Medical Science Educator Volume 14: No. 1

Message from the Editor

Douglas J. Gould, Ph.D.

This is already the fourth volume of the Journal of the International Association of Medical Science Educators (JIAMSE). I would like to take this opportunity to update you and focus your attention on the current volume of JIAMSE (Volume 14, Number 1), and call your attention to some of the successes that we have enjoyed… Read more »

The Medical Educator’s Resource Guide

John R. Cotter, Ph.D.

With the academic year about to begin shortly, it is a fitting time to check the status of online resources that are to be used on an established course resource page. Do the web pages still exist on the Internet, and if they do, do the hyperlinks for the web pages still work? Even if… Read more »

Human Rights In Medical Ethics Education

Berna Arda, M.D., Ph.D.


Human rights (HR) is important in medicine; violations in HR not only result in health problems but some kinds of HR violations are possible in treatment by medical professionals themselves. Therefore in medical education, awareness of HR, their reflections in the community and in treatment approaches are essential. This article is devoted to HR in medical ethics as a different educational perspective. The pilot study was carried out in our medical ethics course with a class of third year students at Ankara University School of Medicine during Spring 2000 semester. The study focused on the superiority of an interactive education over a classical education in medical ethics through the problems related to HR. The data reflects that role-playing as one of the interactive learning experiences is the best suited to help medical students achieve the curriculum’s educational objectives.

Formative and Summative Assessment of the Problem-Based Learning Tutorial Session Using a Criterion-Referenced System

L. Leticia Elizondo-Montemayor, Ph.D.


Many medical schools have moved towards problem-based learning (PBL). Unfortunately, the use of PBL in many medical schools has not been followed with appropriate changes in evaluation of students. Assessment of PBL needs to focus on the objectives that PBL fosters in conjunction with the educational course objectives. In an effort to appropriately assess PBL sessions, The School of Medicine Tec de Monterrey uses a criterion-based system that includes three checklists: 1) tutor assessment of students, 2) self-assessment, and 3) peer-assessment. Each checklist contains criteria that correspond to the four objectives (rubrics) of PBL: knowledge application, critical thinking, self-directed study and collaboration, and a fifth rubric for professionalism and attitude during the discussion. Course objectives are integrated within each of the rubrics. The three checklists are used for summative and formative purposes in all PBL core courses of the Basic Medical Sciences department and for the Gynecology PBL core clinical course. Although no quantifiable data have been obtained, the use of this criterion-based system has helped establish appropriate standards of performance. Additionally, it has assisted in identifying those students who are having trouble developing critical thinking and decision-making skills and has greatly fostered feedback to students. If PBL assessment is consistent with curricular goals and course learning objectives, validity of assessment is enhanced and subjectivity across instructors’ evaluations can be diminished.

Bridging the Gap Between the Scientific and Societal Aspects of Medical Education

Rakesh K. Kumar, M.B.B.S, Ph.D.1, Nicholas J. Hawkins, M.B.B.S., M.H.Ed., Ph.D.1, Peter Harris, M.B.B.S.2, Gary M. Velan, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.1


Integrated assessments which are aligned with learning objectives and teaching methods may help to reinforce the linkage of the medical sciences with the professional practice of medicine. In the existing discipline-based medicine program at the University of New South Wales, a project-based assessment in pathology was introduced in 1996, which required students to focus on the cost vs. benefit of investigative procedures. Students have performed well in this individualized assessment, which has experiential and reflective components and is highly rated as a learning exercise. In the new integrated medicine program commencing in 2004, students will undertake a series of project-based assessments linking medical sciences to societal aspects of health and disease. Whether undertaking such assessments contributes to a long-term change in clinical behaviour will require follow-up with graduates from our new program

What Are Classroom Management Issues For Undergraduate Science Teaching Assistants?

