Clinical Course Directors and new process introduced

After hearing about the diligent work OUM’s Clinical Course Directors have been doing throughout the past year, more details were rolled out, along with the opportunity to meet several of these course leaders at the February 2nd/3rd Student Information Session on Clinical Courses.

Beginning Term 1801, each core rotation contains the following components with content established by the Course Director of that area:

  • Course syllabus and revised reading assignments

Students bound for rotations in Samoa:

  • The revised readings associated with respective core rotation topics can be downloaded to student laptops prior to traveling. In light of technology issues that can take place on a South Pacific island, saving personal files is strongly recommended to avoid Internet issues (see Samoa Tech story here).
  • Recorded introductory lecture that outlines learning objectives and other expectations for the clinical rotation.

        Also recommended:

As with the readings, download the introductory lecture and other lectures before going to rotation sites where Internet service may be intermittent.

  • Weekly 10-question quizzes based on assigned readings and lectures.
  • Re-written End of Rotation exams based on the new clinical content will count towards 30 percent of the final grade for the core rotation.

A new feature of the Clinical Courses is a short weekly quiz. Although the quiz does not count toward a rotation’s final grade, a few students were concerned that their predecessors did not have to take quizzes that could be a distraction from training. Clinical Course Directors and other OUM faculty in attendance disagreed, because while previous clinical students did not have weekly quizzes, end-of-rotation exam results often reflected a lack of understanding by an unsettling number of students.

“Weekly quizzes keep you on your toes, preparing you for both the end-of-rotation exam and beyond — AMC, USMLE, FCE,” said Paula Diamante, MD, Director of Faculty Affairs, Chair of the Clinical Course Directors, and herself the Clinical Course Director for Pediatrics. “Weekly assessments are simply the only way to gauge student understanding, and they also give faculty feedback on how we may, or may not, be presenting the material.”

Jennifer Allen, MD, Clinical Course Director for Family/Community Medicine and OUM Class of 2012 also touted the importance of weekly quizzes. Dr. Allen is a board-certified family physician with an active practice in Missouri (USA).

“Quizzes aren’t intended to ‘trip you up.’ They are a way for you to see your progress and be ready for the end- of-rotation exams. For instructors, they also tend to reflect whether or not our students are reading assigned material,” said Dr. Allen. “ I, myself, routinely take quizzes as a way to retain information likely to be on my Board of Family Medicine recertification exams.”

The Clinical Student Advising Program, which began in 2017, was the first feature of the new clinical programming to become available. While student surveys had indicated that students want clinicians to guide them through rotations and course work, just as Academic Advisors had supported them during pre-clinicals, a surprising number of clinical students  have not taken advantage of the program, despite the positive feedback shared by students who have sought out a Clinical Advisor.

“Any clinical student without an advisor is clearly missing out,” said Dr. Diamante, a sentiment confirmed by Ahmed Muhsin, MBChB, MPH, OUM Academic Advisor who attended the session.

“It is important to seek out a Clinical Advisor who has gone through the same licensure exams that you eventually intend to take. They can help you prepare, so you  go into your licensing exam with confidence,” said Dr. Muhsin.

Students with questions about any component of the new clinical courses should contact their Regional Dean or Clinical Student Advisor. Clinical students who do not yet have a Clinical Student Advisor are strongly urged to get one in order to better navigate the revised clinical curriculum. Regional Deans will also connect students with appropriate advisors.

The information session was recorded for those who were unable to attend. It may be found in Moodle — Courses > University-Wide Meetings > University-Wide-2018 > Week of 29 Jan-4 Feb.