Minutes 09/10/08

Minutes 09/10/08

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Principles of Medicine Committee


  1. Curriculum Reform: This will be a year of curriculum reform. Using the report of the recent Education Task Force (ETF), the Curriculum Committee will be considering major changes in the medical curriculum. This process will begin with a Curriculum Retreat on Saturday, September 20th, from 8:30-3:00 for the members of the Curriculum Committee, Principles of Medicine Committee and Clinical Medicine Committee. One of the major themes of this retreat is integration of the curriculum. All members of the Curriculum Committee are encouraged to read the ETF report carefully.

  2. Student Advisory Committee: Course directors are reminded that each course should have a Student Advisory Committee (SAC). The SAC has two purposes: 1) to serve the needs of the Course Director for student feedback and student assessment of the course and 2) to provide information to the Student Medical Education Committee (SMEC). Maureen Dale indicated that SMEC would like each SAC to provide an end-of-course report. Darci Lieb asked whether it would be possible for course directors to receive copies of the end-of-course reports and to see the SMEC minutes.

  3. Audiovisual Advisory Committee: John Jackson (Office of Medical Education) indicated that he was forming an Audiovisual Advisory Committee for the new medical education building and asked for volunteers from among course directors. He received a good response and the composition of this advisory committee will be: Bob Bloodgood, Brian Duling, Don Innes, Darci Lieb, Melanie McCollum and Julie Turner.

  4. Lobby Announcement System: John Jackson (Office of Medical Education) provided an update on the planned Jordan Hall Lobby Announcement System that will allow faculty to notify students in the Jordan Hall lobby when an educational activity was about to begin in one of the lecture halls (Rooms 1-5 and 1-14). The completion of this project has been delayed because of unforeseen electrical issues in Jordan Hall. The issue came up of coordinating the clocks in the Jordan hall lobby with those in the lecture halls.

  5. Lecture recording systems: John Jackson (Office of Medical Education) provided an update on the planned upgrade of the lecture recording system. An automated screencast system for recording lectures (both audio and computer visuals) will be piloted this Fall. During this interim period, lectures will be recorded in both the standard mp3 audio and the new audiovisual format until everything is working smoothly. It is anticipated that IPod versions of the lectures will be available via I-tunes. The recordings will be restricted to UVa as the default option (because many Powerpoint slides contain copyrighted material); this feature can be deactivated using a check box in the course management system. Mr. Jackson was asked if he could post a sample screencast for course directors to view.

  6. SMEC 4th year teaching electives: Bob Bloodgood (SMEC faculty advisor) and Animesh Jain (SMEC Chair) reported on the development of two kinds of 4th year teaching electives to be sponsored by SMEC (both using the existing 3405 Clinical Medical Science Teaching Elective):

    A.  Board Review Course Electives - 2 weeks. The student will prepare Powerpoints for use by the faculty (or medical students) in the board review course presentations.
    B.  Curriculum Assessment Electives - 2-4 weeks. The student will evaluate all or a portion of a course (handouts, Powerpoints, etc.) or a single topic (such as skin or female reproductive system) across all courses (or a subset of courses) and prepare a report with recommendations.

    It was proposed that all SMEC curriculum assessment elective reports be provided to the Principles of Medicine Committee.  It was suggested that the students doing these electives participate in a poster session, perhaps during the Basic Science for Careers course.

  7. SMEC USMLE Step I Board Review Course for 2nd year students: Brad Bradenham reported on plans for the second round of the Board Review course for 2nd year medical students covering 1st year course material. Course directors expressed some concern about the attendance at last year's sessions and suggested a possible change in dates so that the review course ends earlier (before students become focused on studying for the cumulative exams at the end of Core Systems). One course director pointed out that some review questions went into clinical issues beyond the capacity of a basic scientist. Some course directors suggested that some of the review course sessions be conducted by 4th year students. It was suggested that a few of the 1st year course directors meet with Brad Bradenham to work out the details for this year's review course; that meeting has been scheduled right after the October 8th meeting of the Principles of Medicine Committee. Jason Franasiak (Mulholland President) suggested that course directors revise the exam questions within individual courses to be more aligned with USMLE format.

  8. Cumulative Self-Assessment for Foundations of Medicine: The Curriculum Committee has decided, starting with the Class of 2012, to implement a cumulative self-assessment at the end of the Foundations of Medicine segment of the curriculum. The reasons for doing this include:

    A.  Concerns about trends in UVa USMLE Step 1 scores relative to national average. 
    Provide formative feedback to medical students on their learning and retention of 1st year material soon after they have completed the Foundations of Medicine.
    C. Provide medical students with exposure to the USMLE Step 1 format early in their medical career.

    The self assessment will be bought from NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners). It will be given via computer in the Health Sciences Library on Friday, April 24, 2009, after completion of the last set of exams and before the week of vacation that precedes Core Systems.  Half the class will take it in the morning (3 hrs) and the other half of the class in the afternoon (3 hrs). All medical students will be required to take it, but there will be no passing mark; it is a formative self-assessment.  Students are not expected to "study" for this.  Their preparation for it is their participation in the Foundations of Medicine Curriculum and associated course exams.

    There will be three steps in preparing the self-assessment:

    Building the Test Blueprint

    • Select the discipline(s) to be included
    • Review the content areas, entering the minimum/maximum number of items desired for each area
    • Specify the minimum/maximum number of images to be included
    • Indicate the types of item stems (patient vignettes, experimental vignettes) to be included  
    B. Generating a draft exam - done by NBME computer: The draft exam will consist of the target number of items identified (probably 150 items) plus a 100% overage of items that can be used for substitution purposes.

    Finalizing the exam

    • Define pacing of exam (40 items/hour or 50 items/hour)
    • Review item content
    • Use the overage pool to replace items from the draft that do not match course content

    During the discussion of this self-assessment, it was suggested that clinical faculty be involved in the selection of questions and that the NBME computer-generated exam be accepted with as few exam replacements made as possible.

    The next meeting of the Principles of Medicine Committee will be held on Wednesday, October 8, 2008.