University of Virginia School of Medicine
Principles of Medicine Committee
- Melanie McCollum, PhD, was introduced. Melanie has recently joined the faculty of the Department of Cell Biology as an Associate Professor. Her duties will primarily be in the Human Gross Anatomy course and she will become the director of this course in the Fall of 2007. She brings with her extensive experience teaching Gross Anatomy as a faculty member at two medical schools (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Mercer University School of Medicine).
- Bob Bloodgood reported on the Motion sent to the Curriculum Committee regarding large teaching spaces in the new Medical Education Building.
In an e-mail poll, the membership of the Principles of Medicine Committee voted 25-1 in favor of the following motion: "Motion: The Principles of Medicine Committee believes that is essential to have tow large teaching spaces available (each accommodating an entire medical class) that are capable of being optimally confirmed so as to allow the medical school faculty to present simultaneously a "traditional" lecture format presentation to both the 1st and 2nd year medical school classes." All course directors and co-course directors for 1st and 2nd year medical courses are represented in this vote. There are two alternative outcomes of this motion that may occur: 1. Design the large teaching studio in the new Medical Education Building to accommodate lecture format (among others) or 2. Designate a second large teaching space for lectures outside the new medical education building. At the most recent meeting of the medical education building committee with the architects (May 15, 2006) it became very clear that Option 2 is the only possibility. One lecture hall will be built in the new education building; the other lecture hall will have to be either the Old Medical School Auditorium or one of the lecture halls in Jordan Hall (Room 1-5 or Room 1-14). Note: Because of cost issues, the design of the new Medical Education Building has been reduced from 6 floors to 4 floors.
- Bob Bloodgood presented additional assessment data on the impact of the new medical curriculum.
Conclusions from Evaluation of Fall Year 1 of New Curriculum:
a. Student performance (scores on individual courses) was as high as in previous year (less low scores)
b. Number of course failures was down (from 4 to 0)
c. Student feedback suggests increased stress between august and thanksgiving especially associated wit gross anatomy course - DePuy wellness survey supports this
d. Student assessment of courses down somewhat for Gross Anatomy, Med & Mol Genetics and CTS/Physiology and up dramatically for Biochemistry
e. Students liked the experiment in taking a single course between Thanksgiving and Winter Break
Actions being taken in an effort to reducing stress in 1st sem of Year 1:
a. Change timing of the Exploratory (SIM)
b. Eliminate cumulative honors- this will effective with the Class of 2011
c. Make adjustments to the Gross Anatomy Schedule
Specific changes made in the 2nd semester (Spring 06) of the new curriculum:
a. January 3- April 21st - 15 weeks- (13 instruction and 2 assessment) instead of the previous 20 weeks (17 of instruction and 3 of assessment) Net loss of 4 weeks of instructional time and 1 week of assessment time.
b. Transfer of medical and molecular genetics to Sem 1 (moving 3 weeks of instructional time out of the 2nd semester)
c. True net loss about 1 week of instructional time
d. Elimination of a number of lectures and entire lecture topics from Human Behavior and PoM1.
e. Only 2 exam periods neuroscience, Physiology/CTS and human behavior instead of 3.
Student Performance Data for Spring 2006 (compared to previous year)
Mean score for
Course Spring 05
Mean score for
Course Spring 05
Conclusion: In the 2nd semester of the new curriculum, medical students performed at least as well as they had under the old curriculum. A similar result was found for the 1st semester courses.
Medical Student Course Evaluation Data
Selected data from the DuPuy Wellness Survey: "Have you been under or felt you were under any strain, stress or pressure during the past month?":
Above table added together those responding: "Yes almost more than I could bear or stand" and "yes quite a bit of pressure."
"Overall I am satisfied with the quality of my medical education":
Added together "Strongly Agree" and "Agree responses)
"My current level of satisfaction with my personal life during the last month in medical school is":
Conclusions from Evaluation of Spring Yr 1 of New Curriculum (2006)
a. Student performance scores on individual courses about the same in previous year
b. Number of course failures about the same 3 versus 4
c. Student feedback much more positive than the feedback on the fall 05 survey
d. DuPuy wellness and other survey data saw a decline in wellness/satisfaction but not as much as for semester 1.
e. Student assessment of course down for neuroscience and physiology/CTS and up for POM 1 and about the same for Human Behavior. Overall for year 1 of new curriculum student assessment of courses were down for 5 the same for 1 and up for 2.
- Lecture attendance issues in 4th semester of medical school (Spring of 2nd year)
Lecture attendance has plummeted during Spring of 2nd year and appears to be significantly worse this year than ever before.
The following table shows self reported lecture attendance data from the surveys being used for the Pass-Fail grading Study and the assessment of the new curriculum. Shows a tradition of a drop in attendance in semester 4.
Aggregate Score (out of 5.0)
Sixtene Valdelievre (Chair of Mulholland education committee) did an e-mail poll of the current 2nd year class about issues related to attendance at lectures:
The Major reasons cited by the 2nd year students for not attending lectures:
a. Lecture quality not good
b. Not most efficient use of time (given good handouts, can learn material trough self-study in less time)- Lectures give superior handouts and students believe they can use those for self study.
c. Different learning styles (visual versus auditory learners)
d. Need to study for the cumulative exams
e. Large number of required afternoon and evening activities (especially related to PoM2 and Psychiatric Medicine) in the Spring of Year 2 that cut into study time)
It was pointed out that many of the items listed above should apply equally to the first 4 semesters of medical school and yet the drastic drop in lecture attendance occurs in semester 4. The Item e does apply primarily to semester 4 of the curriculum. There was a discussion about the possibility of reducing the many afternoon activities that occur in the Spring of the 2nd year? However, it was pointed out that the active small group clinical activities occurring in these afternoons are more valued by the students that the morning lectures. It was pointed out that the students did not cite the upcoming USMLE Part I as a reason for declining lecture attendance although that is also a reasonable explanation for a drop in lecture attendance only occurring in semester 4. There was a discussion about whether lectures should be taped and provided through course web sites or all PodCasts. Student input was very mixed on this point. There was much negative response among the members of the Principles of Medicine Committee to this idea.
Suggestions from 2nd year student to improve lecture attendance:
a. Lectures must have value added beyond the lecture handout
b. Doesn't just read the Powerpoint
c. Limit the number of Powerpoint slides per lecture
d. Emphasize images and diagrams instead of lists and tables in Powerpoint presentation
e. Follow the order of the handout
f. Don't' use the Powerpoint as the lecture handout
g. Limit the number of lectures and only use the best educators
h. Reduce # of lecturers and add more small group teaching
i. Reduce number of afternoon activates
j. More study days before exams
k. More case based teaching
- Next scheduled meeting is: Wednesday, June 14th at 2:00 PM
Future Agenda items:
1. Further discussion of lecture attendance (including discussion of the position paper on lectures prepared by Eugene Corbett)
2. Discussion of expanding the Social Issues in Medicine course into a broader Exploratory at some point
3. Discussion of a new secure on-line testing software package being purchased by the Office of Medical Education
4. Discussion of the Audience Response System (ARS) to be purchased by the Office of Medical education
5. Policies on grading and grades and grade reporting
6. Access for students to review their exams
7. Discussion of coordination, integration and reduction of overlap in the basic sciences