Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Facebook QA with the Deans

Facebook QA with the Deans

This past Friday, December 11th, we hosted a Facebook Q&A with the Deans. If you were unable to tune in live, here are all of the questions asked and our answers for your convenience.

Jessica Turner I was talking with some other students and had an idea. Has it ever been considered to shorten the summer break between ms1 and ms2 from 2 months to 1 months in order to give ms2 students more time to study for step 1 at the end of the second year?

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineJessica - This is a very reasonable suggestion, especially with the increasing emphasis on USMLE scores. However, we will need to poll the students as a whole to determine their willingness to give up the only major vacation block during the first three years of medical school. This time period between Years 1 and 2 is an important opportunity for students to participate in a research project. (Last summer, 75 rising MS-2 students were part of the SOM Summer Research Program, http://www.ttuhsc.edu/som/summer.aspx.)

‪Jessica Turner Thanks for the feedback! Maybe the research experience could be shortened to one month. Just an idea. I would be interested to see how the poll would turn out!

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine Thank you for getting the conversation started on this interesting topic. Many schools are shortening their pre-clinical curriculum to 12-20 months, and this may be an alternative way to achieve this objective.

‪Frankie Leung I'm interested in Quality, and would like to know: Has there ever been/are there any plans to incorporate this aspect of medicine more concretely into the curriculum, since residents eventually have to be involved with Quality work? Also, with the upcoming LCME accreditation, would it be harder or easier for student-led proposals to be executed?

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineFrankie - Quality and Safety are currently covered in the Year 2 P3 course. This is an area of increased interest for educators and practitioners and has recently been covered extensively during residency training. We are certainly interested in expanding the coverage of these topics in the curriculum and are open to student proposals.

‪Frankie Leung If there was a desire to build an elective course, what would the proper channels be to start that process?

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine The EPC is responsible for approving all new courses. Your class EPC representative, Ben Aziz or Archana Ayyar, can help you with this process. Dr. Williams' office can provide the proposal documents.

‪Heather Patel Hello!

‪Thank you for doing this! Your willingness to listen to students is one of the many reasons I love this school so much! And it's definitely something I always bring up with prospective students, specifically that our school administration is so great at listening to the concerns of us students and making swift changes as necessary.

‪Speaking of being swift to change things, there is an issue that I think many third years would love to see addressed before the end of the year is the current grading system being employed, specifically the vast emphasis being placed on the, quite frankly, subjective and luck based evaluation system. I know things are happening to change the current system, but that's about as much as I know. When will we see this change take effect and will it be in time before the start of next semester so that we may benefit from these changes? If not, will you consider re-grading us after the changes are made?

‪I know that many of us feel that our entire clerkship grade should not depend on 1 evaluation from 1 doctor who's having a bad day. Because 1 pan-3 eval can really really tank your eval average and then of course, you are not eligible for honoring the class anymore. Please help us! Thank you, thank you, very very much!!

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineHeather- To give some historical perspective, student feedback led to de-emphasizing the NBME exam two years ago to provide students with the ability to obtain higher grades in clerkships based on clinical performance assessments rather than being entirely dependent upon a single exam. This being said, the recent educational summit focused almost entirely on concerns with the various components of clinical assessment. Proposals to improve this system will be considered by the EPC; however, implementation of any changes will become effective next academic year. EPC student members will be involved in the discussion and implementation of any new policies. All students are encouraged to express their concern to these representatives.

‪Heather Patel I can definitely understand their reasons for wanting emphasis on the clinical aspect, but I think it probably went from one extreme to another, with almost complete de-emphasis on the nbme (which is still very important for step 2) and completely based on our evaluations. There has to be some middle ground between relying completely on the evals vs. the nbme, right?

‪I think I could get on board with this grading system if there was a more objective way to evaluate us, for example having the same 3-4 doctors evaluate all of us by an actually attainable grading rubric, instead of this luck if the draw, one student works the nice doctor and the other one does not...‪But anyways, thank you for answering my question, I will continue my quest with these EPC people. Have a great day

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineHeather - Thanks for your willingness to share your opinion. We look forward to seeing where your quest takes you. Your comment about dedicated assessors within each clerkship was discussed at the educational summit and is part of the ongoing discussion regarding grading policy. Another option is dropping the lowest clinical assessment score.

‪Mario A. Martinez I echo Heather's sentiment. Unfortunately, it is still disheartening (regardless of the effect on the final grade) to know pan 3's from 1 super unforgiving attending can really affect one's outlook on the clerkship itself (and of one's self-esteem!). Understandably, this means very little in the grand scheme of things. However, how sure are we as students that attending's know the weight that a 3.0 eval has on our final clerkship grade (assuming, of course, we truly worked hard, or at least tried our very best)?

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineMario- Subjective grading in the clinical setting is a challenge for every medical school. There was specific discussion around this topic at the recent educational summit. A first step is ensuring anyone (residents and faculty) involved in assessments understand the process. We are working to improve this aspect. Thank you for your input.

‪Mario A. Martinez I would also like to thank you TTUHSC, Drs. Berk, Cobbs, everyone in that room dedicating your time and effort to listen to us. It speaks volumes to the love you have for each and every one of us students. It shows in national rankings why TTUHSC is the best HSC in the nation IMO, and it's because of you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. There are days I remind myself to be thankful that I chose to come to Texas Tech SOM. And a shout out to Student Affairs, thank you for being our 2nd parents!

‪Adib Tanbir 1. Who is the architect of TTUHSC (not sure if it was a group or just one architect, beautiful stuff)?

‪2. Where is the closest 'DESIGNATED smoking Area' near PSL (preston smith library)?

‪3. Is there a way to access an article from The Journal of Experimental Psychology (AFTER 2007) as a TTUHSC student without having to drive to the main campus? {TTUHSC is subscribed till 2006 and main campus has latest, UTD subscription [I like the shared subscriptions though, since it gives an excuse to visit the main campus <lot of good art work there>]}

‪4. What is the best way to visit TTU (main campus) as a TTUHSC student {with respect to parking, I have a red sticker with which I am unsure if I would get towed or not}

‪5. Is there a fast-forward option on the door between the Syn center and the hallway leading to the Biochemistry lab? {basically, it's PAUSE --> 2 taps --> WAIT--> open seseme!; but when one is late for something and 'RAMMING' through, always afraid I might break the door if I push it too hard like an animal lol}

‪6. Is there a way to go on a ride-along in the helicopter that lands at UMC {the one we get a glimpse of while climbing the stairs to the Syn center?} before a potential elective during clinicals?

‪7. Why are you guys so amazing for opening up this forum for {organized, free-flowing} Q&As?

‪P.S. sorry for being late and only sneaking in 4 minutes before the end. (i planned to be prompt, but long story lol)

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of MedicineAdib- Dr. Williams would be the best person to answer your questions. Feel free to call his office at 806-743-5668 or drop by 2B112.

‪Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine Thanks everyone for participating. We look forward to continuing these discussions. In addition to this page, we can be found on Instagram: ttuhscmed. Happy Holidays!

Thank you to all of the students who participated in our Q&A. We value student feedback and look forward to continuing the conversation in the future.