Minutes 04/14/04

Minutes 04/14/04

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Principles of Medicine Committee

Minutes 04.14.04

 The entire meeting was devoted to a joint Powerpoint presentation by Bill Wilson and Meg Keeley (entitled: AIs There Education After the Basic Sciences?@) on the Clerkship/Selective/Elective portion of the undergraduate medical curriculum.  Drs. Wilson and Keeley are the co-Chairs of the Practice of Medicine Committee and the co-Chairs of the Contemporary Clerkships and Electives Design and Development Team.   They first presented the current state of the 3rd/4th year curriculum and then they presented the proposed changes under the new curriculum.

The basic plan is to start the basic Clerkship period on May 1st of the 2nd year (instead of the current July 1st) and to have a core 40 week period of Clerkships (instead of the current 48 weeks) to be followed by a period of mixed selectives and electives (see below).

Current Curriculum:

Core Clerkships (48 weeks)

Followed by Elective Period (32 weeks)

Internal Medicine (12)

Neurology Clerkship (4)

Surgery (12)

Advanced Clinical elective (ACE) (4)

Pediatrics (8)

Additional Electives (24)

Ob/Gyn (6)


Psychiatry (6)


Family Medicine (4)






Proposed Curriculum:

Proposed Proposed Curriculum:

Core Clerkships (40 weeks)

Selectives/Elective Period (44 weeks)

Internal Medicine (8)

Internal Medicine Selective (2)

General Surgery (8)

Internal Medicine Selective (2)

Pediatrics (8)

Surgical Subspecialty Selective (2)

Neurology (4)

Surgical Subspecialty Selective (2)

Family Medicine (4)

Ob/Gyn Selective (2)

Ob/Gyn (4)

Psychiatry Selective (2)

Psychiatry (4)

Advanced Clinical Elective (ACE) (4)


Basic Sciences for Careers (4)


Electives (24)













These two changes (starting the Clerkships 2 months earlier and reducing the size of the initial core Clerkship period and transferring some of what was core clerkship time to selective time) will allow the basic Clerkship period to be finished by the end of February in the 3rd year (approximately four months earlier than is currently the case).  The Basic Clerkship period will be followed by a period of Selectives and Electives which will give more choice to the individual medical student much earlier in their medical education.  Aside from a greater degree of tailoring of the curriculum to the individual student, this will provide two practical benefits for the medical students: 1) By being able to complete the basic clerkships much earlier and to then take selectives and electives in the Spring of the 2nd year, this will aid the student in making an informed choice of the residency area they wish to pursue prior to the deadline for residency applications. 2) Even for those students who have decided early on their choice of residency, the ability to take selectives and electives much earlier in the curriculum will allow students to accumulate more specific credentials (including electives, Advanced Clinical Electives [ACEs; much like AIs] and research) in the area of the residency prior to the interviews than is possible under the current curriculum and may improve the residency placement of our students.

The only new portion of the clerkship,/selective/elective part of the curriculum that will be introduced in the 2004-2005 academic year will be the Public Health course which will run for about eight days prior to Match Day.

Dr. Wilson's and Dr. Keeley's Powerpoint presentation will be e-mailed to all members of the Principles of Medicine Committee.

An extensive discussion followed the presentation.   Claudette Dalton asked where AIM would be located in the new curriculum.  It was pointed out that AIM would be retained in the new curriculum and that it would most likely be part of the 8 week core Internal Medicine Clerkship.  Marcia Childress suggested adding a Humanities Selective.  Some concern was expressed by basic scientists that the medical students had 12 weeks of unscheduled time in the last 18 months of the curriculum.  It was pointed out that this time was utilized in a number of ways including: 1) vacations, 2) residency interviews, 3) electives beyond the minimum number required, 4) time to study for and take USMLE Part II, 5) time to find housing in the location of the residency and 6) remedial work (should a student fail a Clerkship, Selective or Elective and have to repeat it).  A question was asked about the effect of the new curriculum on the frequency of the scheduling of Clinical Connections for the 3rd year students.

The next two meetings of the Principles of Medicine Committee will be held on:

Wednesday, April 28th, 2:00 PM , in Jordan Hall Room 1-17 .

Agenda Items:

  1. Presentation by John Jackson on his medical education search tool and a discussion of medical education databases (including the Vanderbilt KnowledgeWeb).

Wednesday, May 12th, 2:00 PM , in Jordan Hall Room 1-17 .

Agenda Items:

  1.   Report by Virginia Taylor on this year=s 4th year  medical student teaching awards
  2.   Presentation by Vern Juel on the new Basic Sciences for Careers program
Robert Bloodgood