A Medical Student’s Guide to Improving Reproductive Health Curricula

Appendix 8 MSFC Curriculum Mapping Project Survey This survey was designed by Medical Students for Choice® (MSFC) to collect information on coverage of reproductive health curricula in medical school pre-clinical years. Feel free to revise or …

Appendix 8
MSFC Curriculum Mapping Project Survey

This survey was designed by Medical Students for Choice® (MSFC) to collect information on coverage of reproductive health curricula in medical school pre-clinical years. Feel free to revise or duplicate it as necessary.

Instructions for Completing the Survey

This survey focuses on the pre-clinical curriculum at your medical (allopathic or osteopathic) school. There are three parts of the survey. Each part contains one page.

Part I: Reproductive Health in the University Courses

In the first part of the survey, we want you to indicate which components of reproductive health are taught in the pre-clinical courses offered by your school. We have provided you with a grid: the left column contains a number of health topics/themes and the top row contains different categories of university courses. If a particular topic/theme is a part of the pre-clinical curriculum, place a check in the appropriate box or boxes.

You will see that the pre-clinical curriculum is divided into two major categories: required (opt-out) courses and elective (opt-in) courses. The required and elective sections are further divided into format categories (such as didactic lectures, labs, etc.). A few points of note:

  • Pre-clinical curriculum includes all courses that you take before going onto the wards. In most medical schools, these are the first and second years of medical school. In some medical schools, the pre-clinical curriculum is called the “undergraduate curriculum.”
  • For a topic to be considered “part” of the curriculum, the topic must be formally included in the course (i.e. lecture, assigned reading, formal objective of discussion). Audience questions or open assignments in which a student elects to address a particular topic do not qualify.
  • If a course is taught in sections and the coverage of a topic depends on the instructor, please consider this topic part of the curriculum and check the appropriate box. However, in Part II of the survey, please explain that the coverage is variable (see below).
  • Format categories are not mutually exclusive. A single topic may be taught in different formats, so please feel free to check all boxes that apply.
  • If a pre-clinical requirement can be filled by a number of different courses (e.g., your school has an ethics requirement and four different classes qualify), consider these classes electives.
  • We realize that courses may change from year to year. Do your best! Give us the most up-to-date information that you can.

Example 1

In your required first year genetics class, the professor gives a lecture on pre-natal diagnosis. At the end of the lecture, a student raises her hand and asks about pregnancy options counseling. The professor responds to the question.

In this scenario, you would place a check in the pre-natal diagnosis/required-didactic box. You would not check the options counseling box, as the discussion of options counseling was not an intended or formal component of the course.

Part II: Additional Information on Topics Included in University Courses

We want to know more about the topics covered in your curriculum. If you checked a box in Part I, we would like you to follow-up in Part II by filling out a line of the chart.

  • For each topic identified in Part I, we would like you to provide information about the topic, the title of the course, the year of medical school the course is offered, and the amount of time dedicated to the topic. We would also like to know if you were tested on that material (if so, please place a check in the column labeled “tested”).
  • If a course varies considerably by instructor (for example if it is taught in sections), please put “variable” in the column entitled “amount of time.”
  • If a number of topics are included in the same lecture, small group discussion, etc., please feel free to combine them in the Part II listing.
  • Not enough room for all the courses? Feel free to attach additional pages, as necessary.

Example 1 (continuation from above)

In your required first-year genetics class, the professor gave a lecture on pre-natal diagnosis, which was not included in exams. You checked the pre-natal diagnosis/required-didactic box in Part I.

In this scenario, you would write the following on the chart for part II:

Topic/Theme
Course & Year
1. Pre-natal diagnosis Genetics, 1 st year One hour, lecture

Example 2

During a pathophysiology second-year course, you received one lecture on several forms of contraception. One final exam question was dedicated to contraceptive methods. In Part I of the survey, you checked boxes for all the types of contraception mentioned (i.e. hormonal/required-didactic, IUD/Required-didactic).

In this scenario, you would combine the topics and write the following on the Part II chart:

Topic/Theme
Course & Year
1. Contraception: OCPs, Hormonal, IUDs, Abstinence Pathophysiology, 2 nd year One hour (for all topics), lecture X

Part III: Optional Student Group Events

This section of the survey is similar to Part I. We have provided you with a grid: the left column contains a number of health topics/themes and the top row contains different categories of student-sponsored events. We would like you to think back over the MSFC events of the last semester. If MSFC hosted an event on one of the listed themes, check the appropriate box. We also want to know what other student groups on your campus are doing. So, if a non-MSFC student group hosted and event on one of the topics listed, check the appropriate box. Please list the name of the organization that sponsored the event on the corresponding line.

Suggestions for Completing the Survey

We know that most school coordinators are second-year medical students and, as such, have not yet completed the entire pre-clinical curriculum. We also know that you will not have taken every elective offered in the pre-clinical years. However,we do want to know about all aspects of the pre-clinical curriculum, not just the courses that you have taken. Thus, we wanted to give you some suggestions as to how to systematically chart the reproductive health education in all pre-clinical classes.

  1. Make or obtain a list of all the required courses in the pre-clinical curriculum.
  2. Make or obtain a list of all elective courses commonly taken by medical students in the pre-clinical years. Be sure to include the ones that you didn’t take!
  3. For courses that you have taken:
    1. Review the lecture titles and the syllabus, skim the course reader, glance over notes
    2. Contact fellow school coordinators, classmates, professors
  4. For courses that you have not taken:
    1. Try to obtain a copy of the syllabus, the course reader/texts, lecture titles, course descriptions
    2. Contact third- and fourth-year students, professors, classmates
  5. Past MSFC school coordinators are an invaluable resource. If you don’t know who they are, let us know and we can try to provide contact information.
  6. Many schools have several coordinators. Work together! Divide up the classes. Feel free to enlist the help of other MSFCers!
  7. Arrange a meeting with a small number of MSFCers from multiple years and try to fill out the survey together.

Remember, we only want to know about the pre-clinical courses! Please don’t include information about the clinical rotations at your school (i.e. don’t include information about the lectures offered in your ob/gyn clerkship).

Good Luck!

Drug Integrity Associate Audrey Amos is a pharmacist with experience in health communication and has a passion for making health information accessible. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Butler University. As a Drug Integrity Associate, she audits drug content, addresses drug-related queries

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