Curriculum Committee Minutes 12/17/18

December 29, 2018 by

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Curriculum Committee

Minutes – 12.17.18

CMMEB, #G165 – 4:00 p.m.

Present (underlined) were:

Chair (votes only to break a tie): Megan Bray

Voting: Juliana Bueno, Donna Chen, Katharine DeGeorge, Aaron Freilich, Fern Hauck, Barry Hinton, Paul Kunk, Robin LeGallo, Keith Littlewood, Vishal Madaan, Juan Olazagasti, Margaret Plews-Ogan, Steven Powell, Neeral Shah, Ryan Smith, Carlos Tache-Leon

Students: Brielle Gerry, Vat Patel, Ory Streeter, Erin Adonnino, John Popovich, Monet Lane, Logan Shelnutt, Brett Whalen, Marc Vetter

Non-voting: Gretchen Arnold, Elizabeth Bradley, Maryellen Gusic, Mark Moody, Selina Noramly, Bill Wilson

Staff: Bobbi May

Minutes Reviewed/Accepted. The Committee unanimously approved the minutes from the November 26, 2018 meeting.

System Reviews. Dr. Elizabeth Bradley presented the System Reviews. Recommendations are listed here; detailed reports are on file.


Action Items 2018

  1. Continue to incorporate the clinically oriented engagement sessions: The students continue to appreciate the highly integrated and clinically oriented engagement sessions offered in the Pulmonary System. These engaging sessions bring together material from many disciplines, and help students think about content from multiple perspectives. They feel the System Leaders are exposing them to and modeling how clinicians think and interact with patients during these sessions. These sessions have a profound impact on the students both in terms of their learning, and in terms of further supporting why they wanted to be physicians in the first place.
  2. Maintain strong leadership and dedication to student learning and development: Even with the challenges students feel they experience in this System, they are confident in the System Leaders and their dedication to student learning. Many students commented that they appreciated Drs. Mihalek and Littlewood pushing them to think beyond learning objectives, which although stressful, they recognize as critical to their development as a physician.
  3. Refine and review and the overall introduction, organization, and application of content while explicitly linking learning objectives to resources and assessments: The students again this year commented on the difficulty they have determining what they need to focus on in their learning. Commenting that many learning objectives are vague, and resources are broad, they are unsure of where to focus their studies. It is clear that they believe that more effort spent on creating clear, foundational learning objectives with useful resources will go a long way to helping this issue. From this foundation, the students feel they will be able to build knowledge through well-designed application exercises and problem sets in which they are working through the material with peers, and asking questions of the faculty. This approach they believe (based on its successful use in prior systems) will help them feel more directed and confident heading into the assessments.

Foundations of Medicine.

Conclusions 2018

  1. Patient presentations and clinical context: Each year the students find the patient presentations extremely valuable, as they illustrate to students how the basic sciences and clinical medicine are intricately intertwined and they are examples that students remember for years to come. The students are able to remember the science more deeply through the patient presentations than they would through classroom activities alone.
  2. Integration and overall organization: The students again this year value the highly integrated teaching that occurs in FoM. The students are able to see connections between the cellular levels of health and disease and the patient embedded in a complex society. They still comment on how sometimes they have a difficult time moving among the many topics that are covered in a day or week, so continued work can be done in this area to connect the topics or reorganize some material in a meaningful way.
  3. The Biochemistry teaching and review sessions: Students were very appreciative of the thoughtful and meticulous approach Dr. Noramly took with the biochemistry teaching. They noted how helpful her drawings were in explain very complex pathways and concepts. Though some commented that they feel biochemistry sessions need more time, they were very pleased with the overall approach to the difficult content.
  4. Review of specific classes and activities: As in years past, some students commented on specific improvements that in their minds could be made to clusters of content. This year the comments focused on pharmacokinetics/dynamics, genetics, and epidemiology as content areas that could be adjusted for improved learning. Please see the student comments for specifics.

Clerkship Review.

Anesthesiology. Dr. Ryan Smith presented the Anesthesiology Clerkship Review. The highlights are listed here, a detailed report is on file.

CC Reviewers: Juan Olazagasti, MD, Ryan Smith, MD

Clerkship Directors: Vaia Abatzis, MD, John McNeil, MD


  • Strength of Faculty teaching is evident in multiple awards for faculty as well as Oasis Comments
  • SIM center experience remains very positive based on student review
  • Significant positive comments in Oasis regarding the structured lectures and procedural involvement of students


  • Negative student commentary centers on a perceived lack of preparedness for the rotation in the pre-clerkship. Particular areas of concern are pulmonary physiology and pharmacology.
  • This material is covered in the pre-clerkship curriculum and also reviewed in formal lectures (pharmacology>respiratory physiology) during the rotation. Students also receive lectures on ventilator managements
  • Consistency of intraoperative teaching
  • Clerkship director and assistant select faculty who are interested in teaching for students.
  • Timing on SIM seminars is limited due to availability and shared time with ER and other services. Modifications to the afternoon are not possible.

ACTION ITEMS: From last year and updates.

  • Integrate planned PETC component of clerkship.
    • Completed
  • We recommend that the PRLs on common topics be developed as it may ease the administrative burden in the long run and provide a cohesive and standardized learning experience for the students (recommended 2017).
    • Remains Under Development 3/5 completed
  • Integration of EPA evaluation regarding consistent assessment of CPR and masking (BVM) (EPA#12) through SIM center or other means
    • Completed
  • Integration of more pulmonary physiology and anesthesia pharmacology in Pre-clerkship
    • They are going to discuss with Dr. Littlewood, but already appears to be occurring despite student commentary.
  • Students evaluate (interview, physical exam, note-writing and presentation) patients more in preoperative setting
    • Directors were universally in favor of adding this to the curriculum


Note: The next Curriculum Committee meeting will be held on Monday, January 7, 2018 in MCBR, #2700.

Filed Under: 2018, Curriculum Committee Minutes