Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Education Summit: Integrating basic science into the clinical training of medical students

The educators who attended the Ross Med Education Summit, held in Miami June 11-12 undefinedwere focused on the topic of how to better integrate basic science into clinical training.  Last February a Summit took place in Dominica to discuss improving the integration of clinical knowledge into the basic sciences’ curriculum. At both events, clinical clerkship directors, clerkship chairs and program directors from RUSM’s hospital affiliates around the country engaged in dialogue with RUSM’s department chairs, deans and faculty members from Dominica, where the basic science curriculum is taught. They explored ways to enhance the student learning environment and to increase opportunities for student success.

 “We are one team and one school, but that doesn’t mean that we are of one opinion, and that’s great, that’s how we work,” said Joseph A. Flaherty, MD, RUSM Dean and Chancellor. “There was a good dialogue during the presentations and the small group breakout sessions.”

 The keynote speaker, Aaron McGuffin, MD, talked about the efforts to achieve such integration at his institution, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in West Virginia. “Teaching the same lectures without interdisciplinary collaboration is not integration,” he said. “Integration requires conversations that are uncomfortable.” What is needed is curriculum mapping, so that, as Dr. McGuffin put it, “Each lecture doesn’t start with, ‘I don’t know if you’ve had this before…’”

Alison Dobbie, MB, ChB, MRCGP, RUSM’s Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, who organized the two Education Summits, said that one of the “good takeaways,” from the Miami Summit was the fact that the basic science chairs requested access to the Essential Patient Encounters that are used in the core clerkships, “to have that in their educational armory.” These materials were quickly provided to them.
Dr. Dobbie said that RUSM would be looking at doing a curriculum-mapping pilot project in one integrated module of the basic science curriculum.


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