Minutes 03/08/06

Minutes 03/08/06

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Principles of Medicine Committee

The single agenda item for this meeting was a presentation by David C. Slawson, MD, from the Department of Family Medicine on Evidence Based Medicine.  Dr. Slawson is a national expert on Evidence-based medicine and gave a fascinating presentation. Among many ideas, he touched on the concept of:  

 Usefulness of information    =  validity x relevance
 Work (time to access)  
He also discussed the probability model of information, as well as the concept of patient-oriented evidence that matters (POEM).

Dr. Slawson teaches the principles of evidence-based medicine to medical students and faculty at UVa.  An article of his on evidence based medicine can be found at:


His presentation stimulated a vigorous discussion among the members of the Principles of Medicine Committee which included a discussion of the place for evidence-based medicine in the early years of the curriculum and the ways in which the first two years of the curriculum might prepare medical students to use evidence-based medicine in the 3rd year of the curriculum.

The discussion identified a number of things that the Principles of Medicine Committee may wish to discuss further:

  1. PDA use early in the curriculum
  2. Emphasis on the probabilistic nature of information
  3. Should we try to use more short answer and/or essays in our assessment of the medical students, instead of our current emphasis on multiple choice questions.
  4. Bill Hobbs suggested that we may want to think about some way that we can assign levels of validity or relevance to the material in the handouts used in 1st and 2nd year medical school courses.
  5. Consider using some clinical correlations in basic science courses as a place to introduce or model evidence-based medicine approaches.
  6. Howard Kutchai suggested an experiment or pilot in which we provide access for medical students (via laptop computers?)  to all course content at the time they take their exams.  This would be like an open book exam that would emphasize problem-solving and critical thinking instead of memorization and regurgitation of facts.

Next Meeting:   Wednesday, April 12th, at 2:00 PM in Rooms 3-6/3-8 Jordan Hall.

Future Agenda Topics:

  1. Schedules for 2006-2007 academic year
  2. Report on the 3 recommendations made to the Curriculum Committee
  3. 4th year medical student teaching award
  4. Increased coordination among basic science courses, to include a reduction in overlap or repetition of material. 
  5. Discussion of exams versus quizzes and their usefulness
  6. (how many of each are optimum?)
  7. Proposal from some 1st year medical students to have exams given in the morning.
  8. Update on Social Medicine course for 2006-2007

Bob Bloodgood