Tag Archives: Curriculum

Making the ranks of medical schools

For the first time ever, the UMKC School of Medicine joined the U.S. News & World Report rankings of medical schools and other graduate programs.

The  school placed 75th for primary care medical schools and 88th for research medical schoolsU.S. News said its rankings covered 122 accredited medical and osteopathic medical schools that participated in the rankings, out of 189 that were asked.

UMKC, whose innovative six-year program takes most of its students right out of high school, did not participate in past surveys because its program is so different from others in the United States. Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, a 1978 graduate of the program, said she thought it was time to join the survey.

“Our school is known for excellent clinical training and great success in residency matching, throughout the Midwest and at Mayo and other top institutions,” Jackson said. “We also offer expanding research opportunities and have placed students in the top National Institutes of Health student research program for several years in a row.”

The medical school rankings were based on a weighted average of indicators, seven for the primary care rankings and eight for research. Some indicators were quality assessments by academic peers and residency directors. But most were objective data submitted by the schools, such as research activity, student test scores and acceptance rate. The UMKC school rated in the top one-third, for example, in faculty-student ratio, on a par with Stanford, the No. 4 school overall, and ahead of 78 other schools. It also did well in the percentage of its graduates going into primary care.

Dean Jackson said it took a “yeoman’s effort” to compile and submit the required data for the first time, and she thanked the school’s leadership team including Vice Deans Steven Waldman, M.D. ’77, J.D., and Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., M.B.A., for their efforts.

School of Medicine teams with Nestle to create unique student experience

Brandon Trandai, Madeline Harris and Valerie Hummel were the first to participate in a new UMKC School of Medicine elective, the Infant and Toddler Nutrition Experience.

Three sixth-year medical students from the School of Medicine this past fall were the first to participate in a unique elective experience bringing together the medical school and a leading baby food manufacturer.

The Infant and Toddler Nutrition Experience is a collaboration between UMKC and Nestle Nutrition North America, which produces Gerber baby foods and formulas.

Joel Lim, M.D., and Brandon Trandai

Emily Haury, M.D., docent and chair of the School of Medicine Docent Council, is one of the faculty members overseeing the course elective. She said one goal of the program is to expose students to the corporate world of health care. It also offers a glimpse of how corporations work with the medical field to produce the best products for their customers.

“In addition to gaining clinical knowledge and studying evidence-based guidelines, the students also gained practical knowledge and resources that they can use to counsel families about nutrition as they continue their training in pediatrics,” Haury said.

Madeline Harris, Valerie Hummel and Brandon Trandai began the class with reading assignments and participating in small group discussions on basic and clinical sciences related to infant and toddler nutrition.

After completing the preliminary work, the students spent 10 days at the Nestle facilities in Michigan and the company’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Their travel took in tours of a baby food factory, a farm and a consumer testing center. They also attended sessions with marketing, human resources and regulatory staff to learn about the business side of the industry.

“It was unique and a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Trandai said. “I was able to see another facet of pediatrics. We don’t typically focus on nutrition as much as treating illnesses and disease.”

Trandai said the experience enlightened the students about the amount of research done at Gerber and the innovation taking place to promote infant and toddler nutrition.

Hummel said, “This rotation was incredibly rewarding. I would highly recommend it for any students interested in learning more about nutrition and the intricate world of the business industry surrounding nutrition.”

The elective is overseen by Haury, Darla McCarthy, Ph.D., assistant dean for curriculum, and Joel Lim, M.D., adjunct professor pediatrics, who now serves as vice president of the Medical and Scientific Regulatory Unit at Nestle Nutrition North America. Funding for the students’ travel and lodging was provided by Nestle.

Haury said the elective will be offered again during several blocks in the 2020-21 academic year, providing students unique learning opportunity that they can share at their residency interviews.

School of Medicine a leader in medical education learning communities

When it opened nearly 50 years ago, the UMKC School of Medicine was something of a pioneer in medical education with learning communities made up of docent teams and peer-mentorship groups. Today, learning communities are becoming more commonplace in medical education and the School of Medicine is still leading the charge.

Faculty and students presented the merits of the school’s learning communities during a three-day national conference of the Learning Communities Institute held Oct. 11-13 in Kansas City.

Louise Arnold, Ph.D., former associate dean and director of the Office of Medical Education and Research at the School of Medicine from 1971 through 2012, was one of the founders of the institute in 2004.

“We at UMKC were instrumental in spreading the word about learning communities to medical schools such as the University of Washington and Harvard,” Arnold said. “We were also instrumental in organizing informal meeting of schools with learning communities. We met during the national meeting of American medical schools for several years. That led to the formation of the national group, the Learning Communities Institute.”

That group is now made up of leaders of medical school learning communities from across that country that value and support the active presence of those communities within health professions schools. As many as 50 medical schools in the United States have incorporated learning communities into their programs.

At the organization’s national meeting, School of Medicine docent and chair of the docent council, Emily Haury, M.D., lead a presentation she designed on the role of peer mentors within the school’s docent teams. Brenda Rogers, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, served as moderator during the session that also offered docent and student perspectives. School of Medicine docents Molly Uhlenhake, M.D., and Nurry Pirani, M.D., spoke from the docent point of view, while medical students Saber Khan, sixth-year, and Megan Schoelch, fourth-year, presented the students’ perspective on the school’s learning communities.

“I had more than one person from other schools come up to me after their presentation to say how helpful it was and how they so deeply wished their school had such a super program,” Arnold said.

Jennifer Quaintance, Ph.D., assistant dean for assessment and quality improvement, presented a research project on professional identity formation that is being conducted with support from the Learning Community Institute Research Network. Connor Fender, coordinator for the Council on Evaluation, gave a presentation on the school’s peer assessment program. And Cary Chelladurai, Ed.D., assistant dean of student affairs, presented a poster on the role of the Education Team Coordinator within the docent team.


UMKC School of Medicine receives full, eight-year LCME accreditation

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.

Comics used to express culture of med school and students

Michael Green, M.D., physician and bioethicist at Penn State College of Medicine, presented the 2017 William T. Sirridge, M.D., Lecture in Medical Humanities.

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.

School of Medicine announces new curriculum council chair

Dr. Ellison, Dr. Pirani

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.


Med school announces new course directors for Fundamentals of Medical Practice

Marc Taormina, M.D., ’77, and Christina Crumpecker, M.D.
Marc Taormina, M.D., ’77, and Christina Crumpecker, M.D.

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.

Health sciences schools bring interprofessional education in focus

Students from the UMKC health sciences schools on the Hospital Hill campus participated in joint interprofessional education learning activities on Sept. 13 throughout the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Building.
Students from the UMKC health sciences schools on the Hospital Hill campus participated in joint interprofessional education learning activities on Sept. 13 at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Building.

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.

Masters program in health professions education taking applications

The Masters Degree in Health Professions Education provides an educational research foundation for teaching, assessment and leadership in health professions education.
The Masters Degree in Health Professions Education provides an educational research foundation for teaching, assessment and leadership in health professions education.

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.


SOM taking applications for new Physician Assistant program

UMKC-med_web_200pxThe 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.