Bayram Akarsu, Ph.D. Candidate


The purpose of this study was to explore and discover classroom management problems encountered by undergraduate science teaching assistants (TAs). Information about TA perceptions of classroom management problems was obtained to better understand how gender, teaching experience, and academic discipline affected their classroom management experiences. Study subjects consisted of 25 TAs in various science departments (e.g. physics, chemistry, and biology) at a large Midwestern University. Sixty percent (n=15) of them were male, and forty percent (n=10) were female. Regarding subjects’ teaching experience with undergraduate level students, twenty percent (n=5) of them possessed three years or more teaching experience, forty percent (n=10) had teaching experience between one and three years, and the other forty percent (n=10) had a teaching experience of one year at the time of the study. An Email survey was used for data collection from 125 graduate TAs in various science departments. TAs responded to ten challenging student behaviors in the classroom that were developed from DiGiulio’s (1995) questionnaire. Results from this study reveal a variance in classroom management problems were primarily due to TA type (United States Teaching Assistants or International Teaching Assistants).

Virtual Lectures: A New Teaching Format For The Medical School Curriculum

Frank Slaby, Ph.D.


Macromedia’s authoring programs Flash and Director have been combined to produce virtual lectures in which animated drawings are synchronized with a lecturer’s remarks. Virtual lectures can be distributed with a verbatim transcript of the lecturer’s remarks. Virtual lectures improve upon live lectures by teaching mainly through visual means, which enhances comprehension and recall. Second, they transform the lecture format from a passive to an active learning process because virtual lectures can be studied in association with textbooks, websites, or the contributions of fellow students. Third, they address potential apprehension by students that material may be missed or misunderstood during a lecture. It is possible that student recognition of convenience, better time management, greater comprehension and improved recall will all ultimately lead to the substitution of many, if not most, live lectures during the preclinical years by virtual lectures.

What Do We Know About the Anxieties of Students Starting Clinical Studies?

Sibel Kalaa, M.D., MPH, zlem Sarikaya, M.D., Ph.D., Devrim Keklik, M.D., Mehmet Ali Glpinar, M.D.


This study aimed to determine anxiety-producing situations among medical students starting clinical studies from their own and their teachers’ perspectives. Students’ perceived anxieties were assessed by means of a questionnaire. The same questionnaire was given to the teachers involved in clinical training during the fourth year of medical education. Teachers were asked to complete the questionnaire as they thought the introductory students would have done. According to the students, the top five situations that produce anxiety were: giving a wrong treatment, getting diagnoses wrong, carrying out cardiopulmonary resuscitation, inadvertently hurting patients and becoming infected by patients. The situations that were found to be as anxiety producing by the teachers were mostly related to communicating with patients. It is important to identify and minimize the sources of anxiety before students are exposed. But the teacher first needs to be aware of these sources and the fact that students may respond differently to their clinical activities.

A Collaborative Strategy for Reciprocal Integration of Basic and Clinical Sciences

Edmund H. Duthie, Jr., M.D.1, Deborah Simpson, Ph.D.2, Karen Marcdante, M.D.2, Diana Kerwin, M.D.1, Kathryn Denson, M.D.1, and Mary Cohan, M.D.1


Geriatric patient cases are ideal for use by basic science educators who seek to link key principles and concepts with clinical medicine. However, access to geriatric educators and geriatric patients able to highlight the evolution of a particular disease/condition, limits the basic science educator??bf?s ability to easily incorporate clinical cases into their teaching. To address this resource limitation, we developed five core geriatric clinical cases, each portraying a patient who ages over time, for repeated use in multiple courses/clerkships across the four-year medical student curriculum. In this article, we describe the process involved in designing the cases with illustrative examples of their use in selected basic science courses. Guided by John Kotter??bf?s change process, the project team sponsored a series of invitational workshops composed of basic science and clinical educators whose expertise was related to the patient under review. At each workshop, an abstracted patient record was presented (e.g., longitudinal history, physical exam, laboratory data, and diagnostic images), and participants modified the case to better highlight teaching points associated with their respective courses/clerkships. Each updated case was then circulated to all workshop attendees, and other educators across the curriculum, for incorporation into their instruction. The flexibility of each case enables faculty to use the case(s) in varied settings (e.g., lectures, problem based learning groups, labs) matched to the objectives, resulting in students having a longitudinal experience with five geriatric patients and their diseases. The cases continue to be incorporated into the curriculum with students reinforcing the value of their inclusion as they follow the patient??bf?s diabetes and its progression through biochemistry, physiology, surgery and medicine. In summary, Kotter??bf?s change steps effectively guided the project team and can serve as a model for educators seeking to enhance reciprocal integration of basic and clinical sciences.

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