Everything you need to know about exam questions types in our curriculum!

Are all exam questions created equal? Not really—different type of questions test different levels of understanding. In the UGME program, we use a variety of exam questions to assess student learning—broadly classified as multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and short-answer questions (SAQs). But within these broad categories are a range of types of questions designed to test different levels of cognition. We use these different types of questions at different points both within courses and within the program.

Based on Bloom’s Taxonomy

 Bloom’s taxonomy is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition—thinking, learning, and understanding. The taxonomy was first developed in the 1950s by Benjamin Bloom and further revised by him in the 1990s. In his original version, there are six levels of cognitive behaviours that explain thinking skills and abilities of learners. The original six levels of cognition as described by Bloom are: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Educators have used Bloom’s taxonomy to inform or guide the development of assessment, such as with the construction of MCQs. MCQs are widely used for measuring knowledge, comprehension and application of learning outcomes. Our curriculum uses MCQs in different assessment formats, for different purposes, and those are described below.

 

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You may hear acronyms and terms about assessment in our UGME program: RATs, MCQs, SAQs, Key Features. Here is a brief description of each:

Readiness Assessment Tests (RATs)

RATs used in our curriculum often consist of 10-15 multiple-choice questions that are linked directly to the readings (and/or prior lectures). A RAT focuses on foundational concepts that will be important for following SGL activities. MCQs found on a RAT, test for knowledge (i.e., recall information) and less for application of knowledge. Examples of verbs used in the question stem that would test knowledge include: define, list, label, recall, select, name, outline, or match.Filling in bubble test

Multiple-choice questions (MCQs): on midterms and finals

There are three components to an MCQ: the stem, lead-in question, and options that consist of one correct answer and typically three distractors (wrong answers). The stem should be directly linked to a learning objective assigned to a course. MCQs that are used on midterms and final exams often test for comprehension and application of knowledge; this is beyond the recall information that is typically the case with MCQs on RATs. Some multiple-choice questions may assess simple recall, depending on the learning objectives of the course but should be kept to a minimum. Verbs used in the question stem to test comprehension include: predict, estimate, explain, indicate, distinguish, or give examples. Verbs that would test application include prompts such as: solve, compute, illustrate, interpret, demonstrate, or compare.

Short-answer Questions (SAQs)

SAQs typically are composed of a case scenario followed by a prompt that requires a written answer that varies in length from one or two words to several sentences. SAQs often test the higher cognitive skills in Bloom’s taxonomy. Final examinations in our curriculum are typically composed of a mix of MCQs and SAQs. To test analysis, verbs in the question stem include: explain, arrange, select, infer, calculate, or distinguish. Verbs such as develop, design, plan, devise, formulate, or generalize test for synthesis, whereas verbs in the question stem to test evaluation include: argue, assess, estimate, justify, predict, compare, conclude, or defend.

Key Features Questions

Key features problems are used by the Medical Council of Canada for the assessment of clinical decision-making skills in the MCCQE Part 1. Key features problems have a case scenario usually followed by two or three questions, each question testing one or more key features. A key feature is defined as a critical step in the resolution of a clinical problem, and key-feature problems consist of clinical case scenarios followed by questions that focus only on those critical steps. While knowledge is an important feature for effective problem solving, the challenge posed by key features problems is the application of knowledge to guide clinical decision-making. For each question, instructions may require selection of whatever number of responses is appropriate to the clinical tasks being assessed, and there may be more than one response in the answer key. The development of key features problems for clinical decision-making is being piloted in the Clerkship curriculum courses this year.

How do we administer our tests?

Queen’s Undergraduate Medical Education has moved to an electronic exam system called ExamSoft for the administration midterms and final exams in Preclinical and the Clerkship curricular courses. Medical students no longer write exams on paper; rather they do it all on laptops. This greatly facilitates marking of exams, and it means we are no longer managing huge volumes of paper and deciphering student handwriting.

