Council on Curriculum – Members

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Position Descriptions

The associate dean for curriculum is also the chair of the Council on Curriculum. The duties of this position are to: serve as the principal source of information about the medical curriculum for others, both internally and externally verify compliance with all relevant LCME accreditation standards; integrate and implement policies and procedures approved by the Council on Curriculum that are consistent with university and/or medical school policies and procedures; and direct and coordinate the overall structure and goals of the Council on Curriculum. The chair is appointed by the dean of the School of Medicine for a term of seven years.

The Council on Curriculum consists of twelve voting members, six of which are elected by the faculty and five are appointed by the Dean of the School of Medicine. The chair is the twelfth voting member and he/she only votes to meet a quorum or in the case of a tied vote. The duties of these members include attending monthly meetings to draft, review and revise curriculum policies and procedures; to develop and supervise the ongoing review of all clinical clerkship and coursework required for graduation at the School of Medicine via the executive performance review process; to coordinate and advise as new curriculum is proposed; to provide recommendations for curricular renewal and change based on outcome measures; to monitor and report on student, clerkship, and cohort-specific measures of students’ clinical experiences on all required clerkships by using patient tracking-generated data; to review all student curriculum petitions and new electives; and to occasionally serve on ad-hoc committees to accomplish the aforementioned duties. The council also consists of the following ex-officio, non-voting members: one clinical medical librarian, one representative Department of Medical Education and Research, Assistant Dean Years 1 & 2, one representative Clinical Performance Assessment and Remediation Committee, one representative of Student Affairs, and one representative Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Elected and appointed members serve a term of three years.



Sara Gardner, MD Chair, Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education
Michael Wacker, PhD Associate Dean of Pre-Clinical Medical Education
Jacqueline Walker, MD Associate Dean of Clinical Medical Education
Doug Cochran, MD Elected Docent
Anthony Makovec, MD Docent – Alternate
Sean Gratton, MD Clinical Science Faculty
Brandon Elder, MD Clinical Science Faculty
Helen Hill, DO Clinical Science Faculty
Aaron Reed, PhD Basic Science Faculty
Soheila Hamidpour, MD Basic Science Faculty
Trent Myers, MD Humanities/Social Sciences Representative
Cheerag Upadhyaya, MD Saint Luke’s Hospital Representative, Clinical Science Faculty
Maria Dycoco, MD Clerkship Director
Kevin Varghese Student Representative, Voting Member
Neal Shah Student Representative, Alternate
Erin Galakatos Student Representative, Alternate
Kristy Steigerwalt  Clinical Medical Librarian*
Tyler Smith, MD Diversity and Inclusion Representative*
Jennifer Quaintance, PhD Office of Assessment and Quality Improvement Representative*
Connor Fender Council on Evaluation Representative*
Betsy Hendrick Student Affairs Representative*
Emily Haury, MD Assistant Dean of Clinical Medical Education*
Darla McCarthy, PhD Assistant Dean of Pre-Clinical Medical Education*
Megan Frasher Manager of Medical Education*
Ashley Sylvara Curriculum Coordinator*
Vacant Curriculum Administrative Assistant*
*Ex-officio Member
By-Laws of the Council on Curriculum



Elective Policies

Elective Study & Reading Blocks

Students may take up to four blocks of independent study or readings for credit. Any combination of study and readings for the four blocks is acceptable, either for credit or audit (e.g., 4 study blocks and 0 readings blocks, 2 study blocks and 2 audit readings block, etc.).

Any study block, credit or audit, granted for a student must be a supervised, organized experience, under the direction of the Learning Resource Specialist. A Study Block Goals and Objectives form must be completed by the student and submitted to the Learning Resource. Students are required to attend weekly Continuing Care Clinic while on a study block.

Any readings block, credit or not-for-credit, granted for a student must be a supervised, organized experience, and may be conducted with the Learning Resource Specialist or any physician approved by the Council on Curriculum. A Readings Block Goals and Objectives form must be completed by the student, signed by the evaluating physician, and submitted to the Council on Curriculum no later than the first calendar day of the block prior to the start date of the readings block or credit will not be issued. Students are required to attend weekly Continuing Care Clinic while on a readings block, whether credit or audit. Due to clinic responsibilities, a readings block may not be taken out of town.

