Director's Message
Director photo
The mission of OMERAD is to improve medical education through evaluation and research, programs of faculty development and consultation services. We do this in many different ways. All OMERAD staff and faculty are involved in supporting programs in the College of Human Medicine. We regularly receive requests for consultation that cover a broad range of topics such as curriculum development, student assessment, instructional design, program evaluation, educational resource development, training and professional development, and educational scholarship. OMERAD also works closely with other CHM units such as academic departments, Faculty Affairs and Development, College-wide Assessment, Academic Programs, and Research and Community Engagement.
OMERAD maintains an increasing number of resources to enhance faculty instruction and scholarship. There are instructional tutorials and sample educational resource materials available through the OMERAD website. OMERAD is also home to the DR-ED listserv, a global virtual community of over 1500 medical educators, and Medical Education Online, an open access journal for health professions education. We also maintain a student performance database with information about students from the time they apply to medical school to ten years after they graduate. This database is used for annual reporting as a means of monitoring the outcomes of CHM educational programs, as well as providing information needed for accreditation and other agency reporting. The database also is available to faculty interested in educational scholarship. On the first Wednesday of each month, OMERAD hosts a medical education scholarship group. This group is open to anyone interested in educational scholarship and provides a forum for discussion and collaboration.
Finally, we hope that each issue of Vital Signs leaves you with something new, whether it be someone to contact, information about a resource, or an idea to pursue.  
Brian Mavis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine


OMERAD Website updated 
The OMERAD website has undergone a recent update using the new template that has been developed for the College of Human Medicine and CHM departments and units. The new design makes information easier to find and incorporates accessibility features.
OMERAD Technology Center
The mission of the OMERAD Technology Center (OTC) is to facilitate the application of information technology to support medical education and research. Units within the College of Human Medicine interested in sponsoring faculty and/or staff development programs in support of education and scholarship may request use the room.
The OTC is located in A211 East Fee Hall and houses 20 Windows computers for training participants and one instructor station. Each computer is equipped with a webcam and a headset with microphone, and has the following software installed: Microsoft Office 2003; Internet Explorer; Firefox; Camtasia Studio; and Snagit.
OMERAD Newsletter Archive
The Vital Signs newsletter archive is now available. Follow the link to our most recent e-newsletters.

CHM Graduate Follow-up Survey 
Each year CHM sponsors a survey of four cohorts: the residency directors of the most recent graduates as well as the graduates themselves two, six and ten years after graduation. This survey is an important component of CHM's commitment to on-going curriculum evaluation. This survey also helps us meet an accreditation standards set by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME). 
The questionnaire for residency program directors asks respondents to rate our graduate relative to other residents on multiple dimensions such as general medical knowledge, clinical problem solving, patient management and professionalism. The questionnaire for graduates covers a variety of areas related to adequacy of preparation, practice characteristics, career satisfaction as well as research and scholarship.
The 2009 graduate Follow-up Survey included the residency directors of the graduates of 2008 as well as the graduates themselves of 2007, 2003 and 1999. The summary report will be released next week and made available widely within across CHM. The report is sent to all administrators and department chairs and directors. The survey results also are the students in each year as well as many major committees including the curriculum committee and the college advisory committee.   

Project Highlight: Virtual Interactive Bacteriology Labs (VIBL)

Faculty: Dr. Cindy Arvidson, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
Type of project: Open Access Learning Website.
Students enrolled in the Medical Microbiology and Immunology course (MMG 522) in the Spring 2010 will have the opportunity to use a set of Virtual Interactive Bacteriology Labs using an open access website to learn a variety of tests that are done in a diagnostic microbiology laboratory to identify bacterial pathogens from patient samples. Each module demonstrates a different laboratory test, and the student is able to carry out and interpret the results of each test with controls and/or unknowns.
These interactive modules will be used by students in MMG 522 to practice and develop their skills using the technology as preparation for their participation in a wet lab exercise. In the physical (wet) lab, students will be required to apply the techniques learned in the virtual modules to identify bacterial unknowns associated with clinical case histories in a small group format and compile a lab report with the results obtained.
The Virtual Interactive Bacteriology Labs site was designed as an open access learning website to facilitate the exchange of teaching resources with students, health educators and learners around the world.   
To access the VIBL site, please visit:
For more information about design and uses of open access learning environments in your course, please contact B-CLR Manager, Geraud Plantegenest at [email protected]  
To find out more about B-CLR (free) consultation services to CHM faculty, please visit:
CHM Program Evaluation
First Year Medical Students Opinions About the Impact of Expansion: A Comparison of Two Cohorts 

Recent student surveys at CHM have included an opportunity for students to write about the anticipated negative and positive impact of CHM expansion on their education. The opinions of two cohorts of first-year medical students are compared: the 106 matriculants of 2006 (the last pre-expansion class to be admitted) and the 156 matriculants of 2007, who were the first expanded class admitted.
Students matriculating prior to expansion anticipated more negative consequences and with different impacts than did students who were part of the expanded class. The different perspective of students only a year apart underscores the changing information and support needs of students as expansion continues.  

