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December 7, 2009 call

January 20, 2010 call

February 2, 2010 call

February 22, 2010 call

Extracurricular Activities Small Group Call, December 7, 2009

Attending: Linda Lewin, small group co-chair; Valerie Smothers, staff; Carol Carraccio, Maureen Garrity, Simon Grant. 
The group reviewed commentary document from Elaine Dannefer in which she proposed definitions for formal curriculum and extracurricular, which the group refined:

Formal Curriculum - learning activities/courses that show up on the school transcript and for which credits towards the medical or primary health professions degree are reported.

Instead of extracurricular, the group decided that all other learning activities were learning activities not toward the medical or primary health professions degree. Those activities could be divided into those which lead to a different degree (MPH, PhD, etc) and those that were completed for professional enrichment.

The question as to whether professional enrichment should be further categorized is open to the larger group. 
The following activities show up on the formal curriculum and would be considered part of the formal curriculum of study:

  • Thesis
  • Coursework 

There are some cases where study abroad is on the transcript and part of the curriculum, others where it is not (if the student arranges himself). 


  • Keep verification and documentation aligned with what other small groups recommend.
  • Seek input from AAMC registrar's group regarding transcript questions

Extracurricular Activities Small Group Call, January 20, 2010

Attending: Carol Caraccio, Elaine Dannefer, Simon Grant, Kim Hoffman, Valerie Smothers,

Valerie began the call by relaying the current decisions by the working group and the open questions for this group to consider.

Current buckets of information:

  • Dismissal
  • Withdrawal
  • Leave of absence
  • Enrichment

Open questions

  • How do we categorize activities leading to another degree?
  • How do we categorize activities leading to a certificate? Is that part of activities towards the primary (MD) degree?
  • How do we categorize programs like Flexible MD and Pathways to Discovery, which may extend the amount of time to graduate but don't necessarily lead to a joint degree or certificate?

In some schools, the students can get a second degree without lengthening the amount of time it takes to complete the degree. In others, the student must take a year away from the MD program to complete a secondary degree.

The group agreed that the important thing for residency directors to know was if the student was doing something beyond the others. The details of what type of degree was obtained would be secondary and could be found on an official transcript.

The group agreed to the following categories:

  • Enrichment
  • Coursework leading to MD or primary degree
  • Coursework beyond MD or primary degree

The definition of coursework would be any credit bearing activity from an accredited academic institution OR any activity from an accredited academic institution put on an official transcript. Visually, joint degrees may appear as parallel bars on the educational trajectory chart. The description provided could be a summary description; a link to the transcript could be provided. 

Extracurricular Activities Small Group Call, February 2, 2010

The group explored how one would categorize coursework that is leading to the MD degree but is elective and requires substantial extra work (such as Pathways to discovery). The groups also discussed verifying of enrichment activities.

The group concurred that the current categories of coursework leading to MD or primary degree, coursework beyond MD or primary degree, and enrichment were sufficient. When describing coursework leading to MD or primary degree, the group recommended having the following data fields:

  • Title
  • Link to more information

The link would go to a one paragraph description of the program completed. If the learner is engaged in an elective program such as pathways to discovery, the description could indicate that.

The group also considered the issue of student publications and decided to omit student publications from the trajectory for the time being. Elaine added that we should seek reaction from the larger group on this topic.

With regard to verification of enrichment activities, the group recommended:

  • Requiring a reference contact that could verify the learner's involvement and role.
  • Allowing an optional link to evidence of the enrichment activity.

Extracurricular Activities Small Group, February 22, 2010


The larger group had objected to the extracurricular small group's proposal to omit publications and instead proposed links alongside the paragraph describing the program that point to outputs in addition to a list of publications. The small group agreed, recommending that we encourage the learner to include the publication as an attachment when possible or provide a link to a publicly accessible version of the publication on the Web. There may be multiple publications for any one activity.

Verification of enrichment activities

Initially the small group had recommended requiring a reference contact that could verify the learner's involvement and role and allowing an optional link to evidence of the enrichment activity. The larger group did not support the recommendation for a reference. In considering this feedback, the small group agreed to leave references out and keep an optional link to a work product (publication, presentation, etc.) associated with the enrichment activity and/or a testimonial from a supervisor describing the impact of a student's contributions. All agreed that a student would have to have a significant impact to ask for a testimonial.

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