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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine

Williams, Simon C. PhD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181ea9685
The Reports: United States: Texas
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Curriculum Management and Governance Structure

Educational Policy Committee (EPC)

  • ♦ The committee carries out policy analysis and development necessary for the excellence and effectiveness of the undergraduate medical education program.(See Figure 1.)
  • FIGURE 1:

    FIGURE 1:

  • ♦ Voting members (22) include 16 faculty (elected and appointed by the Dean) and six students (elected from the student body). Academic Deans and chairs of other curriculum/student affairs committee chairs are nonvoting members. Postgraduate educators are represented by one nonvoting resident physician.
  • ♦ Reports directly to the Dean with liaison provided by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
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Educational Operations Committee

  • ♦ Manages curriculum content and delivery in Years 1 and 2. Voting members are the 10 Block Directors from Years 1 and 2.
  • ♦ Advisory committee to EPC.
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Clinical Education Operations Committee (CEOC)

  • ♦ Manages curriculum content and delivery in Years 3 and 4. Voting members include six Lead Clerkship Chairs and Academic Deans from each campus.
  • ♦ Advisory committee to EPC.
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Clinical Education Committees (CEC) (4) and Year-4 Director (Y4D) Committees (4)

  • ♦ One CEC and one Y4D committee per campus.
  • ♦ CEC membership consists of six Clerkship Directors on each campus.
  • ♦ Y4D committee membership consists of one Y4D from each department that offers a rotation in Year 4 on that campus.
  • ♦ Report to the EPC via the CEOC.
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Student Promotions and Professional Conduct Committee

  • ♦ Faculty-elected committee (21 voting members) that monitors student progress in the curriculum and determines actions for students in poor academic standing.
  • ♦ Manages assessment of professional conduct program and determines actions in cases of unprofessional behavior.
  • ♦ Core committee of 12 members on Lubbock campus is responsible for students in Years 1 and 2.
  • ♦ Campus-specific committees of three members are responsible for students in Years 3 and 4.
  • ♦ Reports to the Dean via both the Faculty Council Executive Committee and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
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Office of Curriculum/Office of Student Affairs

  • ♦ Both offices are managed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
  • ♦ Personnel in Office of Curriculum
    • Assistant Dean for Basic Science Curriculum
    • Assistant Dean for Clinical Science Curriculum
    • Senior Director for Education Technology
    • Programmer/Analyst (2)
    • Senior Administrator for Curriculum Grant Programs
    • Senior Administrative Assistant
  • ♦ Personnel in Office of Student Affairs
    • Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
    • Director of Student Affairs
    • Manager of Student Affairs
    • Senior Administrative Business Assistant
    • Special Events Coordinator
  • ♦ The Office of Curriculum is charged with oversight, implementation, and management of the curriculum of the School of Medicine (SOM).
  • ♦ The Office provides administrative support to faculty and student committees that determine curricular design and content and assessment methodology.
  • ♦ The Office, through the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, ensures that the SOM meets or exceeds standards for accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
  • ♦ The Office houses the Information Technology division of the SOM, which implements educational technology programs that promote an effective and progressive learning environment.
  • ♦ The Office of Student Affairs is charged with providing academic support and career guidance for medical students and is expected to do so in a supportive environment that enables students to have a positive experience at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine (SoM).
  • ♦ The goal of the Offices of Student Affairs on each campus is for every medical student to be successful and to develop professional skills and personal relationships that will last a lifetime.
  • ♦ As student advocates, the Student Affairs staff work to ensure that the students' rights are protected and that all students are treated fairly.
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Financial Management of Education Programs

  • ♦ The Offices of Curriculum and of Student Affairs are funded by the Office of the Dean and have not experienced a decrease in funding over the past biennium.
  • ♦ Teaching activities are generally funded at the departmental level. Block/Clerkship Directors receive supplemental funding from the Office of Curriculum to support their educational activities.
  • ♦ Interdisciplinary courses (such as the Early Clinical Experience blocks in Years 1 and 2 and the Integration Seminar in Year 3) have received funding for administrative support from the Office of Curriculum.
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Valuing Teaching

  • Teaching Academy: A community of educators from all campuses who participate in faculty development and peer evaluation activities related to medical education.
  • Faculty Evaluations by Students: Faculty in blocks, clerkships, and rotations are evaluated by students using an online system, and collated data are distributed to individual faculty, their department chair, course directors, the Office of Curriculum, and the Dean. These data are used by Department Chairs in annual Faculty Evaluations and by the Office of Curriculum and the Dean to identify faculty who exhibit excellence in teaching worthy of special recognition and faculty in need of assistance to improve their teaching abilities.
  • Tenure and Promotion (T&P): The T&P policy of the TTUHSC SoM was modified in 2009 to ensure that faculty could achieve tenure and/or promotion based on excellence in teaching activities.
  • ♦ Annual Teaching Institutes are cohosted by the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development and the Office of Curriculum to provide training in topics such as educational techniques, providing effective evaluation and feedback, and using educational technology.
  • ♦ The Office of Faculty Affairs and Development runs an annual Faculty Development course that covers educational topics in detail.
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Curriculum Renewal Process

