The UMKC School of Medicine on Oct. 22 received an official letter from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education announcing a full, eight-year accreditation. It is the highest level and the maximum accreditation term granted by the committee.
An LCME survey team visited the School of Medicine last spring, reviewing 93 elements of the school and its programs.
“The comprehensive evaluation of our school by the LCME allows us to continue to improve and to focus on opportunities to enhance our curriculum and support for students,” said School of Medicine Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ‘78 “The full accreditation for the maximum term clearly reflects the vitality of the school and underscores the programmatic excellence achieved by our faculty, staff and students.”
Jackson said she is committed to ensuring that School of Medicine culture is dedicated to maintaining a curriculum that enhances the program, advancing diversity among students, staff and faculty, and promoting a supportive and professional environment for all students.
The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association as the accrediting body for academic programs throughout the country leading to an M.D. degree.
LCME accreditation indicates that the M.D. degree program meets the appropriate national standards for educational quality and that graduates of the program are sufficiently prepared for the next stage of medical training.
At the Penn State College of Medicine, Michael Green, M.D., a physician and bioethicist at Penn State University’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, uses the medium of comics to help medical students share their experiences of medical school.
Each year, Green, who is also the vice chair of the Department of Humanities, offers a seminar-style class in which students are encouraged to create their own comic book to describe their time in medical school.
Green presented the 23rd William T. Sirridge, M.D., Medical Humanities Lecture on Thursday, March 16, at the UMKC School of Medicine. He described how comics have become mainstream in today’s culture. He said today’s comic strips and entire comic books touch on almost every topic in all genres.
“So it’s not surprising then that there would be some comics that have some relevance to medical education as well,” Green said.
That has led Green to offer a four-week course in Graphic Medicine, an Intersection of Comics and Medicine. And while a large number of his students’ comics describe and depict good experiences as medical students, one serious theme has surfaced: medical students being mistreated by their superiors.
Such experiences are supported by data from the Journal of the America Medical Association, which found that nearly four out of every 10 students surveyed say they have experienced mistreatment in medical school. Only half say they report it, out of fear of retribution.
According to Green, these numbers have remained consistent in surveys taken throughout the past five or six years. And the data is relevant, he said, because it goes on to show that those who experience mistreatment as medical students have twice the rate of burnout as other medical students.
“It is something we should care about and think about,” he said.
The School of Medicine announced the appointment of Nurry Pirani, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, as the next associate dean for curriculum and chair of the curriculum council. Her appointment began February 13, 2017.
Stefanie Ellison, M.D., professor of emergency medicine, has completed a seven-year term as associate dean and curriculum chair. Ellison will remain a part of the leadership team and continue to develop interprofessional education and other learning initiatives.
Pirani joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2011 as a docent. She has served as the clinical vice chair of the curriculum council since 2014 and as chair of the clerkship director’s subcommittee since 2014. She also has served as chair of the clinical competency committee and as associate program director of the Internal Medicine Residency program.
As chair of the curriculum council, Pirani will see that the medical school curriculum complies with all LCME accreditation standards, integrate council policies and procedures, and coordinate the overall structure and goals of the council.
Ellison has served as associate dean of curriculum and curriculum council chair since January of 2010. Under her guidance, the School of Medicine’s Experience-Based Curriculum Guide was rewritten, bringing the general competency objectives up to date and aligning them with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s established competencies. She also has been one of the organizers for the UMKC health sciences schools’ interprofessional education program.
The School of Medicine has announced the addition of two new faculty members who will serve as course directors for the Fundamentals of Medical Practice course.
Marc Taormina, M.D., is a Kansas City native and board certified gastroenterologist who is a 1977 UMKC School of Medicine alum. After service as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he has been in private practice in gastroenterology and hepatology in Kansas City since 1982.
Christina Crumpecker, M.D., is a board certified family physician in Kansas City, Missouri. She is affiliated with Truman Medical Center-Hospital Hill, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, and Center for Behavioral Medicine.
Taormina and Crumpecker will oversee the course for years 1 and 2 students that introduces professional values, attitudes and skills required to practice medicine competently, and develops skills in taking a patient’s basic medical history.
UMKC will take center stage at the Kauffman Foundation Center on Dec. 2 with a seminar on how its health sciences schools are working together to promote and implement interprofessional education.
Former School of Medicine Dean Betty Drees, M.D., and School of Pharmacy Dean Russ Melchert, Ph.D., collaborated to bring about the seminar and provide a look at how the schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing and health studies, and pharmacy are working to promote interprofessional education in the areas of student research, student-led social activities, global health initiatives, curriculum and assessment, and diversity. As part of the program, faculty members will display work in those areas and share information about upcoming activities across the health sciences campus, said Stefanie Ellison, M.D., School of Medicine associate dean for curriculum.
“Developing a culture of interprofessional practice and collaboration is a goal on this health professions campus in order to provide safe and high quality care for patients in Kansas City,” Ellison said.