 References:

  1. http://www.nmmu.ac.za/cyberhunts/bloom.htm
  2. https://www.utexas.edu/academic/ctl/assessment/iar/students/plan/method/exams-mchoice-bloom.php
  3. http://www.profoundlearning.com/index.html
  4. Page, G., Bordage, G. & Allen, T. (1995). Developing Key-feature proglems and examinations to assess clinical decision-making skills. Academic Medicine, 70 (3).
  5. mcc.ca/wp-content/uploads/CDM-Guidelines.pdf
  6. Laura April McEwen, OHSE 2011, MCQ Checklist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MD Program Executive Committee Meeting Highlights – August 27 and September 10, 2014

Faculty and staff interested in attending MD PEC meetings, should contact the Committee Secretary (Faye Orser, (orserf@KGH.KARI.NET)) for information relating to agenda items and meeting schedules.

Over the course of the next several meeting the Committee will be vetting and approving several policies and terms of reference.  The Committee has now reviewed and approved:

  • Terms of Reference for Academic Affairs Committee (new)
  • Terms of Reference for Progress and Promotion Committee (updated)
  • Terms of Reference for Professionalism Advisory Committee (updated)
  • Terms of Reference for Student Assessment Committee (updated)
  • Diversity and Equity Statement (new)
  • Student Progress and Promotion Policy (updated)
  • Policy on Academic Accommodations (new)
  • Student Professionalism Policy (updated)
  • Student Assessment Policy (updated)

 

Final approval of all documents will be requested at the upcoming SOMAC meeting.  All Undergraduate Medical Education policies and terms of reference are available on the UGME website:  http://meds.queensu.ca/undergraduate

 

Next Meeting:  October 15, 2014

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Balancing service and learning in service-learning

Formalizing opportunities for service-learning is increasingly important to schools of medicine, both for the inherent merits of service-learning itself (for both learners and communities), as well as for accreditation considerations.

The Future of Medical Education in Canada (FMEC) report places a strong emphasis on social accountability, and service-learning is integral to carrying out this mandate: “Central to these social accountability initiatives is the provision of a comprehensive education for physicians that will enable them to respond directly to the ever-changing health care needs of the communities they serve” (FMEC, p. 16).

Ways forward suggested in the FMEC document include:

  • Provide greater support to medical students and faculty as they work in community advocacy and develop closer relationships with the communities they serve.
  • Provide students with opportunities to learn in low-resource and marginalized communities as well as international settings. To emphasize student and patient safety in a socially and ethically accountable framework, students should experience adequate training and preparation prior to working in these communities and should have adequate support throughout. (p. 17).

As well, service-learning projects can provide students with opportunities to develop many aspects of the CanMEDS competencies in community settings, enhancing our existing classroom and hospital-based curriculum.

But what, exactly, is service-learning? There are many definitions of service-learning (one reference points to 147 definitions in the literature) and many interpretations of what service-learning may look like.

The LCME has defined service-learning as “a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection. Medical students engaged in service-learning provide community service in response to community-identified concerns and learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens and professionals.”

It’s also helpful to consider this chart (from Marquette University in Milwaukee) which illustrates the differences among community service, service-learning, and internships.

Marquette University SL Chart
Source: http://www.marquette.edu/servicelearning/images/CommunityServiceTable.jpg

Regardless of variations in definitions, service-learning is always a three-part process which incorporates preparation, service, and reflection.

The core components of service learning include:

  • Formal, deliberate preparation, which includes consulting with the members of the community who will be served by a project and which may include classroom instruction or another form of mentorship/coaching. A plan, detailing both the intended service and learning outcomes is created.
  • The “service” and “learning” are completed
  • The learner reflects on the process, the service and the learning. (This may occur throughout the project or period of service). The learner provides evidence of learning. (This could be provided in different ways, for example, through written reflections or an interview with a preceptor).

Some things to consider when thinking about incorporating a service-learning project into an existing course or a student-developed learning plan:

  • Time & Scope: Is this in addition to, or as a replacement for, an existing project or assignment? There may be ways to extend or expand existing assignments to allow for service-learning. How much time can students realistically devote to the project both to make it a success and in light of other academic and personal responsibilities?
  • Goals: How does the project relate to curricular objectives and individual students’ learning goals? How does the project serve the community group or agency’s goals? An individual or group of students may have short-term goals that feed into an agency’s long-term planning: A particular cohort could complete a component of a larger service-learning endeavor with subsequent cohorts carrying on with other components of the same over-arching project.
  • Mentoring & Accountability: How will students be guided and supervised during the project? Is this responsibility shared between an instructor and community member or does one person have the lead? How will students’ learning be assessed and documented?