Clinical Electives Policy
  • Clinical electives are assigned to one of nine distinct categories by the Council on Curriculum: (1) Family & Community Medicine, (2) Internal Medicine, (3) Neurology/Psychiatry, (4) Obstetrics/Gynecology, (5) Pathology, (6) Pediatrics, (7) Radiology, (8) Surgery and (9) Other. To promote breadth of experience, clinical elective selection must conform to these guidelines:
    • Students must complete at least three clinical electives, each from one of the nine categories, as a graduation requirement. Further selection of clinical electives may take place at the discretion of the student, with appropriate advising from the Docent and Education Team Coordinator.
    • Students must also complete at least one Critical Care elective. This elective will also count toward the three required clinical electives chosen from the nine categories.
    • All students must petition the Council on Curriculum to take more than 4 clinical electives from any one of the nine categories.
  • Participation in clinical electives can take place in any order.

All clinical electives available for medical students are reviewed by the Council on Curriculum. The Council on Curriculum assigns each individual elective experience to a general UMKC elective category, and within each category the elective is matched to the most appropriate UMKC elective title. These agreed upon elective titles correspond to ACGME approved postgraduate training programs.

Clinical Electives Hours Policy

In order to receive credit for any medical school elective fulfilling requirements of the Clinical Electives Policy, students will need to attend clinical and educational activities for a minimum of 20 eight-hour days or 160 hours for that one block rotation. To qualify as a “clinical” elective, the majority of the time or >50% is spent seeing patients in a clinical setting. Examples of educational activities include but are not limited to: interaction with patients in clinic/inpatient wards; conferences; discussions; rounds; assignments online with products specified such as answers to questions or exercises, essays, short papers, or reading assignments with a graded assignment; field trips with assignments; and case discussions or reflective meetings with faculty. In accordance with the Council on Evaluation policy that students cannot be absent for any reason, either excused or unexcused, more than four (4) working days from a one-block elective, students can and should use days of educational activities or additional clinical experiences to complete adequate time in a clinical elective. Should a student determine that they are unable to meet the requirements necessary to satisfy a clinical elective experience, the student is responsible for contacting their ETC and Council on Curriculum without delay.

Non-Clinical Electives

Students may enroll for credit in academic electives, research electives and humanities electives. These non-clinical elective experiences yield one block of required medicine credit, but they do not fulfill requirements for clinical elective blocks required for graduation. All non-clinical elective experiences must be approved initially by the Council on Curriculum; to receive credit for the elective, students must satisfy all requirements specified in the elective description form. Students taking any elective experience must also comply fully with attendance policies. Should a student determine that they are unable to meet the requirements necessary to satisfy a non-clinical elective experience, the student is responsible for contacting their ETC and Council on Curriculum without delay.

Audit or Not-for-Credit Electives

Some clinical and non-clinical electives are designated as Audit (or “not-for-credit”) experiences. No academic assessment is made of student performance during an audit elective; however, the student is still responsible for adhering to all requirements outlined in the elective description form. Reasons an elective may be classified as audit could include: a clinical elective does not meet the minimum UMKC SOM standards for the assignment of credit (the clinical elective does not require 3 weeks attendance or 160 hours of contact). In these circumstances, only the Council on Curriculum may approve participation in an elective on an audit basis. Students may not designate any clinical or non-clinical elective as a not-for-credit experience, since only the Council on Curriculum has the authority to do so. Should a student determine that they are unable to meet the requirements necessary to satisfy a not-for-credit elective experience, the student is responsible for contacting their ETC and Council on Curriculum without delay.

Elective Requirement Scheduling Policy

Students cannot schedule any of the three required clinical electives from the nine designated categories or the critical care elective requirement for the block of their graduation. Exceptions are only made by the Associate Dean of Curriculum in situations of to academic difficulty.

Advising Guide for Clinical Elective Selections

UMKC residency directors have assembled a list of elective recommendations that students can use to advance their career goals. The residency directors believe these elective choices would strengthen the competitiveness of a student applying for their residency. A list of commonly chosen residencies with elective suggestions from the different UMKC categories is provided here as a guide only.

Choosing Electives

Electives are an important aspect of each student’s medical education. Students have the responsibility of thoroughly investigating electives with the assistance of their Docent, Education Team Coordinators and Council on Curriculum staff. Students may choose to take any elective that has been previously approved by the Council on Curriculum. In order for students to determine if an elective has been approved, they should contact their Education Team Coordinator or the Coordinator of the Council on Curriculum. Approved electives can be viewed by searching the Electives Database maintained by the Council on Curriculum. If the elective is not in the Electives database, students should follow the steps listed under “Procedures for Establishing New Electives”.

