MD Program Executive Committee Meeting Highlights October 21, 2015

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.

UPDATE: 

The Committee approved amended version of the following policies:

  • Student Professionalism Policy SC-02 v4
    • Supersedes: Professionalism Policy SC-02 (v. 1, 2 & 3)
  • Attendance and Absences in Undergraduate Medical Education Policy
    • Supersedes: Policy #SA-07 v1; Examination Absence Policy (#SA-03); Religious Observance Policy (#SA-04); Absence from Clerkship Policy (#CC-07); and takes precedence over any previously approved policy on attendance

Both policies are effective September 1, 2015.

All Undergraduate Medical Education policies and terms of reference are available on the UGME website:  http://meds.queensu.ca/undergraduate

 

 

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Accreditation Success Stories…and lessons going forward.

Medical school accreditation has been described, with some justification, as the colonoscopy of medical education. The parallels are rather striking:

  • Both require a long and distinctly uncomfortable period of preparation.
  • Both require a public exposure of personal features most would prefer to keep modestly hidden.
  • Both can get messy.
  • Both carry high potential for embarrassment.
  • In both cases, the procedure itself can be tortuous and painful.
  • And finally, for the asymptomatic and fundamentally healthy, their value is highly debatable.

Also like colonoscopy, one emerges from a successful examination with a sense of great relief. That relief, in part, is simply related to having completed the process. Doing so with a successful report of findings adds immeasurably to that sense of relief.

At Queen’s, we are fortunate to have recently emerged from our own collective internal examination with that great relief, having achieved a full eight year approval, with no further invasive procedures required until 2023.

Reflecting now on a process that really started after our last review in 2007, it’s possible (and probably healthy in a preventive sense) to set aside for a moment the struggles and various deficiencies that required attention, and focus rather on the positives that have emerged. A few come particularly to mind and merit attention because they bear important messages we should carry into the future.

Firstly, our success was based on our ability to mount a common effort. Without question, the very real threats to our school imposed by the 2007 review galvanized our efforts and collective will in a way that made possible the changes that we needed to make.

Our Deans (both Drs. Walker and Reznick), engaged accreditation efforts with resolve and unconditional support. Our university leadership (particularly Principal Woolf whose first duty in his new role was to publicly defend a medical school he had just inherited), have been staunch supporters of the accreditation effort. Our Department Heads, to a person, have been nothing but supportive of the school. Our curricular leadership, undergraduate office, medical education team, medical technology unit, hospital partners and, critically, our students, all came together to meet the various challenges, and did so with methodical efficiency, driven by a shared desire to support (dare I say, defend) our school. One sees such common, focused effort only rarely, and usually only when necessitated by great and imminent peril. It is nonetheless rather inspiring to consider what our common efforts achieved and speculate on what might be possible if we could continue to work collaboratively without the need for external motivation.

Secondly, one must acknowledge that many significant and enduring changes emerged from these efforts. A robust and effective new curriculum, effective assessment methodologies, creative and updated approaches to teaching, a revised and much more effective governance structure, a refurbished framework of policies and procedures, our highly impressive and sought after MedTech curricular management system, and even our new School of Medicine Building itself were all, at least in part, motivated or accelerated in their development by our accreditation efforts.

The process brought welcome attention to a number of areas of strength within our school, often overlooked as we focus attention on problem areas. Refreshingly, and unexpectedly, the recent report made reference to our teaching, which it identified as an area of strength. To quote from our report:

As reported by students in the ISA [Independent Student Analysis] and by the survey team, the program benefits from many capable and dedicated teachers. For example, in the MEDS 125 [Blood and Coagulation] course, with 99% of students commenting on the course, no negative comments were made within the 9 pages of comments, and the survey report suggests that the Course Director and the faculty involved in this course are to be congratulated…. Another course that received similar accolades was MEDS 127 [Musculoskeletal], where the team reported: “Dr. L Davidson who continually monitors and enhances the course. This is a “poster child course” and Dr. Davidson deserves significant recognition for the evolution of this highly innovative and interactive course.”

In fact, we are truly blessed with many dedicated and talented teachers, knowledgeable and committed faculty leaders in all key portfolios, committed and hard working undergraduate administrative and educational support teams, and a receptive and engaged student body.

In the final analysis, the most enduring lesson we should take away from our eight-year struggle with the accreditation process must be that we never again require a “crisis” to spur us to collective action in order to ensure we are providing the very best educational experience for our students. Complacency is poison. The continual, collective pursuit of quality improvement and courageous innovation must be our continuing goals. These are the lessons of the day.

 

Anthony J. Sanfilippo, MD, FRCP(C)
Associate Dean,
Undergraduate Medical Education

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Curriculum Committee Meeting Highlights – October 22, 2015

Faculty and staff interested in attending Curriculum Committee meetings should contact the Committee Secretary, Candace Miller at candace.miller@queensu.ca for information relating to agenda items and meeting schedules.

Highlights from the Oct 22 meeting of the Curriculum Committee:

The Curriculum Committee approved the following:

All Undergraduate Medical Education policies and terms of reference are available on the UGME website:  http://meds.queensu.ca/undergraduate.

