ADDED TO THE MIX
More live sessions for SBM mini-case 

With students living and working in more than ten different time zones around the world, scheduling the system-based module (SBM) mini-case discussions has been challenging. But thanks to student feedback, OUM has added additional live sessions to accommodate more students. Sessions are now being held:

Australia:  10:00 am and 8:00 pm, Sydney Time

New Zealand:  12:00 noon and 10:00 pm

North America:  6:00 am and 8:00 pm, Eastern Time

Samoa:  1:00 pm and 11:00 pm

“Early on, we were getting feedback from AU/NZ students regarding timing being a limitation. They told us they would attend the discussion sessions if they were offered at more convenient times,” says Paula Diamante, MD, Director of Faculty Affairs. “In order to find suitable times for better participation, we added a question and a selection of time slots to the recent student survey. The times now available for mini case participation are a direct result of that survey’s feedback.”

Clinical students invited

“Our faculty are, across the board, enthusiastic about the mini cases, and are eager to be actively involved,” says Dr. Diamante. “Many are making themselves available for both morning and evening sessions and whenever a faculty member has not been available, colleagues have been very helpful filling in for each other.”

As another opportunity to increase participation and strengthen the discussions, clinical students have also been invited to attend all mini-case sessions. All clinical students have course access and are encouraged to join the discussions whenever their time permits. With experiences under their belt ranging from completion of core and possibly elective rotations, to having taken USMLE Step 1 or preparation for the AMC Exam or USMLE Step 2, clinical classmates may bring a valuable perspective that is sure to enrich the exchange.

Extra credit for participation

While the June student newsletter indicated that extra credit was not going to be offered, as it had been during the pilot, the opportunity to earn extra credit has been revisited. The hope in offering extra credit is to improve participation. The points will be given for participation, not simply for attendance.  Many students who attended during the pilot did not actively participate, instead choosing to write and submit answers, which is no longer an option.

“The point of the mini cases is to participate, to share, and to communicate; the students who do that will receive extra credit,” says Dr. Diamante.

One point will be given to each student who actively participates, up to a total of 24 points which will be added to the final exam score (not to exceed 100 points).

“At the end of Term 1704, we will evaluate the discussion schedule to see if adding these additional live sessions is indeed improving attendance and, ultimately, learning. A long-term solution may be mandatory attendance for the mini-case discussions, or the sessions may not be recorded, so please take advantage of the added sessions and participate often, in order to keep the discussions flexible and accessible,” says Dr. Diamante.

If you have any additional questions, please speak with your Academic Adviser.