Ellison and the School of Medicine took part in organizing the first joint curricular activity among the health sciences schools last February. A second interprofessional activity, Dr. Hotspot and the Ethical Delivery of Care, took place on September 13 with classes held throughout the School of Medicine and the Health Sciences Building.
The activity, developed jointly by the health science schools on the Hospital Hill campus, included more than 465 students and nearly 50 faculty and student facilitators. The overall focus of the September class was on exploring values and ethics in team-based delivery of care, Ellison said. The class allowed students to work on an original case focusing on chronic disease and to understand and manage their patient’s social determinants of health as they answered questions and created a plan for their patient.
Classes were based on the small group learning sessions of student teams that began working together at the February 2014 activity. Those interprofessional students groups, called IMPACTs (Interprofessional Medical Patient Advocacy and Collaborative Teams), worked together before the class to identify the resources needed for their own patient population and to prepare for discussion on the day of the event a list of resources necessary for their practice area. Students were also asked to watch a video by Dr. Atul Gwande, a nationally recognized leader in health reform also known as Dr. Hotspot, to prepare for the event.
“There are more curriculum activities in IPE planned for our students in the upcoming years,” Ellison said.
The new Master in Health Professions Education (MHPE) degree, a joint program offered through the UMKC School of Medicine and School of Education, is accepting applications. The program is geared to launch a new generation of expert teachers and curriculum specialists for schools of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and for the allied health professions.
The MHPE focuses on incorporating the latest medical research into curricula, the design and delivery of evidence-based educational programs and courses, program evaluation, the effective use of assessment tools, educational research in the health professions and leadership. Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt and Baylor have similar programs.
“The health professions community has clearly recognized the need to provide formal support for teaching and assessment and the master’s degree is supported as the most effective vehicle for doing this,” said Ellen Lavelle, Ph.D., Director of Health Professions Education.
The 36 hour program may be completed in two years. All courses are project-based. Students develop projects that will reflect their current professional interests and impact teaching and learning in those areas.
Two unique features of the MHPE are the Professional Educators Portfolio, which provides an opportunity to apply learning and showcase projects across courses, and the Summer Health Professions Mini-Conference, which is designed and delivered by students with the support of faculty.
The program is open to all health professions and allied health faculty and students at UMKC.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine is now taking applications for its new physician assistant (PA) program.
The master’s degree PA program, scheduled to start classes in January 2014, is the only one in the Kansas City area. The closest accredited PA programs are Wichita State University in Kansas and Missouri State University in Springfield. Neither is administered through a school of medicine, where future physicians and PAs learn side by side. The training model at the UMKC School of Medicine mirrors the team-based approach of PAs working under the supervision of a physician to improve coordination of care and patient outcomes.
“The new PA program at the UMKC School of Medicine offers a great opportunity for people who want to stay in the Kansas City area and pursue a career in this growing, high-demand healthcare profession,” says Kathy Ervie, director of the PA program at the UMKC School of Medicine and a practicing PA in the Kansas City area. “I didn’t have this type of opportunity and had to go out of state to receive my physician assistant training.”
Because of their general medical background, PAs have flexibility in the types of medicine they can practice. PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice and prescribe medicine.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon recently signed a bill into state law that opens the door for PAs to more readily provide badly needed service to areas of the state where health care is lacking. HB315 will go into law on Aug. 28, changing the required on-site supervision of PAs by a licensed physician from 66 percent of the time to four hours for every 14 days the PA provides clinical service. The previous supervision requirement was one of the most strict in the nation, forcing many PAs to leave Missouri for other jobs.
“This is exciting because it opens the door for PAs to practice in Missouri,” Ervie said. “It will increase jobs in Missouri and we can keep our graduates in Missouri to meet those health care needs.”
Ervie said the law will open the door to making health care more readily available in areas of the state that can’t afford both a physician and a PA.
“That’s why it’s great for our program,” Ervie said. “We can keep those graduates in the state of Missouri meeting the health care needs of the state, particularly in the rural and underserved areas, which is our mission.”
PAs were created in the mid-1960s due to a shortage of primary care physicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts PAs will be the second-fastest-growing profession in the next decade, increasing from 74,800 in 2008 to 103,900 in 2018. The median salary for a PA in 2010 was $86,410 per year. In 2010, it was the No. 2 best job, according to Money magazine.
The UMKC PA program has applied for accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistants (ARC-PA).
The deadline for applications for the UMKC School of Medicine PA program is Aug. 1; students may matriculate pending provisional accreditation approval by the ARC-PA at its September meeting.A bachelor’s degree is a requirement, but not necessarily in life science. Up to 15 applicants will be selected for the program. For more information, go to www.med.umkc.edu/mmspa or call 816-235-1870.
The School of Medicine has created the Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences that will be chaired by Stuart Munro, M.D., clinical professor in psychiatry. The new department centralizes a variety of courses programs from the School into one cohesive unit.
It made the most sense at this time for the School to combine the various courses that deal with the social aspects of medicine into one academic department which shared a common theme, according to Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., professor and senior associate dean of academic affairs. The department will also house the International Medicine Program and the Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics.
