Academic year 2016-17 brought forth the first full year of a newly-merged Medical Student Affairs office, combining the focuses previously housed with the student affairs professionals and the Office for Programs and Activities professionals. This merger provides a more comprehensive picture and team of professionals who can support students with any aspect outside the formal curriculum. This support still falls under two distinct but complimentary umbrellas complimenting the academic experience of each student (assisting with compliance, future professional plans, self-assessment, goal-setting, and learning communities) to the extra-curricular experience (supporting student organizations, wellness efforts, and celebrating school milestones with school events).
This past year, we introduced a pilot conference funding program, which allows students to apply for funds to attend regional or national conferences for the purpose of presenting research and innovations or for enrichment of professional interest. In the initial pilot program in fall 2016, 23 applications were received, resulting in over $10,000 dollars awarded to students. As a result of the overwhelming success of the program, additional funds were directed to the program for spring 2017, which resulted in an additional 37 applications and over $13,000 dollars awarded. The pilot will be a full-standing program in Student Affairs beginning in academic year 2017, with funds available from our generous white coat donors.
Inaugural Curriculum 2.0 Match™
The first class that completed Curriculum 2.0 participated in an extremely successful Match™ process in March of 2017. Ninety-seven students matched into 22 specialties with 68% matching in to residencies at top 25 medical institutions nationally. Eighteen of these students chose to stay at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for their internship.
Student Portfolio Progression
Faculty members who serve as portfolio coaches work with our doctor of medicine students throughout their years of training to help students develop skills for informed self-assessment and lifelong learning. Forty individual faculty members were assigned 10 students each and coached students through both qualitative and quantitative assessments of their professional and academic progress. Evaluation of the Portfolio Process included survey, focus groups and strategic conferences resulting in iterative changes to the program which have been well received by faculty and students. Students have generated over 10,000 learning goals to date in our portfolio system.
Extra-curricular Activities Fostering Social Awareness
With full implementation of Curriculum 2.0 across all curricular phases, the successful transition for student life and extra-curricular activities is also evident. This past academic year, 511 recorded events took place that supported student development outside the classroom experience. Of particular note was the increase in conversation around social justice, diversity, and how we help our students cope with changes in the greater world around them. Two highlighted events include a student-initiated memorial service in response to hate-based tragedies in the US and across the world, where students openly shared personal thoughts, feelings, and reflections while supporting each other as a community. The second event brought students and faculty into continued conversations about VUSM’s role of social mission in medical education, worked to define our school’s social mission, and began plans to measure and monitor its impact in our community.
Meharry Vanderbilt Student Alliance
In addition, the student relationship with our sister school, Meharry Medical College, was revitalized through a dedicated effort of Meharry and Vanderbilt student colleagues. Our elected student leaders worked diligently to re-energize the Meharry Vanderbilt Student Alliance, which had minimal activity as a student organization in recent years. In collaboration with student leaders at Meharry, the MVSA reorganized and hosted athletic events as well as a community focused event, “Whose Central Line is it Anyway?,” which brought awareness and support to VUMC’s “Street Psychiatry” program led by Dr. Sheryl Fleisch.
For more information about Medical Student Affairs, please visit medschool.vanderbilt.edu/student-affairs.