What Kind of Impact Do You Anticipate Because of Expansion?
Student Life
Respondents in both cohorts anticipated mostly negative consequences associated with expansion. Prior to expansion, most concerns listed by students (49%) were about impact on student life, such as study space, computer access, parking and accessibility of administrators. Although less frequent (35%), students in the expanded class had similar concerns about student life. 
Educational Experience
Many concerns of students in the expanded class (31%) were their educational experience. These concerns focused on the impact of distance-learning for sharing lectures across sites and consequently the comparability of the educational experience. Fewer education concerns (15%) were listed by students in the pre-expansion class.
The impact of expansion on the institutional mission was perceived mostly as negative for students in the pre-expansion class, while it was unanimously positive for students in the expanded class.
Faculty Development
Creating Posters in PowerPoint XP

Are you presenting a poster at a conference? A good way to make an interesting and easy-to-read poster is by creating the poster as a giant slide in PowerPoint. You've never done this? Don't worry. If you know the basics of PowerPoint, you can make a poster
with a little hand-holding.  

OMERAD frequently offers a hands-on workshop on how to make a poster using PowerPoint, but if you missed it, no problem. There is now a website containing a free online tutorial on that topic. Here is the URL:

The online tutorial contains 10 movies that are between 3 and 10 minutes in length. You may watch the movies in any order as needed.  
  1. Differences between Making Posters and Making Slides
  2. How to Use a Template
  3. Using the Zoom Menu
  4. Working with Text
  5. Working with Bullets
  6. Inserting Images
  7. Working with Tables
  8. Working with Charts
  9. Aligning Poster Elements
  10. Printing a Poster
Using a poster template makes poster production even easier. OMERAD provides two poster templates using the new CHM design scheme. One template is for a 24" by 36" vertical poster. The second template is for a 36" by 56" horizontal poster.
 24" by 36" Vertical Poster Template
 36" by 56" Horizontal Poster Template
The website provides some resources to help you. The first is the set of templates just described. The second is the downloadable tutorial used in the hands-on workshop. It is designed and formatted to be printed double-sided and in color. The third resource is an instructor's guide to help you if you want to teach your own workshop using the online or print tutorial.
If you have any questions about the online tutorial please contact Deborah Sleight, PhD, at
[email protected].
In This Issue
CHM Program Evaluation
Faculty Development
Hot Off the Press
The Effectiveness of a Post-Baccalaureate Program for Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds: An Eighteen  Year Analysis.
Lipscomb, W.D., Mavis, B., Fowler, L.V., Green, W.D. & Brooks, G.L.    
Published in Academic Medicine.  2009; 84(10 Suppl): S42-S45.
Click here to view the abstract.
If you woud like to receive a full PDF version of the paper, please send an email to Dr. Mavis at:
DR-ED A Medical Education listserv maintained by OMERAD.

MEO is a forum for disseminating information on education physicians and other health professionals.
Medical Education Scholarship Group
Meets 1st Wednesday of each month in room A216 East Fee Hall from 1:30pm-3:00pm
For questions about this group contact Dr.  Mavis: [email protected]
OMERAD Technology Center (OTC) 
Units within the College of Human Medicine interested in sponsoring faculty and/or staff development programs in support of education and scholarship may request use of the room.
The OTC is located in A211 East Fee Hall.
For questions about the OTC contact John Williamson: [email protected]
Contact  Us
For questions about this newsletter, please
contact us at:

[email protected] 
Visit our website for more information:

The Office of Medical Education Research and Development is a unit within the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University.Its mission is to improve medical education and related service programs through evaluation and research consultation, relevant instruction, and programs of faculty development.
Established in 1966, OMERAD is the oldest continuously operating office of medical education in the United States.

A-202 East Fee Hall
East Lansing, Michigan 48824