Next Meeting:  November 26, 2015

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Medical Students Recognize Exemplary Teaching

Contributing Authors:

Laura Bosco, Class of 2017 Co-President

Michael Baxter, Class of 2017 Co-President

Jonathan Krett, Aesculapian Society President

The Aesculapian Society (AS), the medical student society at Queen’s, administers a number of awards throughout the course of an academic year. One of our most treasured awards is for some influential educators in our preclerkship

Latest Recipients: 2015 Term 4B and Term 2B Lectureship Award Recipients (from left to right): Drs. J. Gordon Boyd, Stuart Reid, Lindsay Davidson, and Bob Connelly
Latest Recipients: 2015 Term 4B and Term 2B Lectureship Award Recipients (from left to right): Drs. J. Gordon Boyd, Stuart Reid, Lindsay Davidson, and Bob Connelly

curriculum: the AS Lectureship Awards. Twelve of these awards are distributed each year, two during each semester from each preclerkship class. These are important for us to award because, as students, we are privileged to have many dedicated and passionate people involved in our education. To be able to formally recognize the educators that have a lasting impact on our classes – those that go above and beyond for our education, is very meaningful to all students.

Near the end of each term of medical school (3 in each of Year 1 and Year 2), an open call for nominations is sent out to the class. Nominations are received by the respective class president, who tallies the nominations and creates an online vote. All students in that class then get to vote for one or two professors who they feel are most deserving of the award.

Take a look at the following list of recipients from the past two years. While every instructor is different, there were several common threads that lead to students feeling like they went above and beyond. These teachers engaged students in classroom sessions using highly interactive small-group learning. They delivered didactic lectures with skill and with a digestible level of simplicity. At all times, these professors remained approachable and open to student questions. They were receptive to feedback and allowed course content to evolve to suit the unique group of students in the classroom.

We as students definitely sense when an instructor challenges us and brings us along as a junior colleague and not just as a passive observer. Students appreciate being active participants even early on in medical training, and all of these professors were skilled in encouraging us to do just that.

2013-2014 Academic Year Recipients

Term 1 Recipients (Class of 2017)

  • Dr. Michael Sylvester (Family Medicine)
  • Dr. Conrad Reifel (Anatomy)

Term 2A Recipients (Class of 2017)

  • Dr. David Lee (Blood & Coagulation)
  • Dr. John Matthews (Blood & Coagulation)

Term 2B Recipients (Class of 2017)

  • Dr. Bob Connelly (Pediatrics)
  • Dr. Kathleen Nolan (Pediatrics)

Term 3 Recipients (Class of 2016)

  • Dr. Robyn Houlden (Endocrine)
  • Dr. Paul Malik (Cardiology)

Term 4A Recipients (Class of 2016)

  • Dr. Alex Menard (Radiology)
  • Dr. Greg Davies (Genitourinary and Reproduction)

Term 4B Recipients (Class of 2016)

  • Dr. Sean Taylor (Neurology)
  • Dr. Stuart Reid (Neurology)

2014-2015 Academic Year Recipients

Term 1 Recipients (Class of 2018)

  • Dr. Michael Sylvester (Family Medicine)
  • Dr. Heather Murray (Critical Appraisal, Research, & Lifelong Learning [CARL])

Term 2A Recipients (Class of 2018)

  • Dr. David Lee (Blood & Coagulation)
  • Dr. Jacalyn Duffin (History of Medicine)

Term 2B Recipients (Class of 2018)

  • Dr. Bob Connelly (Pediatrics)
  • Dr. Lindsay Davidson (Musculoskeletal)

Term 3 Recipients (Class of 2017)

  • Dr. Robyn Houlden (Endocrine)
  • Dr. David Holland (Renal)

Term 4A Recipients (Class of 2017)

  • Dr. Romy Nitsch (Genitourinary and Reproduction)
  • Dr. Heather Murray (Critical Enquiry and Expanded CARL)

Term 4B Recipients (Class of 2017)

  • Dr. J. Gordon Boyd (Neurology)
  • Dr. Stuart Reid (Neurology)

 

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Curriculum Committee Meeting Highlights – September 24, 2015

Faculty and staff interested in attending Curriculum Committee meetings should contact the Committee Secretary, Candace Miller at candace.miller@queensu.ca for information relating to agenda items and meeting schedules.

Highlights from the Sept 24 meeting of the Curriculum Committee:

The Curriculum Committee approved the following:

All Undergraduate Medical Education policies and terms of reference are available on the UGME website:  http://meds.queensu.ca/undergraduate.

Next Meeting:  October 22, 2015

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The Museum of Health Care: Documenting our Inspirational History

Inspiration is one of those things we all intuitively understand, but defies clear definition. The best I’ve come across is “stimulation or arousal of the mind to special or unusual activity or creativity”. Sounds a little too clinical. Perhaps better capturing the spirit of inspiration are a couple of quotes from fairly famous folks who have more than a passing familiarity with the topic:

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”

– Saul Bellow

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking”

– Albert Einstein

What seems clear is that Inspiration drives creative discovery and innovation in all fields of human endeavor, from the arts to fundamental science. It comes upon us unexpectedly, almost like a gift from above, but we need to be prepared to receive it, open to possibilities, open to novel ideas, willing to challenge convention.