Electives with a Timeframe of Three Weeks or Less

UMKC students are NOT permitted to enroll for credit in clinical electives which do not last for a duration of at least one calendar block. Students who do enroll in approved clinical electives which last for at least three weeks will be permitted to do so only on a Not-For-Credit basis. Only in those instances where an approved clinical elective is scheduled for three weeks or less will an explanation for the assignment of a No Credit be provided within the official School of Medicine MSPE letter.

Scheduling In-Town Electives
(Kansas City Metropolitan Area)

Students are allowed approximately four weeks to research in-town elective choices. It is beneficial to discuss elective options with peers, Education Team Coordinators, Docents, and the Council on Curriculum staff. Information on most area electives is available in the Electives database.

Students will be asked to submit three choices for every in-town clinical elective block. For basic science electives, only one choice is typically required. From mid-February to mid-March, students submit elective choices for the Summer and Fall semesters (June-December). Spring Semester (January-May) choices are due during mid-September to mid-October.

When choosing a clinical elective in the Kansas City area, a student must list second and third choices. Students should make certain that all choices are educationally acceptable. Students will be moved into their second or third choice if the first or second choice is not available. It is necessary to indicate the specialty area, the physician and the medical center for each elective choice. In-town electives must be arranged through the Education Team Coordinators.

Scheduling Out-of-Town Electives

Out-of-town electives are handled differently than in-town electives. Elective information and course descriptions are available in the Electives database. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange out-of-town electives. Students should keep their Education Team Coordinator informed of the status of these electives. Electives that have not been approved by the Council on Curriculum must be arranged prior to the beginning of the elective. The approval process is explained under “Procedures for Establishing New Electives.”

Year 5 & 6 students may not miss more than four blocks of Continuing Care Clinic per academic year. This allows for three blocks of out-of-town electives and one block of vacation. Year 4 students are allowed two blocks away from clinic per academic year. This allows for one elective block and one vacation block.

Procedures for Establishing New Electives

It is important that decisions concerning electives be made well in advance so the necessary approval may be obtained. If students wish to schedule new electives that have not previously been approved by the Council on Curriculum, they should use the New Elective Course Description Form. Detailed instructions for completion can be found on the form.

The Course Description Form must be completed and returned to the Council on Curriculum no later than the first calendar day of the block prior to the start date of the elective. If course description information cannot be acquired within this time frame, the student should contact the Curriculum Office to discuss the situation.

Electives with Family Members

If a student wishes to petition to take an elective under the supervision of a family member the following criteria must be satisfied:

    1. At least two-thirds of the clinical experience must be spent and supervised by a non-family member in the practice. A detailed daily schedule showing supervision by non-family member partner(s) will need to be provided with the elective petition.
    2. During the clinical elective a log of activities must be maintained and signed daily by the faculty that supervised the student. This log will be turned in at the end of the rotation to confirm item #1 above.
    3. Students who receive approval to take an elective with an immediate family member must have a non-family member be the evaluator of the student’s performance. The name of the evaluator should be provided on the application to take the rotation or elective.

If a student applies to take an elective without following the above procedure, the Council on Curriculum may decline the petition or accept the petition with a recommendation to the Council on Evaluation that the student will not receive credit for the elective or rotation.

Continuing Care Clinic Attendance During Elective Blocks

All students are required to participate in Continuing Care Clinic for one half day per week beginning in Year 3 until they graduate from the program. Students do not attend clinic during vacation blocks and out-of-town electives. Year 5 & 6 students may not miss more than four blocks of Continuing Care Clinic per year. Year 4 students may not miss more than two blocks of Continuing Care Clinic per year.

Students who participate in an elective block within the Greater Kansas City Area (within a 25 mile radius of the School of Medicine) are required to participate in their regularly scheduled weekly clinic. Students participating in an elective outside of the Greater Kansas City Area are not required to participate in their weekly clinic and the block will be counted as one of their allowed blocks away from clinic during that academic year (includes one vacation block each year).

Elective Military Scholarships

Students on a military scholarship are required to use vacation and elective blocks to fulfill basic training or military maneuver requirements. If used, the elective block is classified as MEDICINE 9714 – Academic General. This block counts toward the required 38 medicine blocks but does NOT count as a clinical elective.

