2018 Meeting Posters – Other

Vanessa P. Nguyen and Bruce W. Newton
Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine

PURPOSE: To determine if regional differences in where a medical student was raised and the size of the city/town determines baseline affective and cognitive empathy scores gathered during orientation to a mid-eastern United States osteopathic medical school.

METHODS: The CUSOM classes of 2017-2020 voluntarily took the Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale (BEES) and the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) surveys (n = 568/634).  Students indicated their sex and specialty choice. Specialties were broken into “Core” and “Non-Core” groups, with Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics and Psychiatry representing Core specialties. The other 18 specialties were Non-Core, e.g., Radiology, Emergency Medicine. Scores were analyzed using SPSS.  The five demographic areas were based on the US census bureau regions, and rural vs. urban background was based on city/town size; with cities <10,000 population considered rural.


  • The only significant difference (p<.04) was higher JSPE scores for students from towns with <10,000 vs. cities of 50-100K population.
  • Trends were found where students from urban backgrounds had higher BEES and JSPE scores than those raised in rural areas.
  • Students from the Southeast region did to have significantly higher BEES and JSPE scores than students from the other four regions.

CONCLUSIONS: Even though the medical students came from almost every state, there were no significant regional differences for entering BEES or JSPE scores.  City/town size in which the student was raised was not a significant factor, with the exception of student JSPE scores from rural areas vs. those from cities with 50-100K population.  Certain trends were found which will be discussed.  This study suggests that regarding empathy, “southern and/or rural hospitality” is anecdotal for this population of medical students.

Alana D. Newell and Nancy P. Moreno
Baylor College of Medicine

PURPOSE: Although many medical education faculty members are involved in novel, innovative, and engaging teaching approaches, they may hesitate to participate in scholarship related to their educational work. A dearth of time, and the perceived difficulty of generating meaningful research are two commonly cited barriers to pursuing educational scholarship. The current abstract presents a workshop we are developing to help faculty members acquire deeper understanding of educational research and ways in which they can efficiently increase their engagement in a range of scholarly activities related to teaching and learning. This effort is aligned with recent updates to our institutional guidelines for faculty appointment and promotion related to scholarship.

METHODS: The workshop has two main objectives. The first is to provide faculty with an understanding of the differences and similarities among evaluation, research and assessment. In doing so, our intent is to help them think about data they are already collecting for evaluation and assessment PURPOSE S in the framework of research. The second objective is to outline steps in the development of educational research questions, and allow time for practice and discussion of potential questions. The workshop is intended to be 1-2 hours long, and involves active learning techniques, discussion, and small-group work.

RESULTS: Initial piloting of workshop sections with a group of 21 faculty members received positive feedback. Participants indicated that they were likely to use the information received in the future, and that the session enhanced their abilities to identify research questions related to their current teaching activities.

CONCLUSION: Providing an opportunity for faculty members to learn more about educational research, and identify ways in which they can efficiently extend existing efforts into scholarship has the potential to enhance educational research across our institution and inform the field overall. The workshop will be offered as a faculty development session in 2018.

Bernadette Scott, Manish Mishra, and Linda R Adkison
Trinity School of Medicine, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, West Indies

PURPOSE: Many medical schools have designated individuals and offices devoted to faculty development.  There are similar entities for other programs, such as accreditation and implementation of new programs, requiring a large investment of intellectual capital.  Many programs have been developed to develop skills in targeted groups globally.  For small schools, particularly outside of the US, attending these remains a challenge for faculty.  The purpose of this project was to develop a mechanism to foster leadership training and succession planning internally.

METHODS: An experiential model was selected to enhance leadership training.  Mid-level faculty were evaluated by the Dean for future leadership potential and appointed to lead important initiatives.  Two initiatives were piloted:  self-study sections for the school’s next accreditation visit, and a developing program during the transition of the school to a university structure.

RESULTS: The appointment of mid-level faculty to lead self-study sections was met with some reservation by higher administration because of the significance of the accreditation process.  It was a welcomed move by senior faculty who typically are asked to chair all major initiatives.  A senior faculty member was assigned as co-chair of each self-study section to privately guide/mentor the chair who led the self-study.  For the program development, the appointed was mentored by the Dean.

The outcomes were noted almost immediately.  The mid-level faculty demonstrated enthusiasm for the task and were successful at motivating other members to the assignments.  The mid-level faculty reported learning much about the school that they had not previously known.   Engagement by faculty was high and confidence increased steadily.

CONCLUSIONS: Developing leaders from the middle is an important role of administrators.  Developing leadership provides a platform for a seamless transition into greater roles of responsibility.  It also provides thoughtful consideration and planning for succession senior faculty who retire.

