The Office of Undergraduate Medical Education
Robin English, M.D., Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
The last year has seen a lot of activity and growth in the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education (UME). In addition to moving into a newly renovated office space, the office has increased its workforce with the addition of two co-directors of the basic science curriculum (Drs. Joy Sturtevant and Andrew Hollenbach) and three co-directors of the clinical curriculum (Drs. Cacky Hebert, Angela McLean, and Taniya De Silva). These directors were instrumental in the success of the recent LCME site visit, and they continue to be deeply involved with continued oversight and management of the present curriculum.
The UME office has several initiatives that we plan to implement in the upcoming months. In response to the LCME requirements and to address the manner in which our students learn, we are beginning to assist faculty in converting lectures to more active learning formats (otherwise known as “flipping” the classroom). This process will be ongoing and gradual, with the goal of flipping 10% of lectures every year for the next five years. This rate equates to flipping one to two individual lectures for each course per year.
We recognize that not all lectures lend themselves to an active learning modality. We also understand that not all forms of active learning are useful for all topics. Therefore, we in the office of UME monitor the curriculum closely to identify potential lectures that would lend themselves to an active learning format. We will work closely with lecturers to provide necessary guidance and faculty development as they convert lectures to active learning sessions. We have already worked closely with several faculty to flip lectures this past year and we have developed numerous new active learning sessions for implementation in this upcoming academic year.
Greatly facilitating our ability to provide effective active learning sessions is the nearly completed Team-Based Learning (TBL) classroom, located immediately across from the cafeteria in the Medical Education Building. Equipped with 32 learning stations with state of the art technology, this room can accommodate an entire medical school class and provide an environment that promotes interactions between students and faculty. The TBL room will be finished very soon and will be ready for use this upcoming academic year. On behalf of our students, we in the office of UME would like to thank the tremendous efforts of the members in the departments of Facilities and Information Technology. They have done an amazing job, and we are sincerely appreciative of their working with us so closely during the building process.
Another initiative that stems from our ongoing effort to improve the overall quality of the educational environment for our medical students is the creation of a peer-based feedback system for our lecturers. This system is intended to provide constructive feedback on the lectures themselves rather than summative evaluation of teaching ability. We anticipate that lecturers in the pre-clinical years of medical school, especially those who lecture with regularity, will have one to two of their lectures viewed either in class or on Mediasite. In a very timely fashion, they will receive feedback on the content, organization, clarity, effectiveness, etc.
The individuals providing the feedback will likely be the course director or content directors for the class, UME representatives, and several additional faculty members. They will undergo a basic training in order to provide consistency. We are still clarifying details of this process and have sought input from numerous faculty, including department heads and course directors. Our goal is a feedback system that is constructive, consistent, and fair with subsequent faculty development so that all of our content delivery results in effective learning by our students.
We in the office of UME have our work cut out for us, but we are energized and ready to work collaboratively with anyone in the School of Medicine involved with educating our students. We are dedicated to helping our teachers to continue to provide our students with the best possible education that we can.