“I am excited to be part of this new department. It is another way the School continues to emphasize the importance of the social aspects of medicine,” Munro said. “It is on the cutting edge for a medical school to create a humanities and social sciences department.”
The International Medicine Program, led by Munro, supports students’ efforts to explore study abroad opportunities and requests to study at the School from students at our affiliate international universities
In addition, the department will provide oversight for several courses in the medical curriculum which address the social aspects of medicine: Fundamentals of Medical Practice I-IV, Hospital Team Experience, CUES (Communication, Understanding, Education and Self-awareness), Behavioral Sciences in Medicine, and Patient-Physician-Society I and II.
The Sirridge Office will continue to be led by Lynda Payne, Ph.D., Sirridge Missouri Endowed Professor in Medical Humanities and Bioethics. It was established in 1992 to expand opportunities to provide humanities courses for students in UMKC’s six-year BA/MD program.
After an external search, Munro was selected and began as chair March 1. He continues to serve as the academic chair of the psychiatry department until the current search for a new chair is complete.
“Dr. Munro was the right choice for this department,” Cuddy said. “Through his years of service, he has taken an active role teaching in many of the courses and programs which will become part of the new medical humanities and social sciences department. His experience in these areas will be a great help in overseeing the new department.”
Munro has served in a variety of roles at the School since 1986, including psychiatry chair, behavioral sciences course director, advisory board member for the Sirridge Office, assistant Dean for Years 1 & 2, International Medicine Program director, and interim dean. He also received the Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Award for the School of Medicine in 2012.
Registration is now under way for anyone wishing to participate in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners Training Course, April 20-21, at the UMKC School of Medicine.
All interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers will be required to undergo a physical examination performed by a certified medical examiner listed in the National Registry by May 21, 2014. This training course will help participants prepare for the certification test.
This educational event is a joint sponsorship of OHS-COMPCARE and the School of Medicine in partnership with the School of Nursing.
The UMKC School of Medicine and Truman Medical Centers (TMC) have joined medical schools and teaching hospitals around the country in a multi-year initiative aimed to improve the quality and safety of health care. The initiative, Best Practices for Better Care, is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), an alliance of academic medical centers, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through their Partnership for Patients Program.
Best Practices for Better Care will help put patient safety and quality methods into widespread use at teaching hospitals and health systems in the United States, combining academic medicine, education, research and clinical care. The goal is to put the power and skills of the academic medical center behind solving some of the common patient quality and safety problems through education, research, and clinical care.
“The School identified this as an important initiative and was very excited to participate,” said Jill Moormeier, M.D., M.P.H., associate dean of Graduate Medical Education, who is coordinating the efforts by the School of Medicine with TMC. “We are a really good location to do stuff like this. Our students and residents are intimately involved in the care of patients and patient outcomes.”
The initiative began in June 2011 with participating medical schools and teaching hospitals gathering data during its first year.
The campaign recently released a progress report to the participating organizations that showed most hospital systems have in place well-established systems to improve patient care in the United States. But, Moormeier said, it was also clear there is some work to be done in educating students, residents and faculty in quality improvement.
Participating institutions, according to the AAMC, have committed to teaching quality and patient safety to the next generation of doctors; ensure safer surgery through use of surgical checklists; reduce infections from central lines using proven protocols; reduce hospital readmissions for high-risk patients; and research, evaluate, and share new and improved practices.
The School of Medicine and TMC will first tackle the preventable hospital readmissions component. Alan Salkind, M.D., professor of internal medicine, will be leading this endeavor.
According to Salkind, nearly 20 percent of Medicare hospitalizations are followed by readmission within 30 days, with 75 percent of these considered preventable. Readmissions within 30 days account for $15 billion of excess Medicare spending.
“Common reasons leading to hospital readmission are inadequate explanation to the patient about how to use medications after hospital discharge, recognition of warning signs that warrant a call to the patient’s physician, and lack of a timely post-discharge physician visit, all of which are preventable by clearly conveying information to patients and confirming understanding before discharge from the hospital,” Salkind said. “Another important objective of this project is to teach students and physicians the elements of discharging a patient from the hospital with appropriate and understandable instructions for their continued care.
“We want to determine and then fix the pitfalls in our discharge process that lead to preventable readmissions to the hospital. We will share that information with other medical schools and hospitals to develop best practices that reduce hospital readmissions.”
This project is scheduled to last for about six months, but as the School and TMC gather data, it may be extended. The campaign is ongoing.
John A. Spertus, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.C., Lauer/Missouri Endowed Chair and professor of internal medicine, and Shauna Roberts, M.D., ’84, professor of internal medicine, are members of Research on Care Community (ROCC), the research division of the Best Practices for Better Care initiative, established to serve as a home for academic leaders and their teams. Through webinars, peer-to-peer learning and other resources, members of ROCC will share strategies for building institutional effectiveness and implementation research.