Director's Message   

Director photo

In November 2011, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released the second of two reports focusing on biological and social science competencies. These reports prioritize the important scientific competencies expected of medical school matriculants and those expected of medical school graduates prior to entering postgraduate training. These reports were the result of a partnership between the AAMC and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to promote efficiency across the continuum of premedical and medical education. They build prior consensus conference reports from the US and Canada, and reexamine the role of physician within a competency-based perspective.


There were three principles guiding this effort of the expert groups that developed these reports. The role of a medical school is to: educate future physicians to be inquisitive; help them build a strong scientific foundation for future medical practice; and equip them with the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to integrate new scientific discovery into their medical practice throughout their professional lives.


The first report, Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians, was released in 2009 and focused on recommended competencies in the biological, physical, mathematical, genetic, and molecular sciences. The report also identifies a number of strategies that educators might consider in efforts to achieve competency in these areas.


Behavioral and Social Science Foundations for Future Physicians, is the second report and was released in November of last year. It identifies competency frameworks related to the behavioral and social sciences, highlighting instructional methods and learner performance outcomes to guide faculty in designing and implementing behavioral and social science curricula. In addition, the report identifies health care challenges that are well-suited to the conceptual models and methods of inquiry common to behavioral and social science research.  


As we consider a new curriculum for the College of Human Medicine that emphasizes content integration over disciplinary approaches, strengthens the linkage between learning and assessment, and builds upon patient encounters and clinical experiences as key learning experiences, the competency-based perspectives presented in these companion reports provide support for our reform goals.


Click here: Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians 

Click here: Behavioral and Social Science Foundations for Future Physicians


Brian Mavis, PhD
Associate Professor and Director
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine


CHM curriculum posters available online 

Since the Curriculum Committee announcement of a new curriculum design effort, the response has been very enthusiastic.  Many faculty members asked how they could be involved and many had suggestions for the next curriculum. In response the Office of Academic Affairs sponsored a poster session for CHM faculty, staff and students to present their ideas. An informative and stimulating poster session and reception featuring 38 submissions was held on February 1, 2012. These posters are available for review online.  If you were unable to attend or would like to see the posters again, they are available on the website below.



Measuring Student Abilty to Do the Work that Doctors Do

Periodically OMERAD names a national leader in medical education with the title Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education. This award is intended to stimulate and support interaction around ideas and projects in medical education, with primary focus on the development and assessment of clinical competence. The award is named for Jack L. Maatsch, who served as a professor and director in OMERAD until 1989. His research focus was on the use of simulation technology in teaching and assessment.


The visiting scholar this year is Reed G. Williams, PhD. He is the J. Roland Folse Professor of Surgical Education Emeritus at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and co-author of the book The Diagnosis and Treatment if the Failing Student (Standardized Patient Failures).


Dr. Williams will be speaking on the subject Measuring Student Ability to Do the Work that Doctors Do. His presentation will be held on Monday, March 12, at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development on Forest Road in East Lansing, next to the University Club. Attendance is free but registration is required as seating is limited. The lecture will begin at 3:30 pm, with a reception at the Henry Center afterward.


This year OMERAD will also be making the lecture available via videoconferencing to Grand Rapids and Flint, and as a webinar to individual desktops. You will receive further information when you register.


Please register at [email protected]


Do You Tweet?

Twitter Use in Medical Education 

Twitter is on online micro-blogging and social networking tool that allow users share a wide variety of information with an online community of networked users using 140 characters or less. By using a Twitter account, a user can post comments (or "tweets") and share these with their friends ("followers") on topics they care about.


Twitter launched in 2006 and has been gaining ground as one of the fastest growing social media sites as the community of Twitterers continues to grow. In medical education, Twitter is not just being used by individuals sharing information about themselves and what they are doing, but is also used by medical schools, hospitals, medical libraries, medical journals, and by faculty members and students.

See OMERAD's Twitter page online


Twitter is mobile too and all of the Twitter functions are available through SMS (Short Message Service). If you provide Twitter with a cell phone number or IM contact information, you can "follow" individual users, even if you are not friends with them. By choosing to follow a user, you will be notified by phone, IM, or both any time that person posts a new tweet. 

Using Twitter

Twitter can be used to share announcements, gathering/sharing resources (locally and globally), promoting activities, sharing employment opportunities, and professional networking.

This image shows how  the AAMC uses Twitter to share a  link with their followers about  the new MCAT examination


In the classroom twitter can be used to connect with fellow students, collaborate on a project, make class announcements, follow mentors, brainstorming, sharing pictures and promoting class-related events (e.g., study groups, exam reviews, etc). 


So, should you care about Twitter?

Your institution is tweeting, your students are tweeting and even some of your colleagues are in Twitter already. There is a lot of "just-in-time" information being shared thru this social media channel and it can become an effective tool to add to your day-to-day toolbox depending on how you use it and who you decide to follow.

Here are some examples of active Twitterers and resources available thru our college, from MSU and beyond that are worth exploring:

Dean Rappley Twitter

- OMERAD Twitter

- CHM Office of Research Twitter

-  MSU Social Networks  

-  The Chronicle of Higher Education

B-CLR offers free instructional design consultations to CHM faculty needing help with blended and online curricular materials. To find out more about B-CLR  services, visit  the B-CLR webpageContact Geraud Plantegenest, B-CLR Manager, at [email protected].