Visiting Student Policy, UMKC School of Medicine
  1. Department chairs and/or the director of medical education at an affiliated clinical site will decide whether to take visiting students into electives. Visiting students can be added to electives as long as:
    1. UMKC students are given priority in choosing which blocks they will take electives.
      1. The majority of elective placement occurs during the elective placement process, which occurs twice in each academic year at elective placement meetings. Students inform their education team coordinator of their elective choices, and are placed according to Council on Curriculum policy. UMKC students are placed in electives for blocks 1-8 in March , and in electives for blocks 9-13 in October. After these dates, visiting students may be accepted into electives.
    2. So that the education of UMKC students is not compromised, limits on the number of visiting students accepted should be set and followed. Each visiting student is eligible to take no more than two electives, a total of 8 weeks, at UMKC.
  1. Visiting students shall not be scheduled on the same teams/shifts as UMKC medical students during clerkships that are required for UMKC medical students. When accepting visiting students, the total number of students including the visitors should not exceed the maximum number of students set by each clerkship director.
    All domestic MD or DO students must apply through the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) service to be considered for eligibility and placement in an elective.

    1. Students at MD or DO schools in the United States may view elective opportunities using the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) service. Students must complete all required elements of the application to be considered for placement. The coordinator will notify the student through VSLO regarding the status of the application(s) and any offers or denial of placement.
  2. Students from medical schools outside of the United States must apply in one of the following ways:
    1. Students at MD schools outside of the United States whose institutions are listed as “home schools” in VSLO must apply through the AAMC Visiting Student Learning Opportunities (VSLO) service. Students must complete all required elements of the application to be considered for placement. The coordinator will notify the student through VSLO regarding the status of the application(s) and any offers or denial of placement.
    2. Students attending one of the four affiliated international institutions should contact the coordinator in the SOM Medical Humanities/International Office for information about potential elective options and application materials.
      1. Harbin Medical University – Harbin, China
      2. Medical University of Graz – Graz, Austria
      3. Instituto Tecnológico Y De Estudios Superiores de Monterrey – Monterrey, Mexico
      4. Peking University – Peking, China
    3. Students attending a school that is not listed as a “home school” on VSLO and are not attending one of the four affiliated international institutions must contact the coordinator in the SOM Medical Humanities/International Office for information about potential elective options and application materials.
    4. International visiting students are strictly limited to an observational role in any approved elective rotation.
  3. The decision to accept a specific domestic visiting student for an elective will be made by the elective coordinator or by the departments/hospitals in which the student wishes to take the elective. This decision is based on the maximum number of students that the elective can accept in each block, available faculty/staff, and other parameters as defined by the department.
    1. All visiting students from international institutions must be approved by the instructor/department.
  4. All visiting students accepted at University Health will be responsible for completing compliance/HIPAA training. A UH representative will contact students via email with instructions for completing this mandatory requirement. Each block, the electives coordinator will provide a list of all visiting students and elective assignments to the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Medical Officer, as well as UH Security.
  5. As required by the school’s accrediting body, the visiting student coordinator will keep a running record of numbers of visitors, the electives they took, and the type of school they attend (Liaison Committee on Medical Education accredited, America Osteopathic Association accredited, etc.). For that reason, each elective contact person at CMH and St. Luke’s Hospital must report to the School of Medicine’s elective coordinator every six months the number of students who take an elective and the type of school from which they came (LCME, AOA, etc.).
  6. Post-graduate MDs or DOs will not be scheduled into medical student electives.

Competency-Based Curriculum Guide


This guide was prepared to assist faculty and students focusing on the competencies determined necessary for graduating students to be judged safe physicians. Administration, faculty, and students determined this guide was needed and provided input to the contents. The information was adapted with permission from An Educational Blueprint for the Brown University School of Medicine, second edition, August 1994 by Stephen R. Smith, M.D. and Barbara Fuller. It contains the general expectations for medical students, providing direction for their educational experience. The specifics of each student’s curriculum may vary, but the faculty has agreed that all students will demonstrate competency in these areas prior to graduation.

The faculty of the School of Medicine believes that students learn best by experience. Relevant learning experiences repeated and reinforced with close guidance by faculty and peers is the tenet this school was founded on. This explains the title Competency-Based Curriculum Guide. This guide differs from the Curriculum Books of the past.

This guide takes a more general approach outlining expected general competencies. Specific facts will predictably change and are not contained in this guide. Thus it will have a greater longevity and will be revised as needed, every four to six years. The guide outlines six areas of competency that the faculty has determined to be essential for graduating students to be judged safe physicians. Learning objectives for Years 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 are listed first, and specific competencies are then described in each of the six general areas, which align with the six Accreditation for Graduate Medical Education competencies.


