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Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine

Waechter, Donna M. PhD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181e9136e
The Reports: United States: Maryland
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Curriculum Management and Governance Structure

  • ♦ The Executive Curriculum Committee (ECC)
    • has integrated institutional responsibility for the overall design, management, and evaluation of a coherent and coordinated curriculum of the UME program.
    • is a standing committee of the SOM.
    • meets biweekly and, with the approval of the dean, has the authority and responsibility to evaluate and implement recommendations of accrediting bodies and to ensure that the curriculum is in compliance with accreditation standards.
    • Subcommittees for the M1, M2, and M3/M4 portions of the curriculum are responsible for oversight of their respective segments of the educational program and for ensuring that curriculum content is coordinated and integrated across academic periods in a given year (see Figure 1).
    • FIGURE 1:

      FIGURE 1:

    • is chaired by the Associate Dean for Medical Education. Membership of the committee and its subcommittees includes faculty, staff, and students.
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Office of Education

  • ♦ The Office of Medical Education is staffed by the Associate Dean for Medical Education and the Assistant Dean for Curriculum. The office
    • is responsible for oversight, coordination, and evaluation of the curriculum of the UME program.
    • serves as a resource for information regarding the curriculum and curriculum policy, as well as issues pertaining to accreditation standards for the medical school and university.
    • provides medical education curriculum development and program evaluation expertise to faculty.
    • provides assistance with development and implementation of methods to assess student performance.
    • conducts medical education research.
    • coordinates the academic year schedules and calendars for the medical student curriculum.
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Valuing Teaching

  • ♦ In all appointment and promotion decisions, teaching skills and contributions are given balanced weight, in conjunction with the other scholarly activities in which a faculty member is engaged.
  • ♦ Department chairs are required to consider the teaching competency and teaching contributions of faculty annually at the time of annual review of faculty performance; in practice, most chairs additionally evaluate the teaching competency of faculty informally at several other times during the year; the dean expects that all faculty will contribute in some significant way to SOM teaching programs.
  • ♦ All recommendations by department chairs for faculty promotions and for faculty merit pay increases must be supported by evidence of significant contributions to the teaching programs in the SOM in addition to other factors.
  • ♦ Documentation of teaching contributions is usually accomplished by faculty teaching portfolios that include a record of all their teaching contributions; these are supplemented by formal and informal evaluations of teaching competencies by senior departmental faculty and by students.
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Curriculum Renewal Process

  • ♦ The process was launched December 2009.
  • ♦ Key objectives for the curriculum renewal process are as follows:
    • further integration of curriculum content across the four years
    • address changes in student learning styles
    • address changes in the practice of medicine
    • increase creative curricular opportunities
  • ♦ Components of the renewal process are as follows:
    • develop the academic plan for curriculum structure and delivery
    • operationalize the academic plan
    • implement the new curriculum
    • continuous evaluation and adjustment
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Learning Outcomes/Competencies

  • ♦ The current set of SOM educational objectives was approved in 2005 and is linked to the ACGME competencies.
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New Topics in the Curriculum Since 2000

  • ♦ Patient safety
    • Years 1 and 2: preventive medicine and introduction to clinical medicine courses
    • Years 3 and 4: clerkships and intersession blocks
  • ♦ Quality improvement
    • Year 4: intersession block
  • ♦ Team-based learning
    • Year 2: pathology course
  • ♦ Simulations/training in new surgical techniques
    • Year 3: surgery and anesthesiology clerkships
  • ♦ Common situations for the intern
    • Year 4: intersession block
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Changes in Pedagogy

  • ♦ Over the past two years, the faculty have worked to reduce contact hours and increase time for self-directed learning.
    • There has been an 11% decrease in contact hours.
    • Reduction achieved mostly through eliminating lectures and providing information in other formats.
    • Success measured through in-house examinations, subject examinations, faculty and student surveys.
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Changes in Assessment

  • ♦ Changes in student assessment implemented since 2000:
    • Conclusion of Year 2: Students perform a multistation OSCE and receive a formative “education prescription” that summarizes their clinical and communication skills and provides feedback on what aspects to work on in their clinical years.
    • Conclusion of Year 3: Students are assessed using a multistation OSCE and receive a formative “education prescription” that they can compare with their OSCE performance from the end of Year 2. The prescription suggests areas to work on in their subinternships and Year 4 rotations.
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Clinical Experiences

  • ♦ Clinical education occurs throughout the four-year curriculum:
    • Years 1 and 2: local medical centers and SOM standardized patient center
    • Years 3 and 4: local and distant medical centers and hospitals, SOM standardized patient center
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Highlights of the Program/School

  • ♦ Due to the mission of the SOM, the curriculum places particular emphasis on military medicine, humanism, epidemiology, infectious disease, global health, health promotion, disease prevention, tropical medicine, disaster medicine, and leadership
  • ♦ The Year 4 standardized patient exercise—Operation Bushmaster—assesses student leadership and clinical performance in a simulated combat environment. Students are assessed on a variety of skills including
    • triage
    • basic and advanced trauma life support
    • treatment and prevention of common medical and environmental problems in a field environment
    • military medical leadership
    • cultural competence
  • ♦ Our standardized patient center is a state-of-the-art facility that includes a Clinical Skills Teaching and Assessment Laboratory, VTC Room and Computer Laboratory, Wide Area Virtual Environment, and the Surgical Simulation Laboratory. This facility functions both as a learning environment and an evaluation setting.
© 2010 Association of American Medical Colleges