columns and rows) while it is outside the Oasis system. The spread sheet can be modified (such as to add columns for quizzes) by uploading it back to Oasis, making changes and then downloading it back from Oasis. Data can be added manually (cell by cell) to the spread sheets while they are in the Oasis system. John Jackson will provide individualized instruction for course and Organ System Unit leaders (in regard to both grade sheets and course and faculty evaluations) when the need arises.

  4. Procedures and Copyright Issues related to Posting Materials to Teaching Web Sites: John Jackson reported on a Storage Task Force (which he is co-chairing) that has been addressing a number of issues, including procedures for determining who can access teaching materials (handouts, Powerpoint files, video recordings of teaching activities) posted to teaching web sites so as not to violate copyright regulations. This committee is being advised by Madelyn Wessel, Associate General Counsel of the University and an expert on Copyright issues. Each time that teaching materials are posted to medical education web sites, a decision will be made (using a decision tree) whether to allow access to these materials only by the UVa community or by anyone on the World Wide Web. In certain cases of educational activities involving student discussions, recordings will either not be made or access will be restricted to students in the particular course/Organ System Unit. Randy Canterbury pointed out that the UVa President has expressed a desire that as much on-line educational material as possible be made available to the entire world wide web. The AAMC has encouraged medical schools to share their on-line educational materials with other medical schools.

  5. Faculty Concerns about the Next Generation Curriculum: Randy Canterbury, Senior Associate Dean for Education, asked the Principles of Medicine Committee to identify lingering concerns that faculty on the "front lines" of medical education (such as the faculty teaching in the various courses/Organ System Units) may have concerning the implementation of the Next Generation Curriculum. This refers to the faculty who have not been involved in the planning for the new curriculum. Examples of faculty concerns heard by the members of the Principles of Medicine committee:

    a.  Concerns of some faculty, with only limited amounts of teaching, that they don't hear enough about the details of the new curriculum.
    b.  Desire of faculty to know well in advance the specific dates and times that they will teach so as to manage their calendar and other responsibilities (research, clinical care, committee and administrative duties).
    c.  Faculty members want to know if they will be required to change the way that they teach.  As a part of this, there are many questions about whether lectures will be banned, versus being improved.
    d.  Faculty members want to know if they will be required to participate in faculty development sessions related to teaching.
    e. On the other hand, some faculty members are concerned as to whether they will be excluded from medical teaching under the new curriculum.
    f.  Questions have been raised about new junior faculty members having sufficient opportunities to acquire the necessary credential (teaching opportunities; student evaluations; peer evaluations) to document "excellence in education" for the Promotion and Tenure process.
    g.  Some faculty members have expressed concern about the amount of time that might be involved in staffing small group teaching activities as those activities receive more emphasis.

    Discussion of these issues led to certain other topics related to staffing for medical education, to include the role of residents, medical students and PhD students.

    An ACGME standard requires that all residents must be taught how to teach.  There was discussion about using residents and 4th year medical students for small group activities conducted in the Large Learning Studio (or elsewhere).  There was a suggestion to provide a "teaching certificate" to residents who complete certain activities related to medical education.  It was pointed out that one way to have residents, who are good medical educators, is to train them in medical education while they are still medical students.

    Dr. Canterbury reported that he had had some discussions with the Associate Dean for Graduate Education about the possibility of using graduate students (working towards the PhD degree) in medical education.  It was pointed out that faculty mentors of PhD students supported entirely on training grants and research grants may be reluctant to see their student's time devoted to medical education (and the associated training necessary to be involved in medical education).  On the other hand, it was pointed out that medical teaching experience might be a useful credential for a PhD applying for faculty positions in medical schools.