Minutes 11/12/08

Minutes 11/12/08

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Principles of Medicine Committee

  1. Ray Nedzel, Web Master for the school of Medicine, made a brief presentation about upcoming changes that include:

    • Plans by the Web Development Center to replace the "toolkit" (used to edit health system internet and intranet sites) with a new Content Management System in early spring of 2009. This toolkit tool is used for graduate courses but not for the medical school courses, which use the ToyBox tools developed by John Jackson and the staff of the Office of Medical Education.
    • The School of Medicine will be launching a new template for the external website with global navigation for all departments early next year. Mr. Nedzel was encouraged to provide maximal template flexibility; template inflexibility has been a source of frustration for some medical school course directors in the past.

  2. Jerry Short, Associate Dean for Medical Education Support, presented a detailed report covering data trends in admissions (undergrad grade point average, MCAT scores) and "output" data (USMLE scores, AAMC Graduation Questionnaire, student evaluations of medical courses).

    Graphs of the following data are available in the Office of the Dean for Curriculum.  To review please contact Donald Innes at dji@virginia.edu.

    Admissions Data: For the Class of 2012, MCAT scores (except for Biology) appear to be leveling off after a period of increases in recent years. Undergraduate Grade Point Average has been fairly constant for the past 4 years. 

    USMLE Exam  Data:  UVa USMLE Step 1 scores have leveled off in recent years; effective the Class of 2009, the National Mean has increased reducing the gap between the UVa and the National means. UVa Step 1 failures have fluctuated from 1 to 7/year during the past 10 years with no apparent trend. UVa USMLE Step 2CK means have continued to rise and to stay above the  National means.  UVa Step 2CK failures have fluctuated from 1 to 6/year during the past 10 years with no apparent trend.  In the first four years that USMLE Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills) has been given, UVa has had pass rates of 100%, 100%, 97% and 94%.

    UVa Course Evaluations by Medical Students:  1st year (Foundations of Medicine) course evaluations continue to exhibit a fairly wide spread as well as considerable fluctuation within some courses.  During the last 3 years, Genetics, Biochemistry, Neuroscience and Social Issues in Medicine have shown improvement in student evaluation scores while Gross Anatomy showed a considerable drop between Fall06 and Fall07.  2nd year course evaluations are more tightly clustered than those for 1st year courses.  No major trends in recent years in 2nd year (Core Systems) evaluation scores, other than a drop in PoM2 between 05-06 and 06-07. 

    AAMC Graduation Questionnaire:  Detailed information from the AAMC graduation questionnaire, completed by the class of 2008, about the medical school experience at UVa were presented.  In summary, strengths included: faculty, academic preparation, residents, students and support staff.  Weaknesses included: clinical experience and clinical relevance of some basic science courses (such as Pharmacology and Microbiology).  "Overall satisfaction with quality of medical school education" dropped from that of the previous four classes.

    The discussion that followed Dr. Short's presentation included the following topics.

    a. Inability of PhD basic scientists to teach aspects of clinical medicine relevant to certain basic science material.

    b. Importance of the coordination between clinicians and basic sciences in the teaching of basic science material. One approach to this is to have Clinical Advisors for basic science courses.

  3. Data on Low Performing Students: Course directors were reminded that they need to send Allison Innes in the Office of Student Affairs information about the lowest performing students (not just students with failing scores) promptly after each course exam. This information allows her to determine if certain students are struggling academically in multiple courses and to provide educational intervention in a timely manner when needed.