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Millennium Curriculum Project Update - May 28, 1998


1. Drs. Matt Norcia, Mark Boswell, and David Kazdan presented the proposal for an Anesthesia curriculum. The proposal focused on 1) material content, which is divided into both basic information and focused material essential to the practice of anesthesia, and 2) how to convey that material to the students. The process consists of a continuum of education and training for all years of medical school leading into residency. Pharmacology and addictive medicine are related. Psychiatry plays a large role in anesthesia. A second year anatomy component could cover named concrete specifics for this new curriculum. We have a moral and ethical obligation to teach pain management and palliative care. The proposal supported requisite basic science and clinical skills for all physicians, an integrated curriculum, and advanced study.

2. Dr. Stanton Gerson concluded the Cancer proposal presentation begun at the last meeting. Cancer should be infiltrated into the curriculum not solely by lectures but in a manner enabling cancer to be a thread throughout the curriculum and to serve as a paradigm. Incorporation of mini-blocks into the curriculum would be beneficial. Cancer geneticists, basic scientists in oncogenesis, and pathologists should be involved in the cancer curriculum for their expertise.

3. Dr. Antonnette Graham delivered the proposal on Susbstance Abuse. As was the case with the other two topic proposals, substance abuse was not a prominent field in medical education when the present curriculum was revitalized. Substance abuse is an "orphan" disease. Many medical issues are involved in training for a disease that runs the gamut of the life cycle from before a baby is born to when a person is dying. Dr. Graham and Dr. Ted Parran have trained a cadre of clinicians in substance abuse, but there is lack of coordination with the basic sciences. Students would benefit from interactions and blocks on addiction.

4. IBM will take part in a research project investigating how personal digital assistants (PDA’s) can be used in the clinical setting by our third year students. They will provide us with 10 Workpads, their version of the PalmPilot. A medical database will be loaded onto these machines. The Personal Digital Assistant enables downloading both the scheduling data from the desktop and annotating notes. This pilot project will start with the third year students; a maximum of 40 students can use the notebook computers for a three-month period during the third year. Soon students will be able to take advantage of IBM Voice Recognition. The computer "listens" and types out what you say. This would cut down on time spent on patient notes and offers an option attractive to both medical students and physicians alike.

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This page was last updated on 6/5/98 by Becky Simpson.

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