Minutes 12/07/99

Minutes 12/07/99

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Principles of Medicine Committee

Minutes 12.07.99

December 7, 1999, 3:00 p.m., Jordan 3-31.

Present were: Robert Bloodgood, Amy Bouton, Bruce Cohen, Alfred Connors, Carol Morica for Claudette Dalton,, Carl Creutz, Barry Hinton, William Hobbs, Peter Holloway, Donald Innes (Chair), Joanna Goldberg, Howard Kutchai, Kevin Lee, Andrew Lockman, Jennifer McClune, Jonathan Moreno, Christine Peterson, Marjorie Rein, David Waters, Brian Wispelwey, Wendy Golden, Allison Innes, Richard Pearson, Jerry Short, Marcia Childress, Eugene Corbett, Tony Tamburello, Mariecken Verspoor, Robb Williams, Andy Darby, Atul Gupta GUEST: Steve Meixel

1. Steve Meixel presented an update on the progress of the subcommittee working on the creation of the Practice of Medicine course. Elements from the DPI, Physical Diagnosis and Ethics courses are to be woven together to create the new PoM course with Human Behavior contributing content (1-4 lectures) as needed. Representatives from the courses involved, the CCRC, student representative(s), and Steve Meixel have been meeting on a weekly basis to work out a curriculum for this course. This course will be patient-centered, will emphasize proportionality, spending more time on the "important and common" and less time on the "rare," and will attempt to integrate course material from all the first year courses.

Examples of modules being considered for the POM course are: 1) Who are Physicians? 2) Communication skills and 3) History and physical examination. The course will likely have a one hour introduction of topic each week (including a patient interview at least every two weeks) and then two "two-hour" sessions or one "four-hour" session for discussions or laboratories. This will be case based following the lectures/outline of the Anatomy course. The PoM course will require faculty preceptors and resources for faculty development.

At present the subcommittee is meeting about once per week for one hour intervals. A retreat was proposed to "rough draft" a curriculum for the first year. Those involved will be polled via e-mail to determine the best Saturday in January for the retreat.

Issues include:

  1. coordination of PoM with the Basic Science courses;
  2. an integration "backbone" around which to integrate basic science and clinical subjects;
  3. flexibility of PoM and basic science courses.

Please send Steve Meixel comments or suggestions via e-mail at <sam2h@Virginia.EDU>.

Concern was voiced regarding the availability of mentors for this course. While this is certainly a valid concern, it is hoped that the Practice of Medicine course will be exciting and interesting enough to entice faculty to participate. Faculty development/training will be needed. We may have to investigate some form of remuneration for participants. ICM has had some success with allowing tutors to participate for one semester only (eliminating a yearlong commitment). ICM student groups are also reorganized on a semester basis to allow varied group interaction.

2. Howard Kutchai extended a proposal to the committee that all first year courses adopt a "Pass/Fail" grading system, specifically excluding Honors/Pass/Fail. A trial basis of three years was proposed, after which the grading system be formally evaluated and that the Principles committee decide whether to continue. A brief discussion ensued.

  • Honors/Pass/Fail might exacerbate competitive tendencies and grade obsession. - The rationale for limiting Pass/Fail to Y1 is that Y1 & Y2 grades are important in determining eligibility for AOA and other honors. Y1 & Y2 grades are used in selecting candidates for competitive residencies.
  • Imperative that all first year courses (including the new PoM course) be graded in the same manner (all P/F or all A,B,C,D).
  • Possible increase in second year stress level.
  • Impact on residency selection as P/F does not allow distinction between students.
  • USMLE becoming the primary criteria for residency selection.

This proposal will be placed on the agenda for a subsequent Principles of Medicine committee meeting.


The committee will be notified via e-mail as soon as a date is selected for the Practice of Medicine course retreat.

The next Principles of Medicine Committee meeting will be January 13, 2000 at 2:30 p.m. in the Cell Biology Library (Jordan 3-31).

The Curriculum Committee will host an open house for all faculty and students to discuss curriculum issues on January 12, 2000, from 3:00 until 5:00 in PCC Classroom A.

Minutes submitted by: Donald J. Innes, Jr., M.D. Date: 12/13/99