Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2010 - Volume 85 - Issue 9 > The University of Mississippi School of Medicine
Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318217a217
Addendum: United States: Mississippi

The University of Mississippi School of Medicine

Jackson-Williams, Loretta MD, PhD

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Year school was established: The medical school began in Oxford, Mississippi on the University of Mississippi's main campus in 1903 as a two-year certificate program. In 1955 the school relocated to Jackson, Mississippi, and expanded its curriculum to a four-year educational program.

School URL: http://som.umc.edu/.

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Curriculum Management and Governance Structure

♢ The responsibility for curriculum management, design, implementation and assessment resides with the Curriculum Committee.

♢ The Curriculum Committee is chaired by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

♢ Broad faculty representation and student representation are approved by the Vice Chancellor and Dean of the School of Medicine (SOM).

♢ Major structural changes to the curriculum or new educational policies are approved by the Vice Chancellor and Dean of the School of Medicine, the SOM Executive Faculty, the Curriculum Committee, and the SOM Deans Council.

♢ The Curriculum Committee is guided by a Steering Committee composed of the chairs of the subcommittees of the Curriculum Committee and a member-at-large from the Curriculum Committee selected by the chair of the Curriculum Committee.

♢ The subcommittees as listed in Figure 1 are responsible for a large portion of the work of the Curriculum Committee.

FIGURE 1: Curriculum...
FIGURE 1: Curriculum...
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♢ Ad hoc committees are used periodically to address specific issues.

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Office of Education

♢ There is no separate Office of Education in the medical school.

♢ The SOM Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for daily curriculum management, academic and career counseling for students, tracking of medical student progress, and generating reports on the educational programs.

♢ The office consists of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, a project manager, the Director of Assessment and Accreditation, and an administrative assistant.

♢ The Director of Assessment and Accreditation is specifically responsible for curriculum mapping, management of the evaluation programs, and the oversight of the LCME and SACS requirements.

♢ The SOM Academic Affairs Office works closely with the institutional Academic Affairs Office, which has responsibility for the Department of Institutional Research and Academic Counseling.

♢ Included in the institutional Academic Affairs Office are the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Chief Deputy Academic Officer, who are responsible for institutional management and reporting regarding all of the educational programs in the five schools at the University of Mississippi Academic Health Science Center.

♢ The Department of Institutional Research has shared responsibility for instructional development, evaluation, computer labs, training, and institutional research.

♢ The Academic Counseling Center provides support services and counseling for students experiencing academic difficulty.

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Financial Management of Educational Programs

♢ The financial support of the educational programs has not changed significantly in recent years despite cuts in the state budget. This has been accomplished through increased support from the clinical program.

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Valuing Teaching

♢ The tenure and promotion process has recently been revised and approved by the SOM Executive Faculty to add specific tracks with emphasis areas.

♢ One of the areas of emphasis is education.

♢ The Office of the Vice Chancellor and Dean of the School of Medicine is currently in the process of developing a program to measure education effort in order to appropriately compensate departments for their efforts in the educational mission.

♢ The Evers Society is a student-led group formed to evaluate the curriculum and identify excellence in teaching. This group annually elects and honors five preclinical and five clinical faculty all-star teachers as well as one preclinical and one clinical science professor of the year.

♢ The institutional Office of Academic Affairs established the Nelson Order of Teaching Excellence in 2004 to honor the institution's best teachers. The SOM selects a faculty member annually.

♢ Members of Alpha Omega Alpha elect and honor a professor of the year.

♢ The University of Mississippi Alumni Association's Medical Alumni Chapter sponsors awards for preclinical and clinical professors annually.

♢ A faculty member is usually honored annually by the students in the medical student yearbook, The Medic.

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Curriculum Renewal Process

♢ In the spring of 2010 the Curriculum Committee approved a modified review cycle for the SOM curriculum.

♢ Evaluations in the SOM will occur in a five-year cycle that includes the M1 curriculum, the M2 curriculum, the M3 curriculum, the M4 curriculum, and a comprehensive review of the entire curriculum.

♢ The current review cycle is focused on the comprehensive review of the entire curriculum.

♢ The review cycle for this academic year's comprehensive review will specifically address integration within the curriculum: elements of the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) woven into the curriculum and reflected in course objectives and interactive teaching modalities.

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Learning Outcomes/Competencies

♢ The faculty have developed and approved learning objectives that encompass knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors medical students must demonstrate as a requirement of the MD degree. (See List 1.)

List 1
List 1
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New Topics in the Curriculum Since 2000

♢ For the past five years the departments of Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine have incorporated simulation training into the M4 curriculum for their core selective rotations.

♢ In 2009 a Community Service elective was added to the M4 curriculum to promote an awareness of the importance of volunteer community service by the physician.

♢ For the 2009–2010 academic year M3 electives were developed for students. Students are required to complete three of these electives, which provide exposure to a broad array of clinical settings and specialties.

♢ Simulation has been integrated into the M2 Pharmacology course.

♢ Team-based learning was implemented in the 2010–2011 academic year for the M1 Medical Gross Anatomy and Biochemistry courses and the M2 Pharmacology course.

♢ In the 2009–2010 academic year a group of the M1 and M2 preclinical faculty established integrated review sessions for M2 students preparing for the USMLE Step 1 exams.

♢ In addition to the above, courses continue to use case discussions, computer-assisted learning modalities, and self-directed learning.

♢ In the fall of 2010 the Curriculum Committee established an ad hoc committee to review and focus on interdisciplinary learning and patient safety in the SOM curriculum. That committee will also consider interprofessional education opportunities.

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Changes in Pedagogy

♢ The SOM has made a concerted effort to make small incremental changes to the curriculum to ensure that our students are constantly engaged in the process and that our national assessment measures do not decline.

♢ With these gradual changes in the curriculum our students continue to improve their performance on the USMLE Step 1 exam and have not shifted their level of satisfaction with the school, as reflected in their responses to the AAMC Graduation Questionnaire.

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Changes in Assessment

♢ The Curriculum Committee revised the Medical Student Clinical Performance evaluation tool two years ago to reflect those common areas of assessments for all required clinical experiences.

♢ The tool also provides objective measurement guidelines for faculty involved in the assessment of student clinical performance.

♢ In the M3 curriculum students are required to complete the Clinical Skills Assessment course that provides reviewable care of standardized patients.

♢ E*Value is the evaluation management tool that is used during each year of the curriculum to manage narrative assessments for students and to manage the clinical evaluations.

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Clinical Experiences

♢ In the M1 curriculum students work with clinical mentors and visit their assigned nursing home patients.

♢ In the summer between the M1 and M2 years, students can participate in preceptorships with varying clinical departments.

♢ In the M2 curriculum students work closely with assigned preceptors in the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course and see both inpatients and ambulatory patients.

♢ In the M3 curriculum students are primarily in the inpatient setting, but have required elective opportunities in the ambulatory setting throughout the clinic system at the University hospital and have required ambulatory community preceptors across the state of Mississippi in Family Medicine.

♢ In the M4 curriculum students are primarily in the ambulatory setting and have the opportunity to participate in extramural rotations at LMCE-accredited institutions.

♢ All clinical programs are conducted through the University hospitals and clinics and the affiliated Veterans Administration hospital and clinics except for the M3 Family Medicine community rotations.

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Highlights of the Program/School

♢ The faculty and staff at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine work hard to ensure that our students have a supportive and nurturing environment to learn the rigors of medicine.

♢ The format of the curriculum is traditional, with preclinical and clinical emphasis areas and with a gradual transition from one to the other.

♢ The SOM is generously supported by the state and only accepts residents of the state of Mississippi.

© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges

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