Curriculum Committee Minutes 4/16/18

April 23, 2018 by

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Curriculum Committee

Minutes – 4.16.18

MCBR, #2700 -4:00 p.m.

Present (underlined) were:

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

Voting: Juliana Bueno, Donna Chen, Aaron Freilich, Barry Hinton, Rachel Kon, Robin LeGallo, Keith Littlewood, Vishal Madaan, Juan Olazagasti, Margaret Plews-Ogan, Steven Powell, Theresa Schlager, Neeral Shah, Ryan Smith, Carlos Tache-Leon, Stephen Wolf

Students: Brielle Gerry, Ory Streeter, Vat Patel

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 April 9, 2018 meeting.

Announcements. Dr. Megan Bray introduced and welcomed to the Committee, newly elected Mulholland President, Brielle Gerry, SMD19. This years elected SMEC (Student Medical Education Committee) Members include, Ory Streeter and Vat Patel, SMD19, Erin Andonnino and John Popovich, SMD20.

 Clerkship Reviews- continued.


Reviewers: Keith Littlewood, MD Carlos Tache-Leon, MD
Subspecialty Clerkship Director: Laura Cook, MD

Subspecialty Clerkship Contact person: Debbie Perry

A formal report on the Ophthalmology component of the Surgical Subspecialty Clerkship was submitted to the Curriculum Committee. The highlights are listed below:

Strengths of Clerkship: Comments from the clerkship director that are supported by student comments include:

  • Well-structured rotation
  • Supportive faculty and residents
  • Material that is interesting to many students and uniquely addressed in this rotation

Unique Challenges:

Challenges remain in terms of including students in examinations and, particularly, surgery.  Examination opportunity and proficiency should be improved with the acquisition and thoughtful deployment of the EyeSi simulator. The Subspecialty director is re-evaluating the process by which students evaluations are assigned to residents and faculty alike.

Update on Actions Required from Previous Year 2016:

1). Limitation in the ability to assess student’s clinical skills directly. Options to consider- EyeSi ($30,000);
Teaching microscopes ($7000) including slit lamps with adapter for student to see.

 The Ophthalmology Department decided to absorb the cost of the EyeSi simulator predominately for UME teaching.  The clerkship director was encouraged, as implementation of this device unfolds, to consider the resources available within the SoM in terms of simulation education experts, formative/summative assessment, and curriculum design.  The director reports that she intends to utilize these resources as well as consider educational research potential with this curricular change.

The Ophthalmology Department also purchased two observer scopes (presumably referred to as slit lamp adaptors in last years’ report.

Actions Required for Upcoming Year:

1). Thoughtful integration of the EyeSi simulator into the curriculum to allow structured and maximized benefits to MS3 clerks.

2). Consideration of the purchase of more observer scopes so that students in all locations can benefit from guided examination and real-time reinforcement of anatomy, pathology, and clinical correlation.

System Reviews – Dr. Elizabeth Bradley

Formal reports on the Hematology and CTMD were submitted to the Curriculum Committee. The highlights are listed below:


Conclusions/Recommendations from 2017:

  1. The System Leaders and instructors: The praise continues for many of the instructors in Hematology. Their high quality, clinically oriented teaching is effective in helping the students learn the material in Heme, as well as for synthesizing the material from prior Systems. Dr. Douvas has been praised year over year and was again this year. As has been noted before, this System is perennially challenged by being the last System in the 18-month curriculum, with students who are focused on prepping for their Step 1 exam. Nonetheless, the faculty provide meaningful learning sessions that many students appreciate.
  2. Practice questions alignment with summative assessment: Several students provided feedback regarding the practice questions, and how they did not reflect the difficulty of questions on the summative assessment. They commented that the practice questions are too easy, and that there could be more in number. It is recommended that a review be undertaken of the quality and quantity of the practice questions in Heme, with an effort made to better align the difficulty with that of the summative assessment. This could also entail a review of the learning objectives to ensure that they reflect the content being assessed.
  3. Integration and organization of content: The students appreciate the integration of the clinical content through meaningful clinical cases and patient presentations, as well as the review and integration of material from prior Systems. Several students commented that Heme clarified material that had been introduces in other Systems, which was helpful just before Step 1.
  4. Active learning: Like last year, this system is about 10% lower on its active learning estimate than the average for all other Systems. It was recommended last year that effort should be made to improve this metric, but little progress appears to have been made. This should be a priority for the coming year.


Conclusions/Recommendations from 2017:

  1. System Leadership and Faculty: Each year, Drs. LeGallo and Mayo receive high praise from the students regarding their System Leadership. The students cite their responsiveness, compassion, hard work, and overall caring demeanor as reasons for this praise. The students feel that the System Leaders truly care about the students learning the material in a meaningful way.
  2. The overall organization of content and instructional methods in the System: The students find the overall approach to CTMD of introducing material early in the week with application and review at the end to be helpful to their learning. They appreciate the many active and engaging learning sessions. According to OASIS, CTMD has a high percentage of active learning built into the System, and clearly the students appreciate this approach. The students did comment on some sessions (namely some lab sessions and the DNA damage and repair TBL) as needing refinement. Specifically, in the lab they felt the TAs needed better prep to adequately answer students’ questions, more images to understand normal and abnormal, and for the DNA session better prep resources. Additionally, some students commented on resources being posted late and having some errors. Similar issues were identified in last year’s review as well so should be addressed prior to next year.
  3. Clinical orientation: The students had high praise for the strong clinical orientation/integration of the material in CTMD. They felt it helped them understand complex scientific concepts in the care of patients, which both helps them learn the material, as well as reinforces why they came to medical student in the first place.
  4. Practice and review: Students uniformly praised the weekly review and practice sessions. They felt that these application sessions helped them solidify their understanding of the material, as well as identify areas upon which they should focus their efforts. They were very appreciative of this overall approach.
  5. Practice/formative questions: Students felt that some of the practice questions did not reflect the difficulty or focus of the summative assessment. They felt they could be more difficult and have more specificity, as to the students the summative questions were more detailed and difficult in nature.


Proposal – Student EPA Assessment Concern Card, Dr. Maryellen Gusic. Dr. Gusic explained several issues regarding incomplete student EPA Assessments occurring in the clerkships. Some students neglected to complete required assessments prior to their completion of a clerkship. The significant importance of these assessments warranted consideration by the Committee to approve the issuance of a concern card in the event required assessments are not completed. Discussion was held among members.

VOTE: The Committee unanimously voted to approve; beginning with the new clerkship rotation, May 21, 2018, any student who does not complete required EPA Assessments for their rotation will be issued a concern card.


 Note: The next Curriculum Committee meeting will be held on Monday, April 23, 2018 in MCBR, #2700.


Filed Under: 2018, Curriculum Committee Minutes