UMKC Six Competencies and Learning Objectives

Overview of the Competency-Based Curriculum

The curriculum in the combined Baccalaureate/M.D. program of the UMKC School of Medicine uses relevant clinical experiences repeated throughout the curriculum with close supervision by a physician mentor (docent). Most students are accepted directly out of high school for the 6-year program. A small number of students are accepted in Year 3 after receiving an undergraduate degree. For the first two years, approximately 75 percent of the curriculum is devoted to arts and science courses and 25 percent to introductory clinical medicine*. During the last four years, approximately 75percent of the time is devoted to clinical medicine and 25 percent to arts and sciences. Students interact with patients throughout all six years in inpatient and outpatient settings so that the excitement of clinical medicine can continually motivate and challenge them.

An important component of the student’s clinical education occurs in ambulatory care settings. Throughout the last four years of the program, students spend a half-day each week with their docent and student partner in a continuing care clinic for general medicine outpatients. The goals of this experience are to promote an understanding of the course of chronic illness and to enable students to experience the rewards and challenges of an ongoing doctor/patient relationship.

Faculty members supervise students’ experiences on required clinical rotations in family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, surgery, psychiatry and emergency medicine. Through supervised experiences on docent rotation, continuing care clinic and the above clinical rotations, students develop the clinical competencies described in this guide. Electives give students opportunities to develop additional or more advanced competencies.

*Courses will be determined by the requirements for the student’s chosen degree.

Course Director’s Subcommittee – Members

Darla McCarthy, PhD Chair, Course Director Subcommittee
Vice Chairperson Basic Scientist
Sandra Smith Course Coordinator, Curriculum
Nick Norgard, PharmD Medical Terminology
Vacant Fundamentals of Medical Practice I & II
Amy Patel, MD Fundamentals of Medical Practice III & IV
Leslie McNolty, PhD History of Medicine
Geetha Kamath, MD CPM I
Jennifer McBride, MD CPM II
Amgad Masoud, MD CPM II, Co-Course Director
Theodore Cole, PhD Human Structure Function I
Michael Wacker, PhD Human Structure Function II
Willard Morrow, PhD Human Structure Function III
Maria Cole, PhD Human Structure Function IV
Prameela Banoth, MD  Clinical Correlations
Wail Hassan, PhD Medical Microbiology
Tyler Allison, MD Medical Neuroscience
Soheila Hamidpour, MD Pathology I & II
Paul Cuddy, PharmD Pharmacology
David John, MD Ambulatory Care Pharmacology
Trent Myers, MD Behavioral Science
John Foxworth, PharmD Patient, Physician, Society I
Eileen Amari-Vaught, PhD Patient, Physician, Society II
William Jennings, MD Patient, Physician, Society II, Co-Course Director
Brian Carter, MD Chair of Humanities
Nick Norgard, PharmD Self-Paced Pharmacology Series
Vacant Hospital Team



Council on Curriculum Organizational Chart

Click on image for the PDF

Council on Curriculum Organizational Chart

Sara Gardner, MD
Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education

Megan Frasher, MA
Manager of Medical Education

Ashley Sylvara, MS
Curriculum Coordinator

Sandra Bernard
Senior Course Coordinator

Rashaun Riggans
Course Coordinator

Alyssa Seidler
Student Support Specialist

Administrative Assistant


Clerkship Director’s Subcommittee – Members

The Clerkship Directors Subcommittee is designed to provide clerkship directors with the opportunity for direct communication with the Council on Curriculum. These meetings are held monthly with the intent to review curriculum policies, communicate changes in policy, and evaluate the experience for our faculty and students.

This subcommittee is chaired by the Assistant Dean of Clinical Medical Education to the Council on Curriculum and the members include Clerkship Directors and their respective coordinators.


Jacqueline Walker, MD Council on Curriculum Associate Dean of Clinical Medical Education
Emily Haury, M.D. Chair, Docent Rotation Internal Medicine Clerkship Director
Council on Curriculum Assistant Dean of Clinical Medical Education
Angel Fox Docent Rotation Coordinator
Anuj Shah, M.D. General Surgery Clerkship Director
Dora Browne Surgery Coordinator (UH)
Fernie Bahena Surgery Coordinator (SLH)
Judith Ovalle, M.D. Psychiatry Clerkship Director
Edie Bryant Psychiatry Coordinator
Molly Uhlenhake, D.O. Continuing Care Clinic Internal Medicine Clerkship Director
Lori Bruce Continuing Care Clinic Coordinator
Megan Madrigal, M.D. OB/GYN Clerkship Director
Rachel Joyner OB/GYN Coordinator
Maria Dycoco, M.D. Pediatrics Clerkship Director
Holly Frey Pediatrics Coordinator
Angela Barnett, M.D. Family Medicine I Clerkship Director
Michelle Klein Family Medicine I Coordinator
Melanie Camejo, M.D. Emergency Medicine Clerkship Director
Lara Maisch Emergency Medicine Coordinator
Ashley Sylvara Curriculum Coordinator
Vacant Curriculum Admin


