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A Unique Resource Dedicated to Student Success

 

SMU’s ground-breaking Center for Excellence in Medical Education (CEME) was established in response to the University’s core mission of commitment to the success of students. This unique resource for faculty and student development enhances the success of students via educational workshops, clinical pathological conferences, and research in medical education. Faculty and students work together in close collaboration in all of the activities of the Center.

 

The mission of the Center for Excellence in Medical Education is to support faculty in the comprehensive development of intellectual inquiry as well as the promotion of creativity in teaching, research and scholarship. The center works in collaboration with the entire university community to implement a range of 21st-century, technologically-enhanced modes for dynamic and interdisciplinary learning. The center also works in scholarly collaboration with other leading educational institutions to enhance medical education, resulting in the improved success of our students.

 

Goals of the Center for Excellence in Medical Education

 

The goals of the Center align closely with its mission. All of the Center’s activities, including workshops, conferences, and research, support the following goals:

  1. Enhancing medical education for our students
  2. Encouraging creativity in teaching and learning
  3. Researching and implementing new instructional technologies and techniques
  4. Organizing workshops in teaching, learning and evaluation

 

Student Involvement

 

Students participate actively in all aspects of the CEME’s work. This is essential, since the Center was created to enhance the success of our students. Faculty and students engage in productive collaboration to identify research priorities, conduct research, evaluate instructional techniques, lead workshops, and present findings. This benefits students in many ways, including:

  1. Understanding medical education in light of their own learning style
  2. Learning improved techniques for time and stress management
  3. Improving leadership, teambuilding and public speaking skills
  4. Learning to integrate various Basic Science courses
  5. Improving preparation for clinical training and practice
  6. Enhancing test-taking skills

 

Recent Activities

 

Recent educational workshops have included:

  1. “Active Learning in the Classroom”: Faculty and students worked together to develop an action plan to further diversify the teaching methodology in the classroom. Students were taught about different learning styles and how to better organize class materials through techniques such as concept mapping.
  2. “USMLE Step 1: Discussion Panel with Recent Test-Takers”: Topics included time management, stress management and high yield study techniques.
  3. “Institutional Assessment and Strategic Development”

 

Clinical Pathological Conferences are held every semester. These clinical case studies are developed by faculty, and are meant to integrate both Basic Science and Clinical Science components of diagnosis. Students form small groups to work together on the case studies. They present their results, and certificates are awarded to top-performing groups. A recent case involved a 36-year-old woman from Peru who presented with symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, and weight loss. All details pertaining to the history, physicals, radiological and lab data were made available in a step-by-step manner to the students. An expert panel comprised of Cayman Island medical specialists facilitated the discussion and helped students refine their conclusions. The forum was highlighted by cross-discipline integration, and helped the students relate their Basic Science knowledge to a clinical context.

Recent research topics in medical education have included a study of the effectiveness of a hybrid model of case-based teaching in medical pharmacology, a study of the impact of captured audio/video lectures on student attendance, and a study of the impact of the CEME on SMU.

At St. Matthew's University, we are as committed to your dream as you are. Our faculty and staff do everything possible to maximize your opportunity to succeed academically.

To that end, we have developed SMU’s one-of-a-kind Center for Learning Enhancement (CLE). This center is a set of services that is integrated with and integral to the overall program for learning at SMU. The CLE’s mission is to assist and encourage medical students to develop their academic and personal skills to foster greater academic success. These goals are accomplished through services of the CLE which include Faculty Reviews and Tutoring, Teaching Assistants, Peer Tutoring, Academic Development Workshops, and our unique Student Development Course. Qualified counselors also serve as Academic Advisors to offer individual help on request.

Faculty Reviews and Tutoring

No other medical school faculty is as committed to the success of students as the dedicated team of educators at St. Matthew's University. For each of the Basic Science courses, the faculty offer general review sessions outside of normal class times. These sessions, available to any and all SMU students, review the key points covered in the course.

Basic Science faculty also offer small group tutoring sessions , which provide practice exam questions and other practical techniques including improving students’ test-taking skills. Finally, after each exam, faculty schedule one-on-one time to review test questions with students. Students with poor exam results are expected to schedule additional time with faculty to review the areas where the individual student struggled with the material.

The faculty member who teaches the course is the first person to whom a student should turn for help, but other resources are available through the Office of Student Affairs’ Center for Learning Enhancement.

Teaching Assistants

At SMU we recognize the value of peer-assisted learning. Teaching Assistants are upper-semester Basic Science students who have demonstrated an excellent knowledge of course material. They are provided by the University at no cost to the student. They schedule group sessions in which they review practice questions which are provided by professors, as well as other materials to support the student’s understanding of course material. They also suggest learning strategies that have worked well for them in a given course.

Individual Peer Tutors

Students who have excelled in given courses are invited by the University to serve as individual peer tutors. These students are available for individual help in each course. The Office of Student Affairs arranges for tutors on request from students, but fees and meeting schedules are arranged between the tutor and the student.

Academic Advisors in the Office of Student Affairs

Academic advisors are also available to offer general assistance to students with the following:

  1. Organization of course materials
  2. Time management
  3. How to study for and take multiple choice exams
  4. Reading for retention
  5. Stress management strategies
  6. Listening for Learning: How to maintain good attention in lectures
  7. Assessment of academic strengths and weaknesses with specific recommendations for remediation as indicated

Students can make an appointment for help in any of these areas, or for personal counseling.

Student Development Course

St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine offers a 5-week course that guides all 1st semester students through skill-building and competency-enhancement practical sessions. This Student Development Course gives each student the basic elements required to be academically and professionally successful. For example, the SDC covers the following important areas:

  1. Interpersonal communication skills for medical professionals
  2. Developing Study Skill Competency in Medical Education
  3. Creating an Effective Study Schedule
  4. Peer Support & Study Groups
  5. Note Taking and Concept Mapping
  6. Examination Strategies & Preparation
  7. Stress Management & Healthy Living

Academic Development Workshops

All students interested in improving their academic performance may participate in Academic Development Workshops. These workshops focus on key skills required to be academically and professionally successful, including:

  1. Developing Study Skill Competency in Medical Education
  2. Peer Support & Study Groups
  3. Examination Strategies & Preparation
  4. Creating an Effective Study Schedule
  5. Note-Taking and Concept Mapping
  6. Stress Management & Healthy Living