Poster Award Nominee:
504 – Linking Perceived Learning Environment Meaningfulness to Peer Interaction Quality
Brock Mutcheson, Daniel P. Harrington, and Richard C. Vari
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

PURPOSE: Students’ interactions with their learning environments can impact their overall success in medical school (Schumacher, Englander and Carraccio, 2013). Guided by situated cognition theory, which suggests that all knowledge is situated in activity bound to social, cultural and physical contexts (Greeno & Moor, 1993), we explored Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) learning environment dynamics. Specifically, we used the VTCSOM Learning Environment Advocacy Committee Instrument (LEACINST) to improve understanding of relationships between the quality of peer interactions, the extent of nurturance, flexibility, and student perceptions of the overall meaningfulness of the learning environment.

METHODS: The LEACINST is an internally developed and validated instrument administered to key stakeholder groups at VTCSOM. In total, 148 students responded to 34 items covering several constructs measuring the current state of the VTCSOM learning environment. Items were rated using a Likert scale with the following response options: 1 = never; 2 = rarely; 3 = sometimes; 4 = often; 5 = very often. Survey results were merged with demographic data and summarized using descriptive statistics. Regression modeling was used to investigate the relationships between faculty nurturance, the quality of peer interactions, and perceived meaningfulness of the learning environment.

RESULTS: Preliminary descriptive results suggested positive and significant relationships between the perceived extent of faculty nurturance and the meaningfulness of the learning environment (p < 0.05) at VTCSOM. Further analyses will investigate the extent to which the perceived quality of peer interactions influences this relationship.

CONCLUSION: This study reinforces for our institution the findings of other important studies about medical school learning environments. Perceived meaningfulness can be increased through increased faculty nurturance of student growth and peer interactions.

Denah Appelt, Marcine Pickron-Davis, Nilsa Graciani, and Amelia Buono Schwarzman
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Esperanza College of Eastern University, and Olney-Aspira Charter School

PURPOSE: Launched in summer 2016, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Science and Math Summer Academy aims to expose rising African-American and Latino 10th grade students the opportunity to augment and accelerate their STEM+M skills, learn about the college and medical school admissions process, and explore career possibilities. The summer academy is part of a larger model designed to respond to projected shortfalls of culturally competent and racially diverse professionals in the U.S. healthcare workforce by providing STEM-focused skill development early in students’ high school careers. The model also provides for the enhancement of high school curricula, professional development for faculty, and the forging of institutional partnerships.

METHOD: Students apply to the program from regional partner institutions, ASPIRA/Olney High School, and Esperanza College, (a Hispanic-serving two-year institution of higher education).  The students are selected through an interview process based on criteria including academic performance, demonstrated perseverance and drive, and a strong interest in the STEM+M fields. The program includes a rigorous two week curriculum led by PCOM faculty and medical students that are conducted in the classroom, the anatomy labs, clinical simulation labs, and field trips. Students are introduced to health topics prevalent in minorities such as infectious diseases, cancer, and diabetes as well as understanding the cardiovascular and the nervous system.

RESULTS:Weekly surveys were implemented to determine if this experience had an impact on the student’s future career decisions. The data indicated that 57% reveal their plans after high school had changed since participating and 62 % report they are now considering going to medical school.

CONCLUSIONS: This program targets minority students to enhance the awareness of, and interest in, careers in the medical field. We are hopeful this initiative will increase minorities in healthcare and decrease the healthcare disparities within the African-American and Latino communities.

Poster Award Nominee:
Keshab Raj Paudel, Hari Nepal, Binu Shrestha, Raju Panta, and Stephen Toth
Trinity School of Medicine, St Vincent and the Grenadines

PURPOSE: Learning ability and skills depend on intellectual capability, aptitude, attitude, available facilities, curricular strategies and active educational environment. In any medical school, different students may apply different approaches to their study plans such as deep and surface approaches. This study was aimed to find out the learning strategies of medical students at Trinity School of Medicine and observe a correlation between deep learning approach and academic grades of the students.

METHODS: This study was questionnaire based cross-sectional observational study. Ethical clearance was obtained from institutional research committee.  Medical students in basic science years were included in the study after taking informed consent. Biggs’s Revised Two-Factor Study Process questionnaire was used. Student t test, one-way ANOVA followed by post-hoc t test and Pearson’s correlation test were used. Level of statistical significance was set as 0.05. Cronbach’s alpha was used to test the internal consistency of the questionnaire.

