STS Helps Standardize Curriculum Development

Electronic Learning and Innovation in Education


1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Room 361A

A new Annual Meeting session will highlight the many features of the Society’s expanded learning management system (LMS), which incorporates the Thoracic Surgical Curriculum and can help program directors develop resident education curricula within their existing programs.


Mark S. Allen, MD

“This is the future of cardiothoracic surgical education. This is an attempt to standardize the educational curricula and get everybody across the country on the same page,” said Mark S. Allen, MD, STS Past President and Chair of the STS Workforce on E-Learning and Educational Innovation.

Presentations will explain how program directors can use the LMS to create curricula, make assignments, and track resident progress. Dr. Allen, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., will moderate the session with Edward D. Verrier, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle.

Ara A. Vaporciyan, MD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, will explain how the LMS can be used to develop a curriculum.

Stephen C. Yang, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, will give a presentation focusing on the expansive content in the LMS, which has been developed from textbooks, videos, published articles, and lectures.

“The more than 3,000 multiple-choice questions have been tagged to various topics in the curricula. When a resident reads about a subject, such as mitral valve surgery, he or she can click a button, and the system will randomly assign a number of mitral valve questions to answer,” Dr. Allen said.

The LMS can be used to track the progress of residents in meeting Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education milestones. Nahush A. Mokadam, MD, also from the University of Washington, will discuss those features in a talk about the eMTRCS Milestone Application. Every 6 months, program directors are required to report each resident’s milestone status to the ACGME.

“When a resident reads something or takes a quiz, it is tagged into each milestone, and program directors are given a report on how each resident is doing,” Dr. Allen said.

Another presentation will review the Resident-Faculty Feedback Application, developed by Shari L. Meyerson, MD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. She will share how faculty can use the iPhone app to follow up with residents and evaluate their performances.

“We don’t always do a good job giving feedback,” Dr. Allen said. “At the end of a surgery when we talk to the patient’s family and do paperwork, we don’t have a chance to sit down with the residents. Resident surgeons can use this app to send a text message to the staff working with them. The staff then can grade the residents on performance, which goes into milestones.”

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