It is hoped that this teaching system will accomplish several things. First, it will identify early the rare student who is not suitable for medical school, thereby saving the student considerable time and money. More importantly, it will identify students who need extra help in order to satisfactorily complete the curriculum. In some cases, simple counseling or change of study habits is sufficient to achieve this. On other occasions, it may be that substantial, individualized curricular changes are necessary. For example, some students may require more than the standard time to complete the curriculum. By early recognition of this fact, the extra time can be planned in a meaningful way. This is particularly important in year one and year two. Finally, it is hoped that this mechanism can provide valuable feedback to prior curricular units which may be helpful in program evaluation as the years go by.
Confidentiality is assured by the fact that only those directly concerned with entering the material into the record and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and his/her staff have direct access to this information. The latter communicates problems only to the necessary director of the next curricular unit in order that he/she may anticipate problems and prevent them when possible by means of extra work with the student.
Role of the Office of Education and Curriculum
and Student Progress Committee
The responsibility for tracking and monitoring student progress is centered around the Office of Education and Curriculum for coordination and activation. At the end of each curriculum segment, the Associate Dean for Education and Curriculum monitors student files from each curriculum year to determine which students, if any, are in potential or real academic difficulty and counsels them accordingly.
Throughout year one and year two, the Student Progress Committee similarly monitors all students’ progress. At the end of year two, the Chair of the Student Progress Committee takes note of those students whose performance would indicate potential problems in year three These include those students deeply committed to the buffer period as well as others with individual deficiencies.
During the clinical years, monitoring occurs after each clerkship. When deficiencies are noted either in writing or through oral discussion, in any area of the student’s knowledge, ability or behavior, these deficiencies may be discussed not only with the student, but also with the director of the next clerkship for which the student is scheduled. In this way, deficiencies can be prevented from adding up and becoming more severe. By means of close monitoring, it is hoped that clinical problems will be detected early in year three rather than at its end or sometime in year four.