RESULTS: A total of 169 questionnaires were distributed and only 136 (response rate 80%) completely filled questionnaires were subject to analysis. Cronbach’s alpha value for the questionnaire’s items was 0.8. The score for deep learning approach was 29.4±4.6 vs. surface approach 24.3±4.2 and the difference was significant (P<0.05). There was positive correlation between deep learning approach and academic performance of the students (r= 0.197, p<0.05, df= 134).

CONCLUSIONS: Medical students at Trinity School of Medicine adopt the deep learning approach more than the surface approach. Students who adopt deep approach perform significantly higher in academic examinations.

507 – Practice Makes Perfect: An in-house simulation competition to engage medical students
Ellen Pappas, Dennis Baker, John Giannini, and Dianne Walker
Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

PURPOSE: At the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, ACOM, clinical skills are enhanced through simulated case scenarios built into the curricula. Beyond that, students have the opportunity to compete in simulated medical competitions. Since the Fall of 2014, students have trained for various simulation competitions ranging from ACOM’s internal competition to national competitions hosted by the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), and international competitions through the Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine (SESAM).

METHODS: In its infancy, a team of ACOM students trained under the mentorship of ACOM’s Director of Simulation to compete for the 2015 national competition, losing to a team who won that year’s international competition. Enthusiasm for simulation inspired an internal competition at ACOM each year following. Last year, the first and second place winners at ACOM traveled to Washington, DC competing at the 2017 national competition. ACOM placed first and second. The first-place team progressed to win the 2017 international competition in France.

These accomplishments resulted in changes to this year’s competition at ACOM, including an increased number of teams and a modified training schedule. Using Qualtrics survey software, data was collected from both participants and judges.

RESULTS: Longitudinal research of past competitions has been completed via post-competition surveys, with each year indicating students find the competition to be of significant educational value, and judges find the competition to represent realistic scenarios that students would likely encounter in clinical training. Preliminary results are showing similar responses.

CONCLUSION: This presentation will describe the process used in the competition, compare responses of students and judges, as well as share personal experiences of the researcher, who is a member of one of ACOM’s winning teams.

509 – Launching a Journal as a Catalyst for Increasing Student Publication
Monica Bailey, Magdalena Pasarica, and Juan Cendan
University of Central Florida College of Medicine

PURPOSE: To establish a research journal sponsored by the University to promote the opportunity for learners to publish and foster a culture of scholarship.

METHODS: “Flagship: Medical Scholarly Proceedings” journal was launched in January 2016. The Editorial Board selected Cureus as the platform because this platform provided: PubMed indexing; Commitment to quick publication; Open-access; no fees for the authors. The journal is published digitally on an ongoing basis. We compared the student’s report of authorship of peer reviewed papers from the AAMC Graduate Questionnaire in 2015 and 2017.

RESULTS: Since the launch, 59 articles have been published: Case reports (N=32, 54%) are the most frequent submission types to Flagship, followed by Reviews (N=17, 29%) and Original articles (N=10, 17%). The journal publishes an average of three publications/month. The average time to publication is 95 days, with the average number of deferrals at 2, indicating the high level of effort required to maintain our journals commitment to timely publication of high-quality submissions. Case reports were almost exclusively submitted by Residents and Faculty with Students submitting review and original articles. The AAMC Graduate Questionnaire showed an increase in the UCF medical students reporting authorship of a peer reviewed paper from 48.7 in 2015 to 68.7 in 2017. Since inception, the journal website was accessed over 105,000 times.

CONCLUSION: We conclude that the presence of an institutionally sponsored journal has enhanced the opportunities to publish for affiliated students, residents and faculty. Some lessons learned for institutions that would like to provide a similar platform for their students are: 1) Identify and train a wide breadth and depth of reviewers and 2) Provide training for new authors, via screencast or guides.

510 – Perception of Health-Related Case Studies in the Context of Introduction to Clinical Medicine Course
Dragan Jovanovic, Ranjan Solanki, Jam Khojasteh, Caleb Ackermann, Emily Satkovich, and Caine Marcus
Trinity School of Medicine, (Saint Vincent and The Grenadines campus)

Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate medical students’ and instructors’ perception  of case presentations in the context of  Introduction to Clinical  Medicine Course.

Methods: Trinity School of Medicine  term5 students were placed into groups of 4. Each group had to present a medical case report from a medical journal. Before and after the presentation term4 and term5 students had to answer the same 5 questions related to the clinical case. The dependent samples t-test was used to evaluate mean differences between pre-and post-test scores. At the end of the semester the students and the faculty were asked to complete a survey to assess their perception of case presentations (10 items, 4-point Likert-type scale, strongly agree to strongly disagree). t-Test and chi-square analysis were used to analyze this data.