Encouraging opportunities for service-learning should in no way suggest that other, equally-worthy, voluntary service is not valued by the School of Medicine, Queen’s or the wider Kingston community (and other communities in which our students find themselves). However, because of the integrated nature of service-learning, it has the potential to provide unique opportunities for our students and our communities. The Professional Foundations Committee is exploring ways to address service-learning formally in the UGME Curriculum.

If you’re interested in incorporating service-learning in your course, the Education Team is available to help with your planning. Please feel free to get in touch.

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New MEdTech Central Release on October 1st

The Health Sciences Education Technology Unit has been busy working on a few new features that we are excited to bring to your attention on the Undergraduate Medicine Blog. These new features will be available in MEdTech Central as of October 1st at around 7:30AM after the upgrade takes place.

1. Adding Resources to Learning Events

Learning Event Resources - Student View

Admin > Manage Events > Event Content

We have completely redesigned the way that resources (i.e. files, links, and quizzes) are added to Learning Events and displayed to learners in Student View. This new view utilizes much of the information we have been collecting for years during the upload process, like “Should this resource be considered optional or required?” and “When should this resource be used by the learner?” then displays it to learners in a clear and user friendly timeline on the Learning Event page.

It is important that when faculty members are uploading content to Learning Events that they take these classifications into account because this information can be extremely useful to learners as they prepare for class. It clearly shows them what they need to do to prepare for class, and what resources are required versus what is informational only.

In the future these classifications will also be used to provide learners with very useful checklists on their Dashboard, identifying all of the activities they needed to complete before classes for the week.

2. Curriculum Explorer Updates

Curriculum > Curriculum Explorer

We have done some really nice enhancements to the Curriculum Explorer which is now able to show not only where objectives (at any level) are mapped to Courses, and Learning Events, but also Gradebook Assessments. Faculty members and staff can use this tool to really explore the curriculum in MEdTech Central at all levels.

3. New Curriculum Matrix

Curriculum > Curriculum Matrix

You may already be familiar with the “Competencies by Course” report (referred to as Curriculum Matrix in the Curriculum tab). This frequently used report dynamically showed where the Queen’s Red Book Competencies were linked to Courses in MEdTech Central. We had a requirement come in to produce the same style of report for MCC Presentations, and that request was the catalyst for the creation of the new Curriculum Matrix tool. This new tool (accessible from the Curriculum tab) will allow the user to select any level of any objective set (Queen’s Red Book Objectives, MCC Presentations, etc) and see where exactly that objective, or objectives beneath it, are mapped in the curriculum.
Curriculum Matrix

4. Uploading Images or Documents, and Embedding Video

One of the most frequently requested features by faculty has been the ability to easily upload images or documents, and embed video into rich text areas throughout MEdTech Central.  With this release we are pleased to announce that you can now do this within any of the rich text areas. To upload images or documents you wish to share click the “Browse Server” button from within the “Image” or “Link” icons. This will open your personal “My Files” storage area where you can upload images or documents from your local computer. Once you upload the image or document, clicking it will embed the image or document directly in the rich text area. You can also embed video from the Queen’s Streaming Server, YouTube, or Vimeo into any rich text area by clicking the “Embed Media” icon, and pasting in the “Embed Code”.

CKEditor Screen + My Files

 

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a training session for MEdTech Central, please contact the Education Technology Unit at 613-533-6000 x74294.

Best Regards,
Matt Simpson

Manager, Education Technology
Faculty of Health Sciences,
Queen’s University
Abramsky Hall, Room 206
Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6

Phone:    613-533-6000 x78146
E-mail:    simpson@queensu.ca
Web:       https://healthsci.queensu.ca/technology
Twitter:   @m_simpson

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How will Curriculum Committee Decisions impact on your Queen’s UGME teaching? Read this post to find out!

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In 2013-2014 the Queen’s UGME Curriculum Committee made the following decisions of general interest.  Please read to see if this will impact on your UGME teaching.