  • ♦ The curriculum underwent a complete revision beginning in 2002. This process involved faculty from all disciplines and campuses and resulted in significant changes in the delivery and organization of the curriculum.
  • All Years
    • Integration of curricular themes to address changing needs in health care delivery. Themes include cultural competence, geriatric care, nutrition medicine, genetics of human disease, and professional behavior
  • Years 1 and 2
    • Introduction of an integrated, system-based curricular design in place of a discipline-oriented system
    • Introduction of Early Clinical Experience blocks in both years that provide early exposure to clinical scenarios and enhance student skills in obtaining patient history and physical
    • Introduction of a Basic Medical Spanish requirement as part of a curricular focus on enhancing cultural sensitivity
  • Years 3 and 4
    • All six core clerkships are of equal length (eight weeks)
    • Addition of a longitudinal clerkship experience named the Continuity Clinic to enhance student skills in continuity of care
    • Addition of a Student Grand Rounds to integrate basic science knowledge into clinical scenarios
    • Introduction of required rotation in geriatrics in Year 4
    • Separation of a Neuropsychiatry clerkship into separate Psychiatry and Neurology rotations
  • ♦ The curriculum is reviewed on an annual basis by the EPC. This review process involves a combination of focused evaluation of individual blocks/clerkships/rotations and evaluation of curricular years or the entire four-year curriculum. Faculty and student members of the EPC perform these reviews. Curricular content is tracked using the CurrMIT tool from the AAMC.
  • ♦ Curriculum reviews also focus on enhancing integration of curricular topics across the curriculum.
  • ♦ Educational Summits are held each year where faculty review the SoM curriculum and develop policies and implementation procedures for alterations to the curriculum.
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Learning Objectives/Competencies

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New Topics in the Curriculum

  • ♦ Cultural Competence
  • ♦ Nutritional Medicine
  • ♦ Geriatric Medicine
  • ♦ Palliative Care
  • ♦ Assessment of Professional Behaviors
  • ♦ International/Global Health
  • Treatment of Substance Use Disorders
  • ♦ Basic Medical Spanish
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Changes in Pedagogy

  • ♦ Use of standardized patients for evaluation of clinical skills in Observed Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). OSCEs are major components of the evaluation systems in all clerkships in Year 3.
  • ♦ Decreased faculty contact time in Years 1 and 2 to enhance student self-directed learning opportunities.
  • ♦ Use of asynchronous presentations (referred to as Voice-Over PowerPoints) to provide additional instructional exposure for students outside regularly scheduled didactic lectures.
  • ♦ Use of video presentations in the Clinically Oriented Anatomy block in Year 1.
  • ♦ Increased use of problem-based learning sessions combined with student response systems to assess student learning in real-time.
  • ♦ Audio recording of lectures.
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Changes in Assessment

  • ♦ Introduction of a five-category grading system in Years 1 and 2 (Honors, High Pass, Pass, Marginal, Fail).
  • ♦ Use of National Board of Medical Examiners Subject or Customized examinations in all didactic blocks in Years 1 and 2.
  • ♦ Introduction of OSCEs as major components of clerkship grading.
  • ♦ Introduction of a five-station, formative OSCE that all students must complete before the end of Year 3.
  • ♦ Requirement for achievement of a passing grade in USMLE Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS for graduation.
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Clinical Experiences

  • Locations
    • Lubbock: TTUHSC Clinics, University Medical Center, Covenant Medical Center, community physicians, Carillon Senior LifeCare Community, Vista Care
    • Amarillo: Baptist St. Anthony's Hospital, Northwest Texas Hospital, Amarillo Veterans Administration Healthcare System
    • El Paso: University Medical Center of El Paso (formerly RE Thomason General Hospital), El Paso Psychiatric Center, William Beaumont Army Medical Center
    • Permian Basin: Medical Center Hospital (Odessa), Midland Memorial Hospital, Odessa Regional Hospital
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Regional Campuses

  • ♦ The TTUHSC SoM currently instructs students on four campuses. Students in Years 1 and 2 receive instruction on the Lubbock campus, whereas students in Years 3 and 4 are distributed among campuses in Amarillo, El Paso, Lubbock, and Permian Basin (Midland and Odessa).
  • ♦ TTUHSC SoM students will cease receiving instruction on the El Paso campus after the 2011-12 academic year due to the establishment of the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso. Additional students will be assigned for clinical training to the Amarillo and Lubbock campuses beginning in 2011.
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Highlights of the Program/School

  • ♦ Recently revised integrated curriculum
  • ♦ Patient encounters beginning in Year 1
  • ♦ Small-group sessions exploring topics such as medical ethics, professional behavior, and cultural sensitivity
  • ♦ Comprehensive performance tracking system to ensure that academic assistance is provided to students in a time-effective manner
© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges