The Northeast Region BSEF met at the spring Northeast Group on Educational Affairs (NGEA) conference in Baltimore, MD in March, 1992. The theme of the NGEA meeting was Integrating the Basic Sciences and Clinical Medicine: Breaking Down the Barriers. The BSEF program started with a brief organizational and informational meeting to sign on those interested in serving on a Regional Advisory Committee or working on BSEF project topics. Roger Koment told us about activities in the Central Region BSEF. An Open Forum on Integration of Teaching in the Basic and Clinical Sciences featured presentations by three basic scientists and questions and discussion by more than 40 medical educators attending the session.

Michael Cancro, Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine described a new program in Integrative Neurosciences, which presents concepts and information previously given in neurology, neurobiology, behavioral sciences, and neuropathology courses. The course, taught in the first year, has 172 hours of formally scheduled time, about equally divided between large and small group instruction. Philip Roane, Ph.D. from Howard University College of Medicine, described a new course in Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Disease. The course is designed to give students earlier exposure to clinical concepts in both small and large group settings. Camillo Benzo, Ph.D. from SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, spoke about Medical Gross Anatomy, which attempts to bring more clinically relevant applications of gross structure and function into the first year course using demonstrations by radiologists, surgeons, and neuroscientists, and takes anatomy into the clinical settings for senior medical students and residents through elective courses.

Next year the NGEA will meet in Quebec City, April 16-18. The conference title is Thinking, Learning, and Problem-Solving in Medical Students and Residents: Effective Learning Strategies for Medical Students and Residents; Defining Exam Content to Promote Good Knowledge Integration and Organization. The Northeast Region BSEF will meet on Saturday morning, April 17, from 9:00-12:00. I hope to hear from you about ideas for our program and look forward to seeing you in Quebec!


In March of 1992 the Basic Science Education Forum of the Southern Region held a Special Interest Group session on the recruitment and retention of minority students. Dr. Patricia Butler from the University of Texas – Houston described a pre-entry program at her institution that provides a 5-6 week summer enrichment experience for minority students prior to beginning medical school. Students take physiology, biochemistry, and anatomy, and have the opportunity to develop their study and computer skills. Their performance is closely monitored during the first year of medical school. Dr. Philip McHale from the University of Oklahoma described the development of the Native American Center of Excellence at his institution. Its primary goal is to recruit more Native Americans into careers in medicine and to enhance retention efforts for this group of minority students. The presenters and the participants agreed on the following points of discussion.

1.Students who participated in the pre-entry program performed as well or better academically as students who had not participated in the program.

2.One of the key benefits of the pre-entry program is the development of a degree of self-confidence in the minority student participants.

3.It is necessary to identify qualified minority students early in their academic careers in order to ensure that they develop appropriate study skills.

4.Retention efforts need to be especially active and directive, particularly with Native Americans, since many of these students are reluctant to seek help when they experience difficulty with their academic work or personal lives.


The BSEF Central Region Chapter met in joint session with the Clinical Education SIG (Robert Winter, M.D., Director [312]880-4302) during the recent CGEA spring conference in Lincolnshire, IL. Consistent with the overall conference theme of developing medical educators, this session explored the topic The Neglected Aspects of Faculty Development. Our invited speaker was Wayne Weston, M.D., from the University of Western Ontario, who chairs the Liaison Committee on Faculty Development for the EFPO (Educating Future Physicians of Ontario) Project, a collaborative group bringing Faculty Development to medical schools throughout Ontario.

Dr. Weston reviewed for an audience of 95 educators the holistic view of Faculty Development and the five domains of knowledge that any successful faculty member must master: Education, Administration, Research, Written Communication, and Professional Academic Skills. He focused his remarks on Administration and Professional Academic Skills.

Administration involves understanding the structure and function of an academic health center and integrating personal career goals with the institutional mission. He emphasized that leadership and management skills, especially in committee situations, depends upon time needed at that level. Successful leadership also depends upon good facilitating skills. Chairs must avoid the temptation to dominate discussions, instead promoting group problem-solving and keeping the discussion on track. Also important is good “followership”, when serving as a committee member: coming prepared, avoiding grandstanding for personal gain, and contributing to group process.

Professional Academic Skills (understanding the unwritten codes of academia, career management, developing professional networks) are largely a matter of emulation. This begins with advisors, continues with mentors or other role models, and develops throughout our careers by emulation of successful peers.

He described 10 characteristics of an ideal Faculty Development program: Early Onset, Mentorships, Personalized, Contextualized, Comprehensive, Accentuate the Positive, Ongoing, Institutionally Supported, Outcomes Evaluated, START NOW!

1.Bland, C.J., Schmitz, C.C., Stritter, F.T., Henry, R.C., Aluise, J.J.: Successful Faculty in Academic Medicine – Essential Skills and How to Acquire Them. Springer Publishing, New York. 1990.


Although the Western Region Group on Education Affairs (GEA) met this past spring in Asilomar, California, the Western Region BSEF did not officially participate in the activities of that meeting. There has been some discussion as to whether Special Interest Groups (SIGs) such as the BSEF should become part of the spring Asilomar meeting. I would argue that incorporating BSEF and other SIG sessions into the program provide on opportunity to attend a meeting focused on issues of medical education that many of us may not otherwise attend. Further, in my opinion the GEA could profit from a greater involvement of basic scientists. This, I feel would happen if the BSEF were to be included in the meeting. While nothing prevents us from attending this meeting currently, a program which included the BSEF would, in my view, encourage more of us to attend. The question is still not answered. I need to hear from BSEF members in the Western Region. Would you like to have BSEF activities or sessions associated with the spring (April) GEA meeting in Asilomar? Would you attend such a meeting? If such sessions were programmed, what kinds of issues or activities would you like to address?

On another note, I hope that we can increase the membership of the Western Region BSEF. Will each of you please let your colleagues know about our young organization and encourage them to join us in promoting Basic Medical Sciences in medical education. Those of you who have been reading borrowed copies of The Forum, please contact Roger Koment or me so that we can get you into the official membership Directory.