(Note:  resource documents for the following are available in MEdTech Faculty Resources Community.)

Change from “QMCCs” to MCCs

In July 2013 the Curriculum Committee decided to adopt the list of MCC clinical presentations http://apps.mcc.ca/Objectives_Online/objectives.pl?loc=home&lang=english instead of the QMCCs (Queen’s MCCs) for the Medical Expert portion of the curriculum. The list of QMCC to MCC changes was approved in May 2014. The changes will take effect in September 2014. Course Directors will see the changes through the MEdTech objectives assigned to their courses. An email outlining the changes will also be sent to each Course Director.

Career Counselling

In August 2013 the Curriculum Committee voted to allow students in Term 2b to schedule one-on-one meetings at the Learner Wellness Centre with either Dr. Howse or Dr. O’Neill in order to assess progress in attaining career competencies as part of Professional Foundations 1.

Course Directors’ Role Description

The “Course Directors’ Role Description” document was approved by the Curriculum Committee in October 2013. Revisions were approved in August 2014.

New Course

In November 2013, the Curriculum Committee approved the creation of the new Population Health course as outlined in Dr. Carpenter’s detailed proposal.

Red Book Policy

In December 2013, the “Policy and Procedures for the Red Book” (the Undergraduate Medical Education Competency Framework) was approved by the Curriculum Committee. Revisions were approved in February 2014.

Adding items to the Curriculum Committee’s Agenda

In January 2014 the Curriculum Committee approved the document “How to request that items be added to the Curriculum Committee’s agenda”.

Accreditation “Hot Topics”

Learning events in MEdTech can now be coded with the accreditation “Hot Topics” from the ED-10 standard’s Hot Topic list http://www.lcme.org/connections/connections_2013-2014/ED-10_2013-2014.htm

Making changes to courses

The course change process outlined in “Making Changes to Courses – Role of the Course Director” was approved by the Curriculum Committee in January 2014.

Gaps and Redundancies Process

In May 2014 the Curriculum Committee took jurisdiction over the “Gaps and Redundancies Process”, which was formerly overseen by the Teaching, Learning and Innovation Committee.

First Patient SGL Pass

In May 2014, the First Patient SGL Pass was approved by the Curriculum Committee to facilitate students’ attendance at First Patient Program appointments.

Changes in Course Names

On June 13, 2013, the name of MEDS 113 Professional Foundations 1 course was changed to MEDS 113A Professional Foundations 1A. The course MEDS 113B Professional Foundations 1B was added to Term 2 and MEDS 123 Professional Foundations 2 was deleted from Term 2. The following courses were renumbered and/or re-named: MEDS 454 – Clerkship Preparation was changed to MEDS 351 – Clerkship Preparation (year 3 term 5 fall); MEDS455 – Complex Presentations and Competencies was changed to MEDS 481 – Complex Presentations (fall, year 4) and MEDS456 – Consolidation and Readiness for Residency was changed to MEDS 491 – Readiness for Residency (winter, year 4).

On April 23, 2014, the name of the course MEDS 242 – Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology was changed to MEDS- 242 Skin and Special Senses. Also, the course code for MEDS 234 was changed to MEDS 234 A and B (Clinical and Communication Skills 2A and Clinical and Communication Skills 2B). In addition, MEDS 233 A and B Professional Foundations was renamed to MEDS 233 A and B Professional Integrations.

Please see MEdTech Faculty Resources Community for more details.

Please stay tuned for more Curriculum Committee news from the July Retreat, later on in the fall.

 

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The Educational Value of Diversity

In October of 1931, a 16-year-old college student joined a group of friends for a night of carousing and entertainment at the Driskill Hotel, in Austin Texas. He had no idea what to expect of the entertainment, the focus of the evening being on the “carousing” component. Rather unexpectedly, he is deeply moved by the performance, and particularly by the featured musician. Many years later, that student writes about that experience in his memoirs:

“He played mostly with his eyes closed. Letting flow from that inner space of music things that had never existed. He was the first genius I’d ever seen.”

diversity1The “genius” he was referring to was Louis Armstrong, who was himself only 31 at the time, at the beginning of a career that would eventually identify him as one of the greatest virtuosi and innovators in the history of American music.

