Curriculum Committee Meeting Information – February 23, 2017

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

A meeting of the Curriculum Committee was held on February 23, 2017.  To review the topics discussed at this meeting, please click HERE to view the agenda.

Faculty interested in reviewing the minutes of this meeting can click HERE to be taken to the Curriculum Committee’s page located on the Faculty Resources Community of MEdTech Central.

Those who are directly impacted by any decisions made by the Curriculum Committee have been notified via email.

Students interested in the outcome of a decision or discussion are welcome to contact the Aesculapian Society’s Vice President, Academic, Kate Rath-Wilson, at vpacademic@qmed.ca.

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Singers, dancers, musicians & a dean: It’s MVN!

It’s Medical Variety Night (MVN) time of year at the School of Medicine and UGME students have been putting in long hours of practice and preparation. And they’re not the only ones – this year the show includes a feature performance by Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Richard Reznick.

Co-director Manisha Tilak (2019) says you’ll have to show up to see the Dean’s act – no other information is being shared. “He’s actually in an act, though, it’s not just that he’ll be attending,” she adds.

Tilak and co-directors Andrew McNaughton (2019), Edrea Khong (2020) and Daisy Liu (2020) have been hard at work since September to ensure the success of this year’s show. This year’s theme is The Phantom of the Operation.

Dancers in the now-traditional Bollywood number have been in rehearsal since November. Auditions for the other acts were held around the same time. There will be music solos, duos and trios as well as the class skits. Other dance numbers will feature Hip hop and Swing.

While the show may have a few ‘culture of medicine’ in-jokes, it’s designed to be interesting and entertaining for everyone.

This is the 47th incarnation of the Medical Variety Night, which benefits local charities. This year, proceeds are being donated to Almost Home, which provides accommodations for families with children receiving medical treatment at Kingston area hospitals.

“The most fun part comes the night of the show when you see all the hard work pay off and everyone enjoying themselves,” Tilak noted. Also, the tally at the end of the night: “When we’re able to send a good donation to the Almost Home.”

The show will take place April 7 and 8 at Duncan McArthur Hall, 511 Union Street, Kingston. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online (buy them here: https://mvn2017.squarespace.com) and at the door.

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Singers, dancers, musicians & a dean: It’s MVN!

It’s Medical Variety Night (MVN) time of year at the School of Medicine and UGME students have been putting in long hours of practice and preparation. And they’re not the only ones – this year the show includes a feature performance by Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Richard Reznick.

Co-director Manisha Tilak (2019) says you’ll have to show up to see the Dean’s act – no other information is being shared. “He’s actually in an act, though, it’s not just that he’ll be attending,” she adds.

Tilak and co-directors Andrew McNaughton (2019), Edrea Khong (2020) and Daisy Liu (2020) have been hard at work since September to ensure the success of this year’s show. This year’s theme is The Phantom of the Operation.

Dancers in the now-traditional Bollywood number have been in rehearsal since November. Auditions for the other acts were held around the same time. There will be music solos, duos and trios as well as the class skits. Other dance numbers will feature Hip hop and Swing.

While the show may have a few ‘culture of medicine’ in-jokes, it’s designed to be interesting and entertaining for everyone.

This is the 47th incarnation of the Medical Variety Night, which benefits local charities. This year, proceeds are being donated to Almost Home, which provides accommodations for families with children receiving medical treatment at Kingston area hospitals.

“The most fun part comes the night of the show when you see all the hard work pay off and everyone enjoying themselves,” Tilak noted. Also, the tally at the end of the night: “When we’re able to send a good donation to the Almost Home.”

The show will take place April 7 and 8 at Duncan McArthur Hall, 511 Union Street, Kingston. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online (buy them here: https://mvn2017.squarespace.com) and at the door.

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Are you a constructive problem-solver or a destructive problem-solver? Some strategies for working in groups

Here at Queen’s UGME, we use small group learning a great deal—from our prosections to PBL-based Facilitated Small Group Learning, to our TBL-based Small Group Learning.

SGL: Hard at work (Credit: T. Suart)

One very important aspect of group learning is preparing students to work successfully in teams. We do this in our first sessions in Orientation Week and in our new course, Introduction to Physician Roles.

In my quest to support our faculty in promoting successful group learning, I recently came across a jewel and I thought I’d share it with you.

