Shield of the SOM Committee on Medical Education
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Summary of 1-10-02 CME Minutes 

  1. MLA satellite teleconference on PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) called “Sync or Swim:  Managing the Flood of PDAs in Health Care” will take place Wednesday, February 6, 2002 in room E301 of the School of Medicine.

  1. Twenty-three students in the Class of 2002 were recently elected into the AOA medical honorary.  Fifteen percent of the graduating class can be elected to AOA.  Research, community service, and leadership are also factors in AOA selection besides clerkship performance.

  2. Henry Ford will cancel third year core clerkship rotations including the Primary Care Track.  (CWRU students already enrolled can complete their training.)  Henry Ford will continue to allow fourth year Type B electives.  The Henry Ford decision to cut academic programs is partly related to economic exigencies.  Also, our graduates have not gone into Henry Ford residencies to the degree that they had anticipated.  Many Year II students were planning to go to Henry Ford and are disappointed.  The Patient-Based Program Coordinator promised that we will accommodate all students in the core clerkships.

  3. The LCME site visit has been shortened by one day, a reduction made for schools “in good shape.”  The LCME site visit will take place Sunday, March 10 through Wednesday, March 13, 2002.

  4. Update on the Flexible Program Advisory Committee meeting last Wednesday – Dr. Charles Malemud, Flexible Program Co-Coordinator

  • Overall goal:  to formulate an evaluation of the Flexible Program

  • First priority:  to examine the objectives of the Flexible Program from scratch

  • Plans to have a mechanism for ongoing analysis of the Flexible Program to show to the LCME site visitors

  1. Flexible Program Clarifications, Explanations, and Suggestions under consideration:

  • Type B electives are month-long rotations mainly in the fourth year.  They are usually clinical rotations but may also include research or reading electives.  We need descriptive information about Type B electives in order to evaluate them.  (We already have sufficient information on Type A electives, which typically consist of one afternoon session a week for six weeks.)  Type B electives can be taken here or elsewhere at any LCME-approved medical school or institution.  We do not have real course descriptions of “unlisted” electives, mostly Type B, which must be approved by the Patient-Based Program Coordinator.  There are 308 unlisted electives.  Typically, CWRU students spend two months of the fourth year doing unlisted electives.  That amounts to 20% of the fourth year.  (Students take two vacation months in the fourth year, leaving eight elective months, only two of which can be research.  Students graduate in May.)

  • Rough breakdown of Year IV

    • Year IV students usually spend the first three months (July, August, and September) doing Acting Internships (AIs), one form of a clinical rotation Type B elective.  

    • Students spend the second three-month period (October, November, December) as a residency interviewing cycle, taking light electives and visiting on average between 10 to 15 residency programs.  

    • The CME is interested in helping students focus during the months of January, February, March, and April before graduation in May.

  • Instituting a Year IV “plan of study” requiring an adviser’s signature in which every student would indicate how he/she intends to utilize elective time might be a reasonable place to start in refining the Flexible Program.  This would allow the medical school some degree of oversight.

  • Areas of Concentration (AoCs) offer the student the opportunity to pursue in-depth study in an area of his/her choosing using both Type A and Type B credits.  Between one-third to one-half of the students will take an Area of Concentration.  Areas of Concentration put some requirements on fourth year electives.  Via the Area of Concentration, the fourth year student focuses 2 or 3 months in this specialized study, but it does not exhaust his/her whole year.  Typically, about 39% of students sign up for an Area of Concentration.  Additionally, 40 students per year are in the Primary Care Track (PCT), which is similar to an Area of Concentration.  During the fourth year, the PCT student is required to do a one-month project, but the rest of the year is free.  A large number of dual degree programs also focus and center the students.  

  • Implementation of the 12-month core clerkship third year opened up the fourth year to every student as a student-initiated opportunity for study with consultation from the faculty.  Reiteration of this theme of the 12-month core clerkship third year as leading to a truly flexible fourth year

  • Keep the fourth year student-initiated.

  • Incorporate faculty oversight in some form of “advising” structure.  This is of particular importance for those students not in an Area of Concentration or a dual degree.

  • Under the current system, students earn Type A elective credit just by showing up.  Suggestion:  to require a “product of learning,” that could take many forms

  • Mention of a past survey project sent to every program director in charge of a residency in which members of the CWRU Class of 2000 spent their internship year.  Purpose:  to obtain information about graduates’ performance using approximately 20 different parameters for evaluation.  Graduates were graded on a scale of 1 to 5 on each item, 5 being outstanding, 1 being poor.  More than a 70% response rate indicated that performance of our residents was usually in the 4 to 5 range, with the mean score of each parameter being about 4.  Program directors also provided favorable comments.

  • Lack of a formal step after students see the Associate Dean for Residency and Career Planning; we need to implement such a process.  CME desire to formalize the connection between the Associate Dean for Residency and Career Planning and the Flexible Program

  • Third year students decide their electives for the fourth year during March of their third year.  Consequently, students have to choose Acting Internships (AIs) before they have finished their clerkships.

  • Suggested new survey project:  Poll current PGYIIs in residencies who are CWRU graduates of the Class of 2000.  Ask them what they would have changed about their undergraduate medical education, particularly, concerning choice and spectrum of courses taken during the fourth year.  Study could be published and serve to enhance educational research on advising students.  Dr. Marti Echols and Dr. Hue-Lee Kaung volunteered to do such a survey.

  • Support for using a list of faculty advisers for referral purposes.  However, there is no system to obtain feedback to see if the referrals gave good advice.  Students often end up using faculty that they meet through their courses as advisers.  Spontaneous mixing of students and faculty seems to be more successful than a formalized pairing of student/adviser.

  • The Office of Student Affairs can handle advising students during the first two years of medical school.  During the third year is when students want to meet their mentor (adviser).  Brief discussion distinguishing between “mentors” and “advisers” resulted in decision to use the term “adviser” to denote the faculty member advising the third year student.

  • Suggestion to clarify Flexible Program terminology for advisers

  1. So far Flexible Program updates have been included in the “CME Minutes Summary” portion of the Web site.  This material is also in the beginning stages of what will fall under the Curriculum Revision Update.

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This page was last updated on 12/12/01 by John Graham.

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