Clerkship Policies


Subject Examination Policy

Rotation Score to Pass Number of Attempts Time Allowed to Pass Exam
Docent Rotation 60 or higher 2 Exam must be passed within a four-block period subsequent to the date of the failed exam.
Pediatrics 55 or higher 2
Ob/Gyn 65 or higher 2
Surgery 60 or higher 2


Emergency Medicine

63 or higher

56 or higher



Behavioral Science 340 or higher 2
***passing scores updated as of 2021-2022 academic year
Number of Attempts & Time Allowance to Pass Subject Exam

When a student fails a required subject examination in a clerkship, he/she must post a passing score within a four block period subsequent to the date of the failed examination.  A student will be allowed to repeat the subject examination just once during that period.  Failure to pass the subject examination within four blocks will mean failure of and re-enrollment in the clerkship.  The subject examination schedule set by the Office of Assessment and Quality Improvement must be followed; no change in the schedule will be allowed except for documented illness or a family emergency.

No-Show/Unexcused Absence

A “no-show/unexcused absence” on the subject examination date scheduled at the end of the rotation results in a forfeiture of one of the two attempts.  A second “no-show/unexcused absence” on an examination date scheduled by the student results in a failure of the rotation.

Multiple Subject Examination Failures

Effective for all first-time takers of subject exams:

  1. Any student with two outstanding subject exams in different clerkships will not be permitted to enroll in any required clerkships until he/she has no more than one outstanding subject exam to complete. The student will receive remediation to address his/her difficulties and appropriate advising along with revision of his/her curriculum schedule.
  2. If the student then has a third outstanding subject exam, he/she will not be permitted to enroll in any further required clerkships until all outstanding subject exams have been successfully completed.
Failure on First Attempt of Subject Examination

Students who fail on their first attempt at a Subject Examination or internally written required examination are NOT eligible to receive Honors or High Pass in that Clerkship.

Subject Exam Reporting on Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE)

Beginning with clinical clerkships in June 2005, the number of attempts a student needs to achieve a passing score on an NBME subject examination in a clinical discipline will be reported in his/her MSPE (dean’s letter). The passing score will also be reported.

Policy on Residency Interviewing and Absences from Required Clinical Clerkships

The school recognizes a need for Year 4, 5, or 6 students to take time away from clinical responsibilities, i.e., emergencies, death in family, hospitalization, and in Year 6, Residency interviewing. Individual clerkships will address attendance requirements for non-clinical activities in the syllabus (i.e. missing didactics, conferences, etc.).

OBJECTIVE: To create an absence policy that applies to all clerkships and ensures consistent processes and approvals from Clerkship Coordinators. Students requesting an excused absence from a clinical clerkship for any reason must make arrangements with the Clerkship Coordinator and/or Director two blocks prior to the clerkship start date; failure to do so may result in an unexcused absence.

Students must follow the procedures as listed below and on the form:

1. Student must obtain and complete a “Request for Clerkship Excused Absence Form” from the Curriculum website or student’s ETC.

2. Student must submit the Excused Absence Request form no later than two blocks prior to the clerkship start date.

3. Student must take the completed form to the Clerkship Coordinator FIRST, then the Director, for approval and signatures (do not leave the form to be signed; student must speak directly to the Clerkship Coordinator and Director to obtain their signature). The Clerkship Coordinator will keep approved forms on file for their future reference.

Students are expected to attend and participate in every session of a clinical clerkship. Excused absences are subject to approval by the Clerkship Director or Clerkship Coordinator and will be accommodated only to the extent that the absence does not interfere unreasonably with the goals and objectives established for the clerkship.

Excused Absences per Year 4 & 5 One-Block Clerkship: 3 days total

Excused Absences per Two-Block Clerkship: 6 days total, 3 per 1 Block

Excused Absences for Year 6 Emergency Medicine: 5 days total

Excused Absences for Year 6 Docent Rotation: 10 days total, 5 days per 1 Block

Review the Request for Clinical Clerkship Excused Absence form for a list of approved absences. Note: Family Medicine II – Preceptorship and Continuity Clinic have separate policies related to the total amount of days a student can be absent. Refer to the clerkship syllabus or contact the clerkship coordinator for more information.

Missing clinical duties without an excused absence will result in the following consequences:

First unexcused absence: The students overall grade will be reduced by 10%.

Second unexcused absence: The students overall grade will be reduced by 25% and the student will be notified by the Clerkship Director.