The young man was Charles Lund Black, who would go on to become a Professor of Law at Yale and expert in American constitutional law and contribute importantly to a number of cases involving key civil rights issues.

Professor Black would later say the following about his experience that evening:

diversity2“It is impossible to overstate the significance of a sixteen year old Southern boy’s seeing genius, for the first time, in a black. We literally never saw a black man, then, in any but a servant’s capacity…Blacks, the saying went, were ‘alright in their place’, but what was the place of such a man, and of the people from which he sprung?” http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/08/nyregion/charles-l-black-jr-85-constitutional-law-expert-who-wrote-on-impeachment-dies.html

In Black’s eulogy, a former student would say of him, “He was my hero…He had the moral courage to go against his race, his class, his social circle.”

In Medical Education, the concept of Diversity has become entrenched in our collective vision as expressed in both the Future of Medical Education in Canada recommendations and in accreditation standards. The rationale for such initiatives has been largely perceived to be the need to ensure equity of opportunity, and a need for medical schools to respect and reflect the gender, cultural, religious influences of the societies they serve. Laudable and worthy justifications, to be sure. However, Mr. Black’s encounter with Mr. Armstrong hints at deeper, even greater benefits. Does diversity within a learning environment, or as a deliberate component of a curriculum, have educational value? Does it shape thought and attitudes? Does it make students better practitioners of whatever career they undertake? Does it make them better citizens?

These questions have had particular relevance and attention in the United States for the past several decades, where they have been the focus of legal as well as pedagogical attention. Affirmative Action initiatives and subsequent legal challenges have required both jurists and educators to engage this question critically and analytically.

In 1978, Chief Justice Lewis Powell wrote the following opinion regarding the case Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke. He argued “the atmosphere of speculation, experiment and creation – so essential to the quality of higher education – is widely believed to be promoted by a diverse student body…It is not too much to say that the nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to the ideas and mores of students as diverse as this Nation of many peoples.”

Chief Justice Powell’s decision, however, did not settle the issue. Challenges have continued and the wisdom of mandated diversity initiatives has been repeatedly questioned. This is largely due to the lack of a theoretical framework or evidential basis demonstrating value. Since then, considerable work has either emerged or been resurrected to provide such evidence, which is summarized in an excellent paper by Gurin and colleagues (Harvard Educational Review 2002; 72: 330).

From the theoretical perspective, the work of a number of sociologists and psychologists is particularly relevant, and fascinating to review. In attempting to describe their work, I freely admit to venturing far beyond my expertise and apologize in advance to those much more knowledgeable.

Erik Erikson, as far back at the early 1950s, postulated that late adolescence and early adulthood were critical times in the development of personal and social identity. He theorized that such identity develops most effectively when people at that stage of life are provided what he called a “psychosocial moratorium”, by which he meant a time and situation during which they could feel free to “sample” and experiment with various social roles for themselves before taking on a more fixed and permanent role, i.e., before they “committed” to a profession, personal philosophy, or relationship. Colleges and universities are critical to providing this environment for most young people, certainly in North America. But how can they promote this critical social development? In the words of Gurin and colleagues:

“Higher education is especially influential when its social milieu is different from students’ home and community background and when it is diverse and complex enough to encourage intellectual experimentation and recognition of varied future possibilities.”

In other words, the real power to influence goes far beyond lofty mission statements and curriculum, and arises largely from developing an environment where students are able to interact both passively and actively with individuals who are “different” and therefore force new thought and new perspectives during this critical developmental phase.

Sociologist Theodore Newcomb carried out a series of studies and long-term follow-ups of Bennington College students between 1943 and 1991. (Newcombe et al 1967. Persistence and change: Bennington College and its students after 25 years. New York: John Wiley and Sons), (Alwin et al 1991. Political attitudes over the life span. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press). To medical folks, this is the sociologic equivalent of the Framingham studies. He and his colleagues found that political and social attitudes were most likely to change and remain so in students who had encountered novel concepts and attitudes, largely through peer influences, while attending college, thus supporting Erikson’s theory and demonstrating long term durability of the early life experience.

