Shield of the SOM Committee on Medical Education
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Summary of 6-8-00 CME Minutes 

1.          Results of the Year I comprehensive examination:  mean 73.4%, reliability coefficient 0.95, 8 identifications

2.          Start date for the class of 2004 is Monday, August 7, 2000.

3.          Report from the Dean’s Committee for Restructuring the Governance of the Educational Program—the Committee for Planning, Evaluating and Administering the Curriculum—by Dr. Martin Resnick, chair, with clarifying remarks by Dan Anker, Ph.D., J.D., Associate Dean for Faculty and Institutional Affairs

During the presentation and discussion, two main issues emerged:

1.     Need for a clearer understanding of the chain of authority with the current governing committee system which empowers the CME to function and represent the faculty

2.     Divided opinion as to whether the CME would have authority to act on its recommendations as indicated by the new document.

Every five years the Committee on Committees examines the various committees to see if their charges need updating.  The inadvertent timing of the review by the Committee on Committees is very important for the CME in light of the new document described by Dr. Resnick and discussed as an hour-long component of the educational retreat agenda at Landerhaven February 11, 2000 and passed at the March 13, 2000 Faculty of Medicine meeting:  Responsibility for the CWRU School of Medicine Curriculum.

The Committee on Committees is currently looking at both the November 1994 CME charge and the March 2000 document modifying responsibility for the curriculum and the CME’s role.  In the fall, the Faculty Council will give the new charge to the CME based on the feedback from the Committee on Committees.

The Vice Dean of Academic Affairs, a full-time position, will decide the division of responsibility.  According to the new document, the Vice Dean has direct supervisory responsibility over the three curriculum councils, the curriculum (its day-to-day implementation), the CME, the Faculty Council.

The major change indicated by the new document is that the day-to-day operations of the curriculum are handled by the Vice Dean.  This arena requires quick decisions.  The Vice Dean is designated as the one person to deal with the organizational issues on a day-to-day basis.  The CME, however, will continue with the strategic planning.

Dr. Resnick’s formal presentation began with the following slides:

       A catalyst to this structural change began with the 1996 AOA Position Paper citing “lack of perceived leadership” in the curriculum.

       The April 14, 1996 Squire Valleevue Farm Student-Faculty Retreat pointed to barriers in student/administration communication.  This resulted in a proposal for a new administrative hierarchy.

       Dean Berger named the Committee for Planning, Evaluating, and Administering the Curriculum, which met four times.  A list of members was projected.

       An organizational chart indicating an Office of Education with a Vice Dean for Academic Affairs as a full-time job was projected.

       Also indicated on the organizational chart is the formation of three curricular councils each with its own chair—the basic science chair (perhaps as a 100% position), the clinical chair as a 50% position, and the Flexible Program chair as a 50% position.  However, no percent allotment of time is indicated in the document.

There was discussion as to whether it had really been the committee’s intent to require a full-time equivalent position to lead the basic science leadership council, although this had been brought up initially.

The Vice Dean will have direct responsibility for the day-to-day operations implementing the curriculum.  The Vice Dean will not have supervisory responsibility over content of the curriculum.  There originally was a fourth box on the organizational chart to the right of the basic science, clinical clerkship, and Flexible Program boxes—“day-to-day implementation,” subsequently removed to reduce “clutter.”  The Vice Dean’s office will have this responsibility.  Dr. Anker considers the Vice Dean’s role ideally to be that of an academic visionary working through the faculty.  He will delegate the “clapping erasers” to others on his staff.

Dr. LaManna feels that the curricular councils should keep the CME apprised of what is going on.  He sees the CME as making recommendations, especially where areas overlap, even if the Vice Dean will make the final decision.  The CME has the perspective of four years.  Vertical themes come through the CME.  The individual chairs of the three curricular councils would respond to recommendations concerning the vertical themes.  The text of the new structure calls for each curriculum council to coordinate with the others.

With regard to CME membership, there were two divergent viewpoints:

1.     Dr. Katz suggested requiring that at least some elected CME faculty members be either current or former subject committee chairs or clerkship directors, because they possess longitudinal perspective and expertise in the curriculum.  They possess the kind of detailed understanding of curricular issues that is important for making informed policy decisions.

2.     Dr. Resnick disagreed with restrictions on membership.  He has never served in either of the capacities mentioned by Dr. Katz.  Yet, he feels that he has been out in the trenches where he sees the students on the wards.  Dr. Resnick would like to keep the organization open more as opposed to creating a hierarchy requiring service in one group before being able to serve in the second group.  He wants to avoid a biased approach, where all the members would be “in the system” and political ties could influence CME participation.

Dr. Malemud wished to make two points in response to criticism about past CME membership 1) lacking the curricular understanding/expertise to make a timely decision or 2) being involved in unsuitable implementation areas such as day-to-day operations:

1.     It is an incorrect assumption that the CME was too deliberative and did not result in affecting change.  This was not the case.

2.     There was no mechanism for faculty leadership to deal with curriculum development and implementation in the past.

See Curriculum Revision Update

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This page was last updated on 8/30/00 by John Graham.

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