For the entire last week we had distinguished Professor Dr. Vernon Curran visit our Aruba campus to enlighten us on the Curriculum, Faculty development and Admissions activities and to offer suggestions for improvement. Dr. Curran is an Associate Dean of Educational Development, Professor of Medical Education, past Director of Academic Research and Development, past Co-Director of the Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education and past Director of Academic Development, Faculty of Medicine, at Memorial University. He holds a cross-appointment with the Faculty of Education, Memorial University in Adult Education and Post-Secondary Studies.
During the course of the week Dr. Curran interacted with several professors, including the Dean, the Chief academic officer and also with the students. He also actively participated in the research committee meeting, shared some insightful thoughts and provided us with some valuable suggestions. The following are the experiences shared by the faculty and the students:
Dr. Malpe Surekha Bhat, Assistant Dean, Curriculum Development and Planning: Dr. Curran had long interactive meeting sessions, to discuss possible curricular changes to XUSOM MD curriculum. During the meetings, he came up with valuable suggestions on improvising the Terms of reference of the Curriculum committee, Course evaluation of the different components of the curriculum, Evaluation of students’ academic performance and evaluation of students’ feedback on faculty performance. Dr Curran guided the committee on the use of effective templates to generate review reports of the different evaluations.
Dr. Kevin Pawlak, Admissions Committee Chair: I had a very informative meeting with Dr. Curran looking at our admissions criteria and making sure we had all the documents necessary for the upcoming annual ACCM self-study which is due in a couple months. He offered some advice on how to answer several of the questions in the self-study and supporting documentation to include, supporting those answers.
Dr. Prasad VN, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs: Interaction with Dr. Curran was very insightful. Dr. Curran not only emphasized the importance of faculty development and medical education but also the innovations that are available at disposal for the same. Dr. Curran has vast experience in medical education and training the physicians in academia to nurture and improvise their skills. I was made aware of the different domains of faculty development, also the platforms we could build to improvise the teaching and other academic abilities of faculty in our medical school. Dr. Curran also helped build tools that were required for development of the clinical faculty and methods we can adopt to implement them effectively.
Mr. Azhar Hussain, MD3 student: Dr. Curran emphasized the importance of research in medical school in general and the current scenario of the level of research that is ongoing at his medical school. We learned that research is a mandatory requirement in many medical schools for which the students are given various scholarships. Dr. Curran emphasized on the role of mentors and faculty in research and the importance of research on the profile of the student when they apply for residency programs.
Xavier University School of Medicine strives hard to maintain standards of excellence and to impart quality medical education for its students. Going forward into an era where accreditation is of utmost importance for Medical schools, Dr. Curran’s valuable inputs have ensured us that we are going in a right direction.