Results: Following case presentation term4 students had an average increase of 29.60 percentage points,[t(99) = 10.04, p < .001] and term5 students had an average increase of 24.17 percentage points, [t(95) = 8.083, p < .001]. There were no significant differences in the term, or by grade (i.e., A, B, or C), [chi-square analysis, ?2(2) =  2.852, p > .05], in students’ evaluation od case presentation. Previous participation (i.e., yes or no), [chi-square test, ?2(2) =  3.00, p > .05], did not significantly influenced students perception in both terms. Both basic science instructors and clinical instructors positively evaluated presentations.

Conclusion: Students in both terms  had significant gains in  exam results. Case presentation offers detailed and critical interpretation of a case as an integrated whole, improve students’ ability to produce differential diagnosis and allow in-depth multifaceted explorations of complex issues in their real-life settings. This is a different way of learning providing a chance to understand the disease process in a more detailed manner.

Shane Schellpfeffer, Edward Simanton, and Valeriy Kozmenko
University of South Dakota and University of Nevada-Las Vegas

PURPOSE: In July of 2013, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine converted its curriculum model from block clerkships to a longitudinal integrated clerkship (LIC) across all clinical campuses. There was initial hesitation about switching the curriculum for many faculty members.

Previous research has found that faculty who teach in an LIC report more satisfying professional lives, as well as satisfaction with the experience of teaching clinical students. Additionally, mentoring of and getting to know students increases for faculty members in an LIC. Changes to teaching methods and practices was also reported.

METHODS: In the spring of 2015 and again in December of 2017, all faculty were surveyed about their experience in the two different models. Surveys included campus and specialty information and 1-5 numeric ratings comparing block clerkships to the LIC on six aspects of experience. After each rating, faculty were also able to provide narrative information. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, ANOVA, and Chi Square examination of differences between campuses and disciplines. Narrative data were examined thematically and conclusions were drawn.

RESULTS: The baseline data results found that primary care faculty were quite positive regarding the LIC while faculty in pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery tended to be more skeptical. This presentation will include the results from the follow up survey conducted in December of 2017 and make comparisons between the original research and faculty perceptions after completing three additional iterations of the LIC.

CONCLUSIONS: In the baseline survey, we found that changing from block clerkships to LIC is a long process and some faculty in some disciplines embrace the LIC more rapidly than others. We anecdotally expect to find that more faculty are engaged and accepting of the LIC after three additional iterations.

Poster Award Nominee:
512 – Club MICROBE: An extracurricular medical student-led group to promote distributed review of infectious disease content
Timothy J. Bauler
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

PURPOSE: Medical students at our institution proposed a student-led extracurricular club to develop infectious disease-related study materials to optimize their USMLE Step 1 performance.  Students and a faculty facilitator created Club MICROBE to promote distributed review of infectious disease content to enhance learning and retention.

METHODS: During each week of the M1 and M2 curriculum, 1-2 students wrote a patient vignette, practice question, and brief study card for a pathogen of their choosing.  Following review by the faculty facilitator, the materials were emailed to all of the students in the Club.  After taking the USMLE Step 1 exam, all students were surveyed about their perception of their infectious disease-related knowledge, and Club MICROBE participants were asked additional questions related to how they used the Club materials and if/how they thought the Club was beneficial.

RESULTS: Prior to their dedicated Step 1 study period, students who participated in the Club perceived their microbiology/infectious disease content knowledge to be superior compared to those students who did not participate in the Club (3.2 vs 2.5 on five-point Likert scale).  Students perceived that the Club was most useful by providing a distributed review of infectious disease content throughout the year, and by gradually increasing their infectious disease knowledge over time prior to their dedicated Step 1 study period.  Of the students that used Club materials during the M1 and M2 curriculum and/or dedicated Step 1 study period, two-thirds wished they had used the Club materials more extensively.

CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results indicate that the Club’s mission, to provide student-generated study materials to promote distributed review of infectious disease content throughout the entire M1 and M2 curriculum, was an overall success.  Student feedback has informed refinement of Club operation, optimization of content, and altered the method by which that content is delivered to the students.

Colleen O’Connor Grochowski, Scott Compton, Sandy Cook, and Diana McNeill
Duke University School of Medicine, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore

PURPOSE – With the emerging shortage of qualified basic science educators and the growing call for innovations in health professions education (HPE), Duke and Duke-NUS established a one-year post-doctoral fellowship in basic science education at each institution.  The goal of the fellowships is to create rigorously trained academic basic science educators with an understanding of the challenges facing biomedical science education (e.g., information explosion, vertical integration). This abstract describes the structure of the program and presents the framework for evaluating its effectiveness.

