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Meeting Information


January 29, 2010


8 PST/11 EST/16 GMT

Attending: Kim Hoffman, Chair; Carol Carraccio, Bob Galbraith, Gwen Garrison, Maureen Garrity, Simon Grant, Lindsey Henson, Linda Lewin,Chandler Mayfield, Amber Montañano, Pat O'Sullivan, Morgan Passiment, Kevin Souza, Sandra Waters.

Agenda Items

1 Review minutes of last meeting

The minutes were approved.

2 Small group reports

Valerie summarized the most recent call of the Extracurricular activities small group. The purpose of the call was to clarify how we characterize activities leading to another degree and programs like Pathways to Discovery, which may extend the amount of time to graduate but don't lead to a joint degree or certificate. 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. 

Using this list of categories, programs like pathways to discovery would be considered Coursework leading to the MD or primary degree. Pat and Chandler provided several examples of students with various trajectories that further illustrate the implications of this categorization system.

3 Evaluation of students completing special programs*(pathways for discovery, flexible md)*

Pat sent three student MSPE's, one for a student who went though pathways, another for a student who went through a joint degree program, and another for a student with a more traditional trajectory. Pathways does appear on the transcript. In some ways Pathways is beyond the primary degree, but it is usually completed within same timeframe using elective time. The second student, John Doe, is in a joint degree program, completing the first 2 years at Berkeley, taking the third year to complete the Masters degree, and completing the last 2 years at UCSF. John Doe.

Pat commented that the way Pathways shows up on the transcript is hard to identify. In some cases it's independent study, in others there are special courses. Each pathway has a different requirement.

Carol commented that based on Pathways being in the transcript it would be considered coursework towards the MD or primary degree. Pat agreed.

Carol commented that the program sounded intense, and on some levels, the student would not be receiving the appropriate recognition using the proposed categorizations. The powerpoint was very helpful in understanding this. As a result, such a student would be at a disadvantage. She asked that the group think further about how to highlight this part of the curriculum. Pat agreed.

Linda commented that this was similar to comparing students from different schools. Lerner has a five year program, which is apparent on the transcript. Kim asked if we could provide a link to a description of the program. Pat commented there is something similar in the MSPE. Carol commented that  no one will click on an extra link. She asked if a fourth category was warranted.  

Lindsey commented that at Lerner, every student is required to do a thesis. That appears as a notation on the transcript. A subset of students take additional coursework and get a masters. At Minnesota, they allow students to engage in enriching activities, but it does not end up on the transcript.

Kim asked if there were a fourth category what would it be? Simon commented that whatever it is it must be clear and unambiguous. Linda offered school-specific extra activity. Kim commented that would become an all other category. Linda added that the school would have to designate what is in what category and could exaggerate.

Kim asked Carol why having this particular thing drawn to her attention is important. Carol replied that recruiting students wiling to go above and beyond is a top priority. Kim recommended continuing the discussion on the EC call next week. Valerie added that publications were also missing; she recommended the extracurricular activities group discuss that as well. Linda agreed.

The Technical Architecture group is meeting before the next call and will report at that time.

4 Implementing MCAS and ERAS

Gwen commented that the AAMC works with program directors and med schools through both client based and web browser based applications. In one case they are using XML. Most of their applications are web browser based. As long as the school has a browser they can support, they can upload and download information. When they need to do fix, they take the site down and put up a new site. One program (eras) is a client based application. They exchange info via program directors work station. They support 4 different operating systems. Updates require a path, a downloadable file, and they often need to work with IT folks to upload. The process can be excruciating because of lack of IT resources. In high resource environments, IT staff may push out updates like adobe reade that create a conflict with the client based application, then they need to roll back to the previous version. It takes 4-6 employees to resolve these technical issues.

They do not have preferred design model, but they are adopting MedBiquitous standards as they go forward with new applications. They support 160 apps. Getting people to upload through website can be easy and effective. They can do webinars to train people easily.

Valerie commented that Gwen's comments point to a clear path forward for the group. Browser-based applications that allow medical schools to upload data will work well. In the short term, this data is likely to be an excel spreadsheet. In the long term, we can move to Web services based solutions that transfer XML data. The two may co-exist to address needs for schools with differing levels of technical expertise.

Gwen agreed that the AAMC could be used as an exchange. They have much data and could extract data for XML exchanges. They are tightly connected to Howard Hughes, for example, and send test scores and undergraduate coursework in XML with the student's application.

5 Specification development

Valerie agreed to draft a specification for the call on Feb 12.

Kim asked what feedback Valerie would need from the group. Valerie commented that the types of comments Carol made earlier on the call, whether important information is missing, not highlighted sufficiently, or not characterized correctly, is what she needs from the group. Those with technical expertise are welcome to offer technical advice as well.

Kim asked the group to provide additional examples of students for analysis. A typical or memorable student story would help us to see implications of the technical specification. It can be a short paragraph. Maureen agreed to do one for the next call.

We will start with the Pat scenario and see how that plays out. Lindsey offered to send some as well. Kim asked Valerie to contact Neil and Elaine to see how a 5 year program would play out in the specification.

6 Open discussion

Kim summarized that for the next call we will have a technical group report, and extracurricular activity group report, and an early draft of the specification. By the meeting on the 26th, we can spend most of the call working through the technical specification.


Action Items

  • Valerie will draft a technical specification for the February 12 phone call.
  • Valerie will contact Neil and Elaine to see how a 5 year program would play out in the specification
  • Group members will provide additional one paragraph descriptions of students for analysis.
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