In the Gurin paper, the authors draw on the work of Jean Piaget and Diane Ruble in extending the concept of disequilibrium, to the early learning experience. In Gurin’s words:

“Transitions are significant because they present new situations about which individuals know little and in which they will experience uncertainty. The early phase of transition, what Ruble calls construction, is especially important, since people have to seek information in order to make sense of the new situation. Under these conditions individuals are likely to undergo cognitive growth unless they are able to retreat to a familiar world.”

In simple terms (that even a cardiologist would understand) the greater the difference between the students prior life experience and the learning environment in which they find themselves, the greater potential for new thought, new concepts and personal growth.

The Michigan Student Survey (MSS) and Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) are longitudinal studies examining, among other things, how diverse education processes influence attitudes and career success. The MSS is a single site study involving 1,582 students. The CIRP is a national cooperative involving 11,383 students from 184 American institutions. Both involved racially and culturally diverse populations of students assessed on the basis of their pre-university and university cultural environments i.e. their “diversity experience”. For detailed description of results, I would refer the reader to Gurin et al. Harvard Educational Review 2002;72:330. The key findings relevant to those considering diversity initiatives in university programs:

  • There was a positive relationship between diversity experiences and educational outcomes
  • The influence of a diverse educational environment was consistent across schools and cultural groups
  • “interactional” diversity was more influential than “classroom diversity”

But are these effects also relevant to medical education, where one might suppose that students are older and further along developmentally, and perhaps pre-selected for cultural diversity and preparedness?

  • In 2003, Whitla and colleagues (Academic Medicine 78:460) reported on a study involving medical students at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco. Students surveyed reported that contact with diverse peers enhanced their educational experience and supported ongoing affirmative action initiatives.
  • A graduation questionnaire administered by the Association of American Medical Colleges to 20,112 graduates from 118 medical schools (Saha et al, JAMA 2008; 300: 1135), demonstrated that, for white students, attendance at a school with high proportions of peers from underrepresented minorities was associated with greater confidence in caring for minority patients and positive attitudes regarding equity issues. These associations were not found for non-white students.
  • Niu and colleagues (Academic Medicine 2012; 87: 1530) surveyed 460 Harvard medical students and found that those who reported spending more than 75% of their study time with students from diverse backgrounds or having participated in diversity related extracurricular activities felt more prepared to care for diverse patients.

And so, it seems Mr. Black’s experience in 1931 was not simply an isolated event, but indicative of the potential for great things to emerge when open minds are exposed to new situations, new social constructs, new paradigms. The value of Diversity in education is about much more than a need to exhibit “fairness” and some notion of social justice, but rather an active educational intervention capable of expanding the vision, imagination and therefore potential of students.

So, what does all this psychosocial theory and American experience say to those of us engaged in medical education in Canada in 2014? We might feel, with some justified smugness, that we are not faced with the same social divides and engrained class issues as our southern neighbours. We might also take solace in the knowledge that our schools are uniformly committed to the concepts of equity, fairness and diversity in the workplace, and have rather rigorous policies in place intended to ensure the issue of structural diversity. However, we might also see this as an opportunity to enhance our approaches to medical education, where the ability to effectively engage people of diverse backgrounds and with diverse needs would seem particularly relevant. Finally, many in 2014 Canada might define Diversity as more of a socioeconomic as opposed to racial/ethnic issue, given the well-documented struggles of our First Nations and immigrant populations. With all this in mind, I pose a few perhaps unsettling questions for consideration:

  • Do our students engage in medical school in the type of passive and active learning environment that theories and studies suggest could truly influences their development as physicians?
  • Do our policies, which focus largely on identifying numbers and proportions of various groups in our school relative to the general population, truly promote the development of that effective learning environment, or simply attempt to demonstrate token compliance with regulations?
  • Our students, raised in and drawn from a Canadian culture that promotes equity and fairness, are good and instinctively fair people, unfailingly tolerant of diverse individuals and eager to contribute, but do they develop a deep understanding of the issues of those less-advantaged, and are we, as the stewards of their education, doing all we can to develop a learning environment that will promote that understanding?

Can we do better? Can’t help but think so.

My next article will focus on initiatives currently in place and being undertaken here at Queen’s to enhance the student experience through Diversity initiatives. As always, your input is welcome.