The jewel is actually a whole book:  Team writing: A guide to working in groups by Joanna Wolfe (2010,  Bedford/St. Martin’s).  I started with my usual dipping into sections and found myself reading cover to cover because of the concise, sensible and evocative ideas.

The concept I wanted to talk to you about today is what Wolfe terms Constructive and Destructive Conflicts.

Our students have lots of experience negotiating in groups (Think of all those high school groups!  And case work in Commerce and projects in Engineering!  And Lab partners!) and in making sure their groups work well. But research tells us that conflict in groups is a very challenging part of arriving at a successful outcome.  Teams that deal with conflict by competing or trying to avoid the conflict are likely to suffer.  One main aspect of conflict is not to prematurely close a discussion because of conflict but to make sure it’s healthy.

I think Joanna Wolfe’s ideas would further help students solve problems themselves, by deciding if they are constructive or destructive in a conflict situation.

The term constructive conflict was coined to stress the productive role that healthy conflict can play in problem-solving.  Constructive conflict occurs when two people share the same goal but hold different ideas about how to achieve that goal.  (Wolfe p. 52)

This type of conflict is good especially when there is productive debate of merits and drawbacks of ideas in pursuit of the best solution to a problems. But not all conflict aids learning.  Destructive conflict occurs when there is intransigence, mockery or ridicule, personal affronts, and emotional defensiveness. (Wolfe, p. 53)

Here are the differences between Constructive Conflict and Destructive Conflict as recorded by Wolfe.  Can you see aspects of yourself in the Destructive Conflict? in Constructive Conflict?

Wolfe, p. 54

If you find you are in destructive conflict mode, here are some strategies Wolfe recommends (italics mine):

  • Clarify roles and responsibilities up front in a task schedule.
  • Lay ground rules for conversation
    • Set aside time for uncritical brainstorming
    • Get input from everyone in the group including the introverts who may need more time
    • Restate ideas (to help with listening)
    • Don’t interrupt or if you do, apologize, write down your idea, listen, and wait
    • Set time limits for discussion of certain items before moving to an action proposal
  • Establish team priorities in a project plan or team charter

I found a few other helpful ideas from GOE, a group which has worked with NASA on simulation of small groups for space missions.

  • When a team members offers a dissenting point of view, thank her/him for speaking up (to encourage others to speak up).
  • Easiest way to kill psychological safety? Punish someone for voicing a dissenting opinion.
  • When two team members have an interpersonal conflict, it should typically be handled in private perhaps with a neutral mediator.
  • Conflicts sometimes emerge because small concerns go unchecked. Talk with your team to bring irritants to the surface before they become bigger problems.
  • Be constructive when you disagree with a team member (to model how to disagree effectively).
  • Admit your own concerns or mistakes (so other team members become comfortable voicing theirs).

And here’s one I use:  Think of a role model who handles conflict well, and channel their behaviour or even their words.

I haven’t even touched on the communication styles Wolfe identifies (Competitive vs Highly Considerate, Self-promotional vs Self-deprecating, and Action-Oriented vs. Holistic problem-solving styles) in Chapter 7.  But this will give you a good taste of self-analysis and strategies to assist in moving the team forward.

Stay tuned in a later blog article for Jewel 2 for small group learning:  What are good roles a small group learner can adopt?  A small group facilitator can adopt?

In the meantime, what do you feel can aid in preventing destructive conflict in a group?  And enhance constructive conflict?

 

 

 

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Embracing a Proactive, Preventive Approach to Student Wellness

 

Preventive medicine: Medical practices that are designed to avert and avoid disease. For example, screening for hypertension and treating it before it causes disease is good preventive medicine. Preventive medicine takes a proactive approach to patient care.

 

Clinical medicine and medical education often intersect in intriguing ways. The concept of Preventive Medicine, defined above, is well understood and accepted in medical practice. Fundamentally, the concept involves:

  1. Identification of modifiable conditions that promote development of a particular disease, called “risk factors”. (The term “modifiable” is key here, since many known risk factors, such as family history and age, are beyond our ability to influence).
  2. Detection of those who harbour the risk factor
  3. Development and implementation of strategies or treatments to prevent or neutralize the culprit risk factor

 

In my own field of cardiology, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and smoking are among the most well established risk factors, all known to contribute to the development of coronary and cerebral vascular disease. All are modifiable through lifestyle changes and appropriate application of medications.