CHM Program Evaluation
CHM Graduate Follow-up Survey: Graduates' Opinions about our Strengths and Weaknesses 

In 1989, the College of Human Medicine initiated a longitudinal follow-up study of graduates in an effort to: (a) assess the strengths and weaknesses that CHM graduates demonstrate in their residency training; (b) elicit graduates' evaluation of the adequacy of their CHM education; and (c) obtain career information about CHM graduates.   As part of this process, each year graduates from two years prior are asked to complete a questionnaire: in 2011, the graduates of 2009 were surveyed.   In the final section of the survey respondents are invited to list the single greatest strength and single greatest weakness of both the CHM preclinical curriculum and the clinical curriculum. All of the responses are transcribed and content analyzed. The following themes were mentioned by two or more graduates. The number in parentheses indicates the number of years a theme has been on the list.


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Once again this year, PBL appeared as a major strength and major weakness of the preclinical curriculum. Only a few respondents indicated that they did not like PBL as an instructional model; often their complaints were related to the lack of consistency in the small groups. Generally the quality of the curriculum and instruction are a continuing strength. The use of prosection in anatomy, and lack of structured board preparation programs continue as perceived weaknesses. The word clouds below show the relative frequency of each theme: those mentioned by more respondents are shown in a larger font.


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The quality of the community-based clinical education, including the faculty and residents who teach our students, remains a strength recognized by our graduates. The community-based model provides a rich educational experience in a supportive environment. Graduates report the elective experiences, variability of core competencies, length of the psychiatry clerkship and lack of a neurology clerkship as continuing weaknesses.  


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Faculty Development
OOMPA: Five Easy Ideas for Structuring a Lecture 

Do students have trouble following or understanding your lecture? Do you worry you might be leaving important information out? There are ways to provide students information about the structure of your lecture that will facilitate their learning from it. 

Begin your lecture with these five slides: Objectives, Overview, Motivation, Prerequisites, and Agenda.



Objectives describe what you expect your students to learn from your lecture. They are like a roadmap to people who are expected to arrive at a specific destination. Here is an example of an objective for a Health Policy course:


Objective: State how these three ideas about

health policy affect clinical practice:

1) high quality medicine, 2) rationing, and 3) cost control.


Notice that the way the objective is written looks an awful lot like a test item. In fact, objectives should describe the test. Each lecture will most likely have several objectives, but only one goal. Goals are more general than objectives, and describe the lecture as a whole. Here is the goal that might go with the objective described above:


Goal: Today you will learn how health

policy affects clinical practice.


Listing the objectives helps students know what they should get out of the lecture. The objectives slide goes just after the title slide or the motivation slide (see below).



An overview of the lecture content lists the main ideas to be presented. Here is an example of an overview for a Health Policy course:


            Overview: Access to Health Care, Paying for

Health Care, Quality of Health Care


An overview helps students follow the lecture by providing a scaffold on which the lecture is built. Select only the main ideas so students can remember them. Do not overburden them with a long list or outline of ideas. Put the outline in the course pack instead of in your slides.



Motivation describes to students why they might want to learn the information in your lecture, or the impact the lecture material might have on them individually. Here is an example of a motivation slide:


Motivation: You will be in clinical practice in a few years.

Here is how the changes in health policy might affect you.


Make the motivation something real life, something immediate or soon. You might put the motivation slide right after the objectives slide, or even right after the title slide.



Prerequisites describe the knowledge learners are expected to have before the lecture begins. An example of prerequisites for a course could be the knowledge learned in a previous course. Check that learners already know the concepts and terms you expect them to know, and briefly explain them if learners do not know them. This slide should come before the lecture proper.



An agenda lists the order of events in the lecture. Here is an example of an agenda:


Agenda: Today I will explain xxx.

During this time I will present three cases and

ask you to identify the best solution.


You may also want to indicate how long each event is expected to take. Providing an agenda gives students more of a feeling of being in control because they know what comes next.


Use OOMPA as a mnemonic to help you remember these five slides. Giving OOMPA information at the beginning of your lecture will enable students to follow it more easily and will give you more peace of mind.

In This Issue
CHM Program Evaluation
Faculty Development
Hot Off the Press

Articles published by OMERAD faculty:

Publication Fees in open access publishing: Sources of funding and factors influencing choice of journal. 


Solomon DJ, Bj�rk B-C. 


Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.  2012; 63(1) 98-107. DOI: 10.1002/asi.21660.


Eating Fish: Maximizing the Benefits and Minimizing the Risk.


Rosenman K, Solomon DJ, Hortos K.


MedEdPORTAL, 2012.  


An interactive gallery featuring examples of CHM blended and online learning projects by B-CLR
A medical education listserv maintained by OMERAD

Peer-reviewed international
open access journal for disseminating information on the education and training of physicians and other health care professionals

Click on the link to view past issues of our newsletter

Medical Education Scholarship Group
Meets first Wednesday of each month in room A216 East Fee Hall from 1:30 pm-3:00 pm.For questions about this group contact Dr. Brian 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:


Visit our website for more information:
Follow us on Twitter @omerad_chm 



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