Many thanks to Sarah Wickett, Health Informatics Librarian, Bracken Library, for her valuable assistance in the compilation of information for this article.

 

 

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Introducing Queen’s Meds 2018

With the all-too-soon end of summer comes the beginning of a new academic year. This week we welcome members of Meds 2018, the 160th class to enter the study of Medicine at Queen’s since our school opened its doors in 1854.

meds2018

A few facts about these new members of our learning community:

They were selected from our largest ever applicant pool – 4366 highly qualified students submitted applications last fall.

Their average age is 24 with a range of 20 to 31 years.  For the first time in several years, there are slightly more men (55) than women (45) in the class.

They hail from no fewer than 38 communities across Canada, including; Ajax, Belle River, Belleville, Brampton (2), Brooklin, Burlington, Caledon, Calgary(4), Dundas, Edmonton, Fall River, Guelph, Halifax, Harrowsmith, Holland Landing, Kanata (3), Kingston (5), Langely (2), London (3), Markham (4), Midland, Mississauga (8), North Bay, North York (2), Oakville, Ottawa (10), Peachland, Peterborough, Sherwood Park, St Marys , Thornhill (5), Toronto (21), Vancouver, Waterloo (2), West Vancouver (2), Whitby (2), Whitehorse, Winnipeg

Ninety-one of our new students have completed an Undergraduate degree, and twenty-seven have postgraduate degrees, including nine PhDs.  The average cumulative grade point average achieved by these students in their pre-medical studies was 3.76.  Their undergraduate universities and degree programs are listed in the tables below:

UGStudies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UGDegree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UMastersStudies

MastersPrograms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PhDStudy

 

 

 

 

 

 

PhDPrograms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An eclectic and academically very qualified group, to be sure.  Last week they undertook a variety of orientation activities organized by both faculty and their upper year colleagues.

On their first day at Queen’s, they were welcomed to the study of Medicine by myself and Dean Richard Reznick. Over the course of the week, they met curricular leaders who will be particularly involved in their first year, including Dr. Michelle Gibson (Year 1 Director) and Dr. Cherie Jones (Clinical Skills Director). They were also introduced to Dr. Renee Fitzpatrick (Director of Student Affairs) and our excellent learner support team, including Drs. Jennifer Carpenter, John Smythe, Kelly Howse, Peter O’Neill and Susan MacDonald, who oriented them to the Learner Wellness, Career Counseling and Academic Support services that will be provided throughout their years with us. They met members of our superb administrative and educational support teams led by Jacqueline Schutt, Jennifer Saunders and Sheila Pinchin, and first year Curricular Coordinator Brittany Lovelock.

Dr. Jaclyn Duffin led them in the annual Hippocratic Oath ceremony, and coordinated the very popular and much appreciated “Pearls of Wisdom” session, where fourth year students nominate and introduce faculty members who have been particularly impactful in their education, and invite them to pass on a few words of advice to the new students. This year, Drs. Bob Connelly, Jay Engel, Michelle Gibson, Mala Joneja, Michael Leveridge, Susan Moffatt, Michael Sylvester, David Taylor, Ruth Wilson and former Dean David Walker were selected for this honour.

On Friday, they were welcomed to our Anatomy Learning Centre and facilities by Drs. Steve Pang, Conrad Reifel, Ron Easteal and facility manager Rick Hunt, and participated in the annual memorial service with a moving dedication by University Chaplin Kate Johnson.

Their Meds 2017 upper year colleagues welcomed them with a number of formal and not-so-formal events. These include orientations to Queen’s and Kingston, introductions to the mentorship program, and a variety of evening social events which, judging by appearances the next morning, were much enjoyed.

For all these arrangements, flawlessly coordinated, I’m very grateful to Rebecca Jozsa, our Admissions Officer, and second year President and Vice-President Jonathan Cluett and Arian Ghassemian.

At their first day welcoming session they were called upon to demonstrate commitment to their studies, their profession and their patients.  They were assured that they will have a voice within our school and be treated with the same respect they are expected to provide each other, their faculty and all patients and volunteers they encounter through their medical school careers.  I invite you to join me in welcoming these new members of our school and medical community.

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