Third unexcused absence: Failure of the clerkship.

Note: Family Medicine II – Preceptorship has a separate policy related to unexcused absences. Refer to the clerkship syllabus or contact the clerkship coordinator for more information. 16

Unexpected or unplanned absences should be immediately reported to the Clerkship Director and Coordinator. It is at the Clerkship Director’s discretion to determine if an unplanned absence is excused or unexcused based on any extenuating circumstances provided.

For Residency interviewing, the school recommends that students be allowed to interview for a period of no more than five working days per block. Excused absences are subject to the approval of the Clerkship Director and will be accommodated only to the extent that such absences do not interfere unreasonably with the goals and objectives established for the clerkship.


Split 2-Block Rotations

All required rotations in Years 3 through 6 that are more than one block in length must be taken consecutively. These rotations include:

    • Docent Rotation
    • Pathology
    • Pharmacology (9408)
    • Obstetrics/Gynecology
    • Pediatrics
    • Surgery

Exceptions to this policy will be made only in the case of emergency circumstances such as academic failure (including failure of Step 1 or subject exams) or non-academic emergencies (illness, death in family, etc.).

The process for completing a split rotation is as follows:

    1. If a student cannot complete the second block of a two block rotation, due to the above stated circumstances, the student will receive an INCOMPLETE for the first block and will have no more than one year to complete the second block for credit.
    2. After completion of second block of two-block rotation, the student has four blocks to take and pass the Subject exam.

Required Clerkships with Family Members

Students will not be allowed to do scheduled required clerkships with family members. In a situation where no alternative faculty exists, the situation will be examined on a case-by-case basis by the Council on Curriculum.

Patient Tracking Policy

The UMKC SOM learning objectives are articulated with the Competency-Based Curriculum and all required clinical clerkships must provide students with sufficient and consistent opportunities to satisfy these objectives. It is the responsibility of the individual clerkship faculty to confirm that their clerkship objectives support the goals of the Competency-Based Curriculum. They accomplish this partially by identifying which disease states/conditions/skills/procedures are essential, and partly by stating what level or responsibility should be achieved by each student, and by defining the appropriate clinical setting. Patient Tracking Software (PTS) exists to assist clerkship directors and clerkship faculty in assessing what students are experiencing during their clerkship and how closely they have met previously identified clerkship objectives. PTS also provides assistance to clerkships and the school in meeting the LCME ED-2 standard.

The following principles serve to guide clerkships in meeting this responsibility:

  1. Clerkships are responsible for developing a list of clinical encounter and patient-type content (major disease states or conditions or clinical skills/procedures) that each student can reasonably expect to encounter during their clerkship. Most likely clerkships will identify general categories and provide specific disease states/conditions/skills/procedures which correspond to each of the identified categories.
  2. The length of the content list(s) should be sufficient to satisfy the core clerkship objectives. At this time, there are no specific requirements on numbers of encounters. The clerkship must provide a mechanism for students to encounter this experience regardless of the time of year the clerkship is scheduled for a student.
  3. The numbers of patients necessary to satisfy clerkship objectives is left to the individual clerkships to decide: however, these clerkship-defined numbers must be clearly identified for students. Requirements on numbers of experiences should be set consistent with the following:
    1. The necessary time to experience the required numbers of patients should not exceed reasonable work hours for students.
    2. A single patient may satisfy multiple content items (disease states/conditions/skills/procedures), but the requirements for a meaningful encounter (defined by the clerkship) must be satisfied for each.
    3. The level of student responsibility for each encounter must be defined (participation, observation, etc.), as well as the clinical setting in which the encounter takes place.
    4. As a component of the required mid-rotation assessment, a mid-rotation review of reported PTS activities should be documented by the clerkship director for all students to determine what each student has already encountered and what he/she is likely to encounter over the remainder of the clerkship. A timely review should allow the clerkship director sufficient opportunity to provide the student with a personalized experience to help them meet all outstanding clerkship encounters which may include use of alternative methodology such as MedU CLIPP Case(s), fmCASE(s), assigned readings, simulation experience or oral presentation.
  4. All students should enter patient data in the PTS on a weekly basis to provide adequate information for the mid-rotation assessment. Students who do not comply with this requirement will be penalized as defined by the clerkship director. Students must enter all required patient data into the PTS by midnight of the last day of the clerkship to show their clerkship requirements have been met. Students who fail to meet this PTS requirement will have their final grade in the clerkship reduced by one level (e.g., honors to high pass).
  5. Students are responsible to register with the correct course and section numbers in the UMKC Pathway system in order to maintain correct rosters in the Patient Tracking System. Any discrepancies should be reported to the Clerkship Coordinator and the student’s ETC immediately. Failure to register correctly does not excuse a student from this Patient Tracking Policy.