The challenge of preventive medicine, of course, is that folks who have these risk factors are unaware and feel fine before they actually develop symptomatic manifestations of vascular disease. It’s therefore often difficult to detect them and, once detected, convince those at risk that they should change their lifestyle or accept the need to take a medication (with potential for unwelcome side effects). The challenge for physicians promoting and practicing Preventive Medicine is therefore considerable. It requires them to not only be aware of the science and evidence related to risk modification, but to develop personal and effective relationships with their patients. It requires much more than dogmatic pronouncements. “Do what I say because I know better” seldom works, or survives the first minor adverse effect. It requires, dare I say it, a relationship of trust. Patients accept preventive treatment not because of the diploma on the wall, but because of they trust the intentions and motivations of the person providing the advice. That trust, in turn, is rooted in a distinctly human and interpersonal perception that the physician truly cares for them and is making recommendations solely on that basis. Patients, I’ve come to believe, possess an almost instinctive ability to perceive authentic altruism in medical encounters.

Medical students are also an “at risk” population. As many studies have demonstrated, rates of “burn out”, mental disorders and even suicide, exceed rates expected in the general population. (http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2589340)

(http://student.bmj.com/student/view-article.html?id=sbmj.h4521).

 

Unfortunately, prevention of medical student risk remains an imprecise science, with much speculation but little objective evidence that would guide appropriate preventive interventions. Nonetheless, here at Queen’s and at medical schools across the country, curricular leaders are not content to simply respond to crises that emerge, but are developing approaches they hope will raise awareness and allow students to identify and modify risk in themselves and their classmates. They are, in essence, extending the principles of Preventive Medicine to the world of medical education.

At Queen’s, Dr. Renee Fitzpatrick and the Student Affairs team has developed a Wellness program that is not an “add on”, but rather embedded within our core curriculum. That approach embraces multiple components, including didactic content, embedded scenarios, easy and confidential access to help, and Wellness Retreats. The latter are half-day sessions planned in conjunction with the students themselves, to promote awareness and preventive interventions.

In addition, the recently revised School of Medicine strategic plan will, for the first time, identify Wellness as a strategic priority for all our programs.

The major challenge, as with any preventive strategy, will be to reach those who are at risk but unaware, and are therefore the most reluctant to engage the issue with necessary commitment. The reluctant include both students and faculty. In addressing this difficult but critical challenge we must recall the lessons of the clinical world, that effective intervention must be rooted in the development of trust, and that trust evolves naturally from truly caring about the welfare of those affected

 

Anthony J. Sanfilippo, MD, FRCP(C)

Associate Dean,

Undergraduate Medical Education

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History of Medicine week highlights psychiatry

Dangerous Ideas in the History of Psychiatry is the theme of this year’s History of Medicine week here at Queen’s UGME.

Highlights for the week include a panel discussion with speakers from Queen’s, York University, and University of Toronto and an artifact showcase.

The Panel Discussion will take place on Wednesday, March 8 from 5 – 7 p.m. in Room 132 of the Medical Building on Arch Street; refreshments will be served.

Panelists will include:

Dr. Megan Davies, York University

  • “Messy History: Democratising the Story of Deinstitutionalization”

Dr. Edward Shorter, University of Toronto

  • Dangerous Ideas in the History of Psychiatry: ‘Hysteria’”

Prof. Steven Maynard, Queen’s University

  • Just Who Are You Calling a Dangerous Sexual Psychopath?: Psychiatry and the History of Homosexuality in Canada”

The Artifact Showcase will be found in the Medical Building Atrium on Thursday, March 9 from 9 a.m. – 3p.m. This drop-in exhibit will feature items from the history of psychiatry curated by the Museum of Health Care.

Both events are open to the public.

A student committee organized the week, supported by the School of Medicine and the Museum of Health Care. Student organizers included Ashna Asim, Yannay Khaikan, Harry Chandrakumaran, Chantal Valiquette along with executive members Daisy Liu, Hissan Butt and Laura Swaka. Dr. Jacklyn Duffin, Hannah Professor of the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine at Queen’s, served as their faculty advisor.

 

 

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