New students say introductory course was good prep

OUM’s newest students got a jump on the rigors of medical school, thanks to the new Introduction to Medicine course that began in January.

“We created the course because we were finding that too many of our incoming students were just not up to the intensity of work required for success in medical school,” says Professor Randell Brown, Vice Chancellor.

Entering students were required to complete the 12-week prep course beginning in Term 2101. It featured essentials of Biology and Chemistry, along with sessions on honing study skills, time management, and critical thinking that are so important for medical students.

Survey Says?

To ensure the course was accomplishing its intended goal, students who completed the Introduction to Medicine course were surveyed two to three weeks into their e-Foundation classes, in late April/early May, to see how the new course and New Student Orientation prepared them for OUM’s curriculum.

“We received some really good feedback which will improve future offerings,” says Dr. Nicolette McGuire, Director of Academic Transition & Student Engagement. “Most of OUM’s programs are as good as they are thanks to student input.”

With 58 percent of the students responding to the survey, the results were conclusive: After completing the Introduction to Medicine course, 91 percent answered “Yes, definitely” to the question: Do you feel Introduction to Medicine prepared you to start e-Foundations? Three students commented:

  • “It helped us to prepare for what is expected on e-F300, not to mention the intensity of the current coursework.”
  • “I would not have been successful in medical school had I not had the opportunity to attend ItM.”
  • “Without question it was of great value!”

“The students’ self-assessments and increased confidence are what mean the most to us, but the numbers reflect this too,” says Dr. McGuire, who also taught the Introduction to Biology portion of the course. “We are already seeing a five percent rise in e-Foundations’ grades,” she says, as compared to students who started in the three entering classes before the ItM launch.

“Greater confidence in learning ability and propensity for lifelong learning are important factors associated with success in medical school and residency,” says Dr. McGuire. “We designed this course to give students that head start and hope to see cumulative effects over time.”

Student suggestions for future classes included reading material BEFORE the course begins, using the lecture as review, and paying close attention to chemistry/biochemistry/molecular biology because they are critical to passing the e-F300 and e-F100 modules.

New Student Orientation

The survey also quizzed students for their input on New Student Orientation, which is now completely virtual, because of COVID-19. Students seemed to be happy with New Student Orientation and suggested that some live sessions need to be shorter and presentations less repetitive. New Student Orientation began again 17/18 June for the class starting in Term 2104. The second edition of the Introduction to Medicine course will be 12/13 July through 1/2 October. This new class will be surveyed on their experiences in November.

(July 2021)