METHODS – A one-year curriculum was developed covering curriculum design; how to manage the learning environment; and, teaching, assessment, and evaluation strategies.  Also included are requirements for follows to complete observed teaching activities with feedback, an educational research project, and receive structured mentoring.   By visiting each other’s institution and ongoing collaboration, fellows learn the different methods for delivering similar curricula at each school and the associated cultural impacts on the education environment.  Evaluation plans for the effectiveness of the fellowships include the fellows’ reactions to the experience, other faculty members’ perceptions of the value added by the fellowships, a review of the fellows’ learning of the content and pedagogy, their contributions to the curriculum, research outcomes, and career trajectories.

RESULTS – Two individuals were recruited, one at each institution, starting in summer 2017.  The one-year fellowship curriculum was tailored to support individualized learning for each fellow, and to facilitate self-directed learning.  Evidence resulting from the evaluation plan will be available for review in Summer 2018.

CONCLUSIONS – We expect this will become a unique global model for reducing the shortage of quality academic basic science educators, improving the quality of HPE, and contributing to the advancement of educational scholarship. In addition, we anticipate these efforts will demonstrate the value of rigorously trained basic science educators resulting in enhanced career opportunities worldwide.

John P McNamara, Sara R Houser, Susan A Tolliver, David L Lugar, Jayasimha Rao, Michael F Nolan, and Kristen L Jagger
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicinie, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, and Radford University

PURPOSE: The purpose of this longitudinal study is to examine the inherent development of contamination of a new gross anatomy laboratory facility (Virginia Intercollegiate Anatomy Laboratory) with microorganisms such as bacteria and mold which destroy tissue, create stench, and cross-contaminate other cadaver specimens. Microorganism contaminants could then be identified to establish origination and future prevention.

METHODS: Twenty-two locations in and around the laboratory as well as three cadavers were chosen to be sampled every 120 days.  Samples were collected using sterile swabs moistened with sterile water which were then used to swab a twelve centimeter area of each location.  These swabs were used to inoculate a Tryptic soy agar plate using the isolation streak method and also a nutrient broth tube; both used to culture any bacterial species.  Secondly, the same swabs were also used to inoculate a Sabouraud agar plate to culture fungal organisms from each site.   The TSA plates, SAB plates and broth tubes were observed after 48 hours of incubation at 37° Celsius.   Quantification of growth in the TSA and SAB plates was noted numerically as zero for no growth, +1, +2 +3 and +4 for abundant growth.    Quantification of fungal growth was measured again after one month due to the fact that these species often grow at a slower rate.   Samples from plates showing growth have been frozen in glycerol and stored at -20°Celsius.

RESULTS: Preliminary results show bacterial growth in and around the laboratory increased approximately 27%, and fungal growth increased 58%. An increase in fungal growth of 100% was noted on one of the cadavers sampled.

CONCLUSION: It appears that significant microorganismal growth has taken place from Sample 0 to Sample 16. The ongoing research expectation is to continue sampling, perform DNA sequencing of the microorganisms, identify the species, and make recommendations for abatement in gross anatomy laboratories.

Ling Cao and Stephen Hull
University of New England and Mercy Hospital Pain Center

PURPOSE: Chronic pain is a serious health problem that continues to grow in prevalence. Yet, current medical education on pain management is extremely insufficient. Early 2016, we started a semester-long educational program titled “Supervised student interprofessional pain clinic” at Mercy Pain Center with students from various health profession programs at University of New England (UNE). At the end of the program, student teams are required to present their experience to the UNE community as part of the UNE’s Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) seminar series. In 2017, we started to evaluate whether these team oral presentations were effective in improving health profession students’ general understanding and attitudes towards 1) chronic pain and its management and 2) interprofessional practice.

METHORDS: During 2017, there were total of two student team presentations (one in each semester). To evaluate the educational value of the team presentation, pre- and post- presentation surveys were conducted with students who attend the team presentations regarding their attitudes and perception towards 1) chronic pain and its management using an in-house designed questionnaire, and 2) interprofessional practice using the previously validated “Interprofessional Education Perceptions Scale (IEPS)”. Also, we recorded attendees’ professions and numbers of IPEC seminars they have attended previously.

RESULTS: Our preliminary analysis suggest that overall students showed slight improvement in their attitudes and perception regarding chronic pain and its management. Particularly, students agreed that chronic pain was not best managed by a single physician. Students’ attitudes and perception towards interprofessional practice were significantly improved, which are reflected by the total scores and sub-category scores on “professional competence & amp; autonomy” and “actual cooperation” measured by the IEPS.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that students who did not participate in the interprofessional pain clinic program directly can still benefit from the team presentation by students who participated in the program.