I was “inspired” to consider “inspiration” recently when asked to provide some remarks at a showcase highlighting the role of the Museum of Health Care in our community.

MuseumAs one looks over the various displays and artifacts in its impressive collection, it’s easy to feel a little smug and even amused by the quaintness and crudeness of some of the devices and approaches that are no longer in use. In reality, each new retractor, forceps, sterilization technique or monitoring device represents an occurrence of inspiration and creative innovation. Behind each display lurks a physician or scientist who had an idea and, by virtue of their unique contribution, advanced the standard of care for the patients of their day. They also contributed to a line of continuing innovation that reaches us today. They remind us that we have no monopoly on creativity, industry, or dedication to the care of our patients. Certainly no monopoly on inspiration.

inspiration2The showcase provided an opportunity for our students and faculty to not only view and experience the richness of our heritage but also reflect on our place in it. Dr. Susan Lamb, our interim Hannah Chair in History of Medicine provided a fascinating perspective on the impact of Laennec and his contribution to the development of the stethoscope.

It’s particularly reassuring that the inspiration for this showcase came from one of the youngest among us. Chantalle Valliquette, one of our QuARMS students, shown here with Dr. Jennifer McKenzie (QuARMS Co-Director) and inspiration3Theresa Suart (Educational Developer), developed and promoted this idea as part of her community outreach project, together with the support and capable assistance of Museum of Health Care staff Maxime Chouinard, Jenny Stepa, Ashley Mendes, Deanna Way, Kathy Karkut and Diana Gore.

Knowing that such dedicated folks are safeguarding and promoting our heritage is, well, inspiring.

 

Anthony J. Sanfilippo, MD, FRCP(C)
Associate Dean,
Undergraduate Medical Education

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When is an hour only 50 minutes?

This blog post is part of the series of periodic updates from UGME committees.

Have you looked at your teaching or learning schedule recently? You know those hour-long and two-hour long blocks? They’re a bit misleading.

We’ll admit it, we’re part of the problem since we routinely talk about hour-long and two-hour-long classes. The reality, however, is that our class blocks are really divided into 50 minutes for class and 10 minutes for a break. If you’re teaching a two-hour block, that first 10-minute break can be a little flexible about where it lands, but for finish times, it’s vital to stick to the end at 20 minutes past the hour rule.50min_icon_cyan-01

What are those 10 minutes for? That’s actually time for the next instructor to get set up, so they’re ready to start on time. Time for folks to grab a coffee or hit the washroom – or check their Facebook or email. It’s also the 10 minute traveling time from room to room. This hasn’t always been much of an issue for our medical students, but it’s more important than ever as we cope with the classroom disruptions because of the flood in the Medical Building in August.  Often, our students are now moving between farther-flung campus buildings for back-to-back classes – those 10 minutes are golden.

If you’re concerned about how to plan your lecture or SGL or other learning event with timing in mind, get in touch with the Educational Development team. We’re happy to help with plotting out sufficient flexibility so you can finish on time without missing out on essential instruction. (Email Theresa Suart at theresa.suart@queensu.ca)

Integrated Threads

The Curriculum Committee recently approved the TLIC proposal to map a series of “Integrated Threads” through the UGME curriculum. Integrated Threads represent important domains of learning for medical students that span multiple courses, terms and academic years.  These may represent disciplines (e.g. genetics, geriatrics, imaging, pathology), competencies (e.g. communication, leadership) or other defined groupings (e.g. patient safety, diversity) which contribute to the attainment of the skillset of a graduating physician.

queen's tartan fabricThe aim in mapping Integrated Threads is to clearly articulate where particular topics occur and re-occur through our curriculum. It will help guide both learners and instructors in expectations and achieving learning objectives. Some integrated threads have an “anchor” unit within a course with other related material taught elsewhere throughout the curriculum (for example: Genetics). Others don’t have an identified unit, but are taught in relation to other material throughout the four-year UG program (for example: Imaging).

The inaugural Integrated Threads list – also approved by the Curriculum Committee –  includes 28 distinct topics.  Over the next academic year, TLIC will be working with faculty and the Education team to map existing curricula and identify opportunities for enhanced teaching of each topic. The Integrated Threads list will be reviewed on an annual basis.

The TLIC will keep you posted as the Threads are identified and mapped. Faculty who would like to suggest additions to the Integrated Threads list should contact the TLIC Chair, Dr. Lindsay Davidson (lindsay.davidson@queensu.ca) or the Educational Development team.

 

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Policies (new or revised) for Community Input

Prior to a new or amended policy or regulation being submitted for final approval, it must be published for review and comment by faculty and/or students within the School of Medicine.  Feedback received will be directed to the Policy Sponsor.

In the event that major changes are made based on this feedback, a new draft will be posted for additional comments.

In keeping with this procedure the following policies are being posted for comment or feedback:

 

If you wish to comment on any of these documents, please add your feedback to the discussions in this community or email saunderj@queensu.ca

 

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