Policy on Student Workload and Clinical Duty Hours for Clerkships

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Policy on Student Workload Hours for Preclinical Coursework

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Course Evaluation Compliancy Policy

The School of Medicine continually and systematically collects, utilizes and responds to students’ feedback regarding medical school courses, rotations and clerkships. Students’ perceptions are a critical component of the curriculum evaluation process. Student ratings and comments are carefully reviewed by faculty, department chairs, and the Council on Curriculum in order to promote positive curricular change.

Therefore, students are required to complete evaluations of all courses, rotations, and clerkships that the School of Medicine requires by using OASIS. The OASIS evaluation form will be available for student use for a total of 14 days, seven prior to the close of the course, rotation, or clerkship and seven after the course, rotation, or clerkship is over.

Students who do not complete evaluations by the deadline (by the end of the seventh day after the course, rotation, or clerkship is over) are subject to the following actions.

    1. The Council on Evaluation will record in its monthly minutes a student’s failure to submit a required course/rotation/clerkship evaluation and will send him/her an e-mail noting the first and, if necessary, the second instance of non-compliance.
    2. When a student has failed to submit three evaluations, he/she will receive a letter of unprofessional behavior from the Council. The letter will be placed in the student’s official record and will remain there.
    3. The three instances of non-compliance triggering a letter of unprofessional behavior will include failure to submit course/rotation/clerkship evaluations, as well as sets of peer assessments required in docent rotation and in the obstetrics-gynecology rotation. For example, two instances of failure to submit course evaluations plus one instance of failure to complete a set of peer assessments will trigger a letter of unprofessional behavior.
    4. Persistent non-compliance with the policy will result in review by the Council on Evaluation to determine if the student’s Medical Student Performance Evaluation, used in the process of application to residency programs, will refer to the student’s non-compliance.

Faculty must communicate the course/rotation/clerkship evaluation policy to students at the beginning of the curricular experience. A summary of the policy and the consequence for noncompliance must be included in the syllabus along with the relevant information for accessing evaluations.

Peer Assessment Policy

The purpose of peer assessment is to help students help their peers develop their clinical and professionalism competencies. Participation in peer assessment in medical school is also intended to prepare students for professional practice. Peer assessment in residency programs is commonplace, and it is a professional obligation that physicians in practice are expected to fulfill.

Professionalism Competency Assessment for Clerkships

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Curriculum Steering Subcommittee

The Curriculum Steering Subcommittee is chaired by the Senior Associate Dean and members include the Associate and Assistant Deans of Medical Education, and the Department of Medical Education Support Services. This subcommittee (1) schedules reviews of the curriculum, evaluates outcomes, and prepares reports for the Council, (2) reviews and responds to evaluations of courses and clerkships and (3) determines the resources to carry out recommendations by the Council.

Sara Gardner, MD  Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education
Michael Wacker, PhD  Associate Dean of Pre-Clinical Medical Education
Jacqueline Walker, MD Associate Dean of Clinical Medical Education
Darla McCarthy, PhD Assistant Dean of Pre-Clinical Medical Education
Emily Haury, MD Assistant Dean of Clinical Medical Education
Jennifer Quaintence, PhD Department of Medical Education Support Services, Director
Angellar Manguvo, PhD Department of Medical Education Support Services
Megan Frasher Manager of Medical Education
Ashley Sylvara Curriculum Coordinator


Council on Curriculum

The goal of the Council on Curriculum is to provide centralized oversight of a coordinated curriculum that supports the educational objectives of the School of Medicine, including the competencies stated in the Competency-Based Curriculum Guide. The Council is responsible for the design and management of the core curriculum leading to the M.D. degree, as well as for the review and approval of elective courses. The Council is also responsible for the regular review of the entire curriculum and components therein, evaluating learning outcomes, examining pedagogy, and attending to vertical and horizontal integration of content. The Council approves student petitions for changes in curricular plans as necessary.

Members of this council include basic and clinical scientist faculty, docents, social science and humanities faculty, clinical performance assessment and remediation representatives, and students. The bylaws ensure wide representation of medical fields and disciplines relevant to the practice of medicine. The chair of the Council on Curriculum is Sara Gardner, M.D.

To view the 2021/2022 BA/MD and MD curriculum calendar, please click here.

To view the 2022/2023 BA/MD and MD curriculum calendar, please click here.