Responsibility

The MEC has direct responsibility and authority for determining what is taught, learned, and assessed in all the major competency areas. It designs the general architecture of each year and decides what courses should be offered and the placement of these courses. The committee relies on the wisdom and experience of individual course directors, clerkship directors and their faculty to decide details of course content and evaluation strategies. The MEC makes specific recommendations concerning new and important content areas, modes of instruction, and especially techniques for assessing student achievement and performance in our competencies. In all decisions, the MEC shall put the needs of medical student education ahead of narrower interests of individual courses, clerkships, or departments.

The MEC meets its obligations to the Dean’s charge by attending to the following specific responsibilities:

  1. Ensure that all relevant requirements of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) are addressed by Geisel’s Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) curriculum. For example, the MEC is responsible for ensuring that our curriculum includes enough total weeks of instruction and provides sufficient instruction in specific areas to permit licensure of our graduates in every state. The MEC must also document that our students are meeting specific learning objectives in every course and clerkship and at every clerkship site.
  2. Ensure excellent channels of communication with both faculty and students, especially when reporting new policies or initiatives. Listening carefully to the expressed needs of students, course directors, and faculty is important for making curricular decisions.
  3. Recommend curriculum-related educational policy that applies to all courses and clerkships.
  4. Build upon best learning practices. Identify “what works” in terms of adult learning strategies, especially as validated in medical schools or other doctoral training programs.
  5. Use data to identify/evaluate weaknesses. Pay close attention to many outcome measures to be sure we know which parts of our curriculum are working well, and which require specific targeted improvements. When necessary, request and use data systems for documenting the effectiveness of teaching and learning and the ability of students to achieve learning objectives.
  6. Use the model of continuous quality improvement to provide guidance for ongoing curriculum improvement, change, and innovation within courses and within each year.
  7. Review the outcomes of every course and clerkship at least every two years. Focus attention on improving those courses and clerkships that appear to be most in need of design changes and reassessment.
  8. Review the structure and integration of the entire curriculum at least once every three years with attention to gaps and unintended overlaps in the curriculum and the ability of the curriculum to assure attainment of core Geisel competencies by our students.
  9. Focus on high priority items such as new and important curricular themes that may require planning, nurturing, or greater attention.
  10. Encourage dialogue and communication between course directors to be certain there is deliberate overlap, redundancy, and sequencing, but not accidental or excess duplication of topics.
  11. Maintain oversight of the grading system. Ascertain that methods used for evaluating student performance, and reporting out formal grades, remain consistent with our desire to foster the highest academic achievement of each student while minimizing excessive competitiveness